Rinconcito Salvadorean – 2062 Commercial Drive
On the same rainy day as the one when I went to Fable, I ended up with my friend at Rinconcito Salvadorean. It was by pure coincidence that we ended up in front of it as we were just looking for a good restaurant on Commercial Drive to get away from the rain. After checking on urbanspoon if the reviews were good (and they were. 85% on urbanspoon!!!), we went in. I have to admit that I had no idea what Salvadoran food was. I have had mexican with the typical fajita and Caribbean food, but my knowledge of south american cuisine ended there. After eating at Rinconcito Salvadorean, I can now add salvadoran cuisine to my list.
The restaurant seemed to be empty but we were there quite early (5h30!!! As a French woman, I never eat that early). The place filled up quickly after we arrive. I really liked the colorful flags which hanged from the ceiling above the bar. I feel like a typical south american restaurant always have vibrant colors on their walls or as decorations.
For the food, I was introduced for the first time to pupusas. According to Wikipedia (my bible), pupusa is “a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla (made using masa de maíz, a maize flour dough used in Latin American cuisine) that is usually filled with a blend of the following: cheese, cooked pork meat ground to a paste consistency, refried beans, or queso con loroco (loroco is a vine flower bud from Central America)”. At riconcito Salavadorean, they offered meat, cheese or cheese and beans. Since I had never tried it before and I am a pescatarian, I decided to choose cheese and beans. Since I was expecting something a bit heavy on the stomach and maybe hard to digest, I was agreeably surprised when I noticed that the filling is very small and that they were actually very easy to digest. They were warm and didn’t contain too much cheese or beans. It was a very nice appetizer. Afterwards, I had my typical fajitas (I can be boring that way sometimes :)). They were excellent. The vegetables were well-cooked and I liked how they mixed the traditional red and yellow peppers with the not so traditional mushrooms. The beans were in a little cup with the guacamole and the sour cream. I never had it like that. It usually came warm with a side of rice, but I have to admit that it was a nice change and I didn’t mind at all.
For dessert, my friend and I shared platanos. From the look of the picture, we expected fried bananas, but when they came, they were more caramelized which was succulent. It came with a little side of cream which was a nice contrast to the warm banana.
The service was fast, but the owner was a bit rude. At the beginning, he kept pushing us to buy drinks and kicked us out after 1h because he needed the table.
Overall, I had a nice time at Rinconcito Salvadorean. It was nice getting away from the nice and find a warm and dry restaurant to relax. In conclusion, even if the service was not that great, the food definitely makes up for it. I noticed that the bad reviews on urbanspoon had to do with the service. As a European, I have encountered pushy waiters before. For example, it’s very common in Greece. It used to bother me but not anymore.