Acajutla, a family-owned Mexican and Salvadoran restaurant, emanates authenticity from its lime green walls, colourful gingham-print tablecloths and Latin music. The cuisine is no less culturally intact.
Judging by the number of orders delivered to other tables, the pupusas are Acajutla’s mainstay. Each thick, handmade Salvadoran corn tortilla is stuffed with any of three fillings ($3.25 each for beans, pork and cheese, $3.75 for cheese only), and served with pickled cabbage and a jalapeno and tomato sauce. Another starter, the tortilla soup ($6.99), is a spicy, slightly salty chicken broth with avocado, feta cheese, cilantro and shredded corn tortilla — which creates a race to eat it while it’s still crispy.
I recommend the entree chile con carne ($14.99). It’s spicy (or not, on your request) beef sirloin strips simmered in tomato, onion and jalapeno peppers, served with a side of rice. The restaurant’s signature dish, the Acajutla plate ($14.99) is a protein platter with sirloin steak, two homemade pork-and-beef-mix sausages and refried beans, with rice and chimol, a simple Salvadoran salsa with some kick from jalapenos. Both dishes go well with a bottle of Negra Modelo ($5.50 for 355 millilitres), a Mexican dark amber lager with a smooth and slightly sweet flavour.
The only thing here that spares the culture and family recipes is the dessert menu, which, disappointingly, only includes flan, sundaes or cheesecake. But a cool dessert might be what you need to tame the spice.
Monday & Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday & Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: Noon – 10 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 8 p.m.
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