Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rincon Latino

I highly recommend Rincon Latino because the food is tasty and the prices are cheap. The restaurant was clean and well kept and the service was friendly and moderately prompt.

After we placed our drink order and while we were still perusing the menu, our waitress brought us chips and two types of salsa.

One was a red salsa and the other was a green salsa. Both were creamier than the typical red or green salsa. The green salsa also had a nice heat, whereas the red was very mild.

My wife had a tasty strawberry milkshake and I ordered an orange Jarritos. I am usually not a big fan of soft drinks, as in I never drink them, but I really love Jarritos. It is sweet but not sickeningly sweet like I find American soft drinks and it washes down Latin food very well.

We ordered way too much food. Take it easy when you eat here. You will think that the prices are so cheap that surely you need to order more to be satisfied. You don't. Probably the highlight of the meal was the sopes.

Closeup of the pig skin ("chicharrones").
Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish from the Sinaloa region. They consist of a flat disk with pinched sides made of thick fried masa. Masa is ground corn and is the same thing used to make tortillas. The masa in a sope is thick and it is fried only lightly so that the exterior is crispy and the interior is still soft and moist. The particular sopes I ordered were the chicharrones con salsa verde - pig skin sopes with green sauce. The sopes were topped with cooked pig skins covered in a green sauce. On top of that was lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream. The pig skin was fatty and almost creamy. The fattiness paired well with the creamy, rich, acidic green sauce with a slight heat. All of that meatiness and creaminess then was contrasted against the fresh tastes of the toppings. The sopes were fantastic and cost $5 for two sopes. Just writing about them makes me want more. We were nearly full after just splitting the sopes and the chips.

I also ordered one of the seafood cocktails - the shrimp and octopus cocktail.

It had shrimp, octopus, avocado slices, cilantro, and onions all mixed in a sauce. The sauce was a tomato sauce that was a little too sweet for me and tasted a little like a sweet cocktail sauce with less horseradish. The cocktail was good, but it did not blow me away like the sopes or the pupusas (below) did. The cocktail cost $11 which made it one of the more expensive items on the menu, but it was huge.

Next we had two different pupusas. Pupusas are a Salvadoran dish made out of a griddle fried masa outer layer stuffed with different items inside. Pupusas are sort of a like a greasy, stuffed corn pancake. Pupusas are traditionally served with curtido. Curtido consists of lightly fermented cabbage, carrots, and onions. It is similar to a vinegar colesalw or sauerkraut, but sauerkraut is fermented much more heavily than curtido. The first pupusa was essentially a combination pupusa with everything in it. It had pork, beans, cheese, and loroco. Loroco is the flower bud of a vine that grows in Central America. It is a popular ingredient in El Salvador and Guatemala. The second was a loroco and cheese pupusa. Loroco has a fairly unique taste. It tastes very plant like and is mildly reminiscent of a roasted pepper. Overall, it is a pleasing taste that I recommend trying.
stacked pupusas

the inside of the combination pupusa

The pupusas were fantastic. The hot, greasy, grainy shell with the rich, cheesy filling contrasting against the cold, acidic, crunchy relish is perfect. The vinegar in the relish cuts through the richness of the pupusa. In conclusion, an excellent combination. It would make great hangover food. The pupusas are also very cheap at $2 each.

Finally, although we could barely eat anything more at this point and took most of it home, we had a chicken gordita. A gordita also consists of a masa shell but it is stuffed to the brim with fillings. It is similar to a pupusa but filled to a greater degree, less greasy, and containing different fillings.

The gordita was also excellent. The chicken was shredded and sauced well. It was topped with lettuce and cheese. The earthy, grainy corn taste, as in the other masa based dishes, paired well against the meat and fresh toppings.

As stated before, I highly recommend Rincon Latino. I can't wait to go back.

Rincon Latino
5055 Buford Hwy. NE
Doraville, GA 30340

Rincon Latino on Urbanspoon

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