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March 30th, 2005 12:00 am Ron Dollete | Food Reviews & Stories

Cheap Eats 2005


On the western edge of Beaverton lies year-old Sabor Salvadoreño. I don’t speak Spanish, and yet I’m always strangely compelled by the telenovelas (soap operas) playing on the TV of this brightly lit, soccer jersey-lined diner. It serves some Mexican standards like tacos and burritos and shrimp soup, but they’re all relegated to the back page of the menu for good reason. El Salvador’s location farther south of Mexico creates some interesting riffs on the usual Latin favorites, including tamales con pollo ($2)—Salvadoreño’s are wrapped in a banana leaf rather than corn husk. The leaf helps retain moisture as it steams, giving the tamale a much more luscious flavor. This same amount of care can be found in the restaurant’s pan relleno ($4), a big Salvadoran sandwich stuffed with roast pork and served in a hoagielike roll that boasts the buttery flakiness of a croissant. But the signature items of Salvadoran cuisine are the pupusas ($2), a thick corn disc of masa that’s stuffed with all sorts of goodness and then pan-fried. The best fillings here at Sabor Salvadoreño are the revueltas (pork, cheese and beans) and also the queso con loroco, which combines cheese with an edible Central American vine flower to create something like a small, fluffy veggie quesadilla. Now, back to my telenovela. ...

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