Little did we realize there were so many varieties of Latin American foods in the DFW area, other than Mexican. So, this month we decided to explore a few varieties and “traveled” to El Salvador, Peru and Columbia.
Our first stop was at Salvadorian Cuisine in Richardson.
Our thought was to get a sampler plate, but in retrospect a better way to do this would have been to research the signature dishes of each country beforehand so we would know what to order. The sampler plate here was starch, with a side of starch and a starch chaser. It included a corn tamale, a sweet potato tamale, and a pupusa which had primarily corn or potato in it. Plantains broke it up a bit but this was not our favorite stop.
Next we went to El Portal in Carrollton for some Columbian treats.
We ordered the recommendation of the waitress, which was Bandeja Paisa. This has become so popular in Columbia that it is known as its national dish. According to the Uncover Columbia website “Traditionally, a Bandeja Paisa consists of two types of Colombian sausage, ground beef, rice, red beans, a fried pork rind called chicharrón, an arepa, a plantain, a slice of avocado (you know, to be healthy) and a fried egg to top it all off.” The sausage we had was quite delicious as were the beans. We didn’t much care for the chicharron and the tiny, tiny steak tasted okay but was definitely not a show stopper. The arepa is a corn patty and should really have been filled with something; on it’s own it’s quite plain. So a mixed review from us.
Our last stop was our absolute favorite. We went to Peru and visited Lima Taverna in Plano.
We split two appetizers: beef empanadas and chicken skewers. Both were absolutely delicious. After eating we chatted with the waiter who told us they have been open for 5 years. He was very friendly and brought us a complimentary sample of their “tiger’s milk,” which is what their ceviche is made with. Ceviche is what they are known for and seafood is extremely popular there. We will definitely want to go back, preferably in the evening as they have Latin dancing at night and that would be great to watch.
AND JUST SOUTH…..
Though this is not south of the border, the sampling wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t stop at Southern Recipes down the row from Lima Taverna to sample their pies. We had one coconut meringue and one lemon meringue. Barbara was curious to see if the lemon would come close to the one at S&D Oyster House in Dallas, which is the best she’s tasted. Ironically, when we were kids our mom was known for her wonderful lemon meringue pie but we never tasted it as the thought of meringue was “yucky.” As it turns out the coconut was okay but the lemon meringue had a little too sweet lemony of a taste. As a side note, we were amazed at the pricing on their menu. You wouldn’t know inflation was at work as they were charging a good 50% less for breakfasts than any of the other restaurants we’ve been to lately. So we do intend to come back and see how they fare.
Barbara: Matthew Sullivan and Jason Rekulak
I read Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan. I love books that take place or revolve around either a bookstore or a library, so this book fit the bill. It kept me interested and wanting to go to the next chapter, with characters that were appealing. Aside from a character study there was also a mystery in it. Highly recommend.
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak is a YA book. I find that when a YA book is good, I just love it and find it charming. This book, while not amazing, held my interest and the two main characters were both awkward and found common ground. It was about friendship and opportunities, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Last month, we decided that we needed to revisit a few of the places and restaurants we really liked that we had discovered via “the ABC life.” Since we were already heading to Carrollton, we stopped off at A Honey of A Deal. We both thoroughly enjoyed this boutique shoppe and remembered they had unique gift items and great looking clothes. The prices on the clothes have really jumped from a year or so ago, but we each found an item that called our name. Barbara loves her new dish towel and Laura totally relates to her new wooden block sign. And yes, those two were a “honey of a deal”.