El Tamarindo

Image: Pupusas (at-home plating, not theirs).

Last Updated: June 2021

Current Status: El Tamarindo built out a large tented area for outdoor seating.  They also do take-out/delivery.

El Tamarindo is often pointed to as an example of a very D.C. phenomenon:  The Salvadoran – Mexican restaurant.  Forty years ago, unrest in Central America created waves of refugees and immigrants to the United States and for some reason Salvadorans concentrated in the D.C. area.  As they started opening restaurants, they chose to ride the back of the Tex-Mex fad of the moment rather than push the cuisine of their own country (Lauriol Plaza a block away is perhaps the most prominent, lasting example of the Tex-Mex focus).  El Tamarindo is cited as one of the longest-running examples of a place were the two cuisines exist side-by-side.  For years, young staffers ate the burritos and tacos there oblivious to the parallel Salvadoran options.  Now the pupusas are just as prominent, even getting its own swag.  It remains a reliable spot for those hitting Adams Morgan as well as neighborhood folks, serving up reliable versions of Mexican standards alongside Salvadoran specialties.  It is on our list for historic reasons as much as for gastronomic ones, and you have the chance to taste some of that history.

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Cuisine: Latin American (Salvadoran, Mexican)
Neighborhood: Adams Morgan
Address: 1785 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009
Website: https://www.eltamarindodc.com/
Reservations: Resy on Website

Other Critics/Voices:

Washington Post: No write up, but Tim did do a pupusa overview of the whole region.

Washingtonian: Story linked above about the Salvadoran/Mexican nexus.

DonRockwell.com – Pupusa Thread

Dish City – Did a podcast on Salvadoran food including an interview with the owner of El Tamarindo.