Tacos at El Guanaco Have Salvadoran Flair

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John Linn
A pupusa (left) and a chipotle chicken taco (right) share a plate at El Guanaco.
The tacos at El Guanaco sport made-to-order tortillas as thick as three normal corn tortillas pilled up. Order one and you'll hear the chefs in the kitchen (separated from you by only a bit of tinted glass) pat and mold fresh corn masa by hand, then slip it on the griddle to fry. When the thick discs are finished, they're crisp on the outside and almost creamy within. Salvadorans prefer their tortillas this thick -- I think it makes a hell of satisfying taco.

El Guanaco also makes pupusas, perhaps El Salvador's best-known dish. Much like the tortillas, these pupusas are thick and made-to-order from fresh corn masa. Fillings of quesillo (melty, fresh cheese), loroco (a floral bud native to El Salvador), and chicharron (pasty, fried pork -- not the rinds) are amazing in those hot pupusas. The restaurant serves them with mild tomato sauce and a cabbage and carrot slaw called curtido.

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John Linn
The tiny Salvadoran breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot is located in an industrial stretch of Fort Lauderdale, along Prospect Road. It's only eight months old, and not many people know about it yet. Once people get a taste of the thick tortillas, though, I predict El Guanaco will be a fairly busy destination for fans of authentic Salvadoran and Mexican food.

We'll have a full review of El Guanaco up in a couple of weeks.

El Guanaco
331 NE Prospect Road, Fort Lauderdale, 33305;
954-351-0792.
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