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Best of 2000: Best Place To Eat Like A Salvadoran

El Salvadoreño
2851 Imperial Avenue, Grant Hill
(619) 231-8254

Pass south through Mexico and into Central America. As the weather gets hotter, food seems to become milder. El Salvador is the land of sweet banana and bean breakfasts, pupusas -- a kind of pita bread stuffed with things such as bacon, cheese, and loroco flowers, and sopa de mondongo, a Salvadoran menudo (tripe) soup. Or yuca frita -- fried sweet-potato-like yuccas with thick bacon. You drink jugo de zanahoria -- carrot juice -- or strawberries in milk, for the thirst-quenchingest drink in the world. It used to be you had to go to Los Angeles to find a real pupuseria. But for the past five years, Imperial Avenue has had El Salvadoreño. Inside it's blue, white, and clean, with lush pictures of Salvadoran mountains on the walls. Angela, one of the owners, says a group of Salvadoran families here decided to band together to make this happen. "We get Colombians, Hondurans, Costa Ricans, and Guatemalans as well as Salvadorans. This is their kind of food," she says. Try a breakfast of platano frito con frijoles y crema -- fried plantain (banana) with beans and cream. Drink cebada, a rich pink barley drink with milk. Ask about San Diego Beach, in El Salvador. Like the food, it's gentle and beautiful. All items are under $6.

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El Salvadoreño
2851 Imperial Avenue, Grant Hill
(619) 231-8254

Pass south through Mexico and into Central America. As the weather gets hotter, food seems to become milder. El Salvador is the land of sweet banana and bean breakfasts, pupusas -- a kind of pita bread stuffed with things such as bacon, cheese, and loroco flowers, and sopa de mondongo, a Salvadoran menudo (tripe) soup. Or yuca frita -- fried sweet-potato-like yuccas with thick bacon. You drink jugo de zanahoria -- carrot juice -- or strawberries in milk, for the thirst-quenchingest drink in the world. It used to be you had to go to Los Angeles to find a real pupuseria. But for the past five years, Imperial Avenue has had El Salvadoreño. Inside it's blue, white, and clean, with lush pictures of Salvadoran mountains on the walls. Angela, one of the owners, says a group of Salvadoran families here decided to band together to make this happen. "We get Colombians, Hondurans, Costa Ricans, and Guatemalans as well as Salvadorans. This is their kind of food," she says. Try a breakfast of platano frito con frijoles y crema -- fried plantain (banana) with beans and cream. Drink cebada, a rich pink barley drink with milk. Ask about San Diego Beach, in El Salvador. Like the food, it's gentle and beautiful. All items are under $6.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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