El Migueleno Salvadoria Y Mexican - Casual RestaurantFood ★★★☆ ☆ Ambiance ★☆ ☆☆☆Service ★★★☆☆Creativity ★★★★☆ Value ★★★★☆meal for 2 $20-30 plus drinks (beer and wine)
El Migueleno Salvadorian Y Mexican Restaurant is located on Gate City Blvd (High Point Road) about 1/2 mile south of the convention center.
Salvadorian Restaurants are not that common in most cities and thus, cater to the local Salvadorian community. This typically makes Salvadorian restaurants a notch more authentic than the typical Americanized Mexican restaurants found in the USA. The food at El Migueleno Salvadorian Y Mexican Restaurant fit this description of a more authentic Latin American style food. Salvadorian cuisine is similar to Mexican, but a few of the dishes are slightly different and I feel better tasting. I feel that many Mexican restaurants have been overly Americanized and the dishes tamed to American tastes. Salvadorian style restaurants have a better chance of being more authentic.
I have fond memories of a Salvadorian restaurant in Olney Maryland that was fantastic and I am always looking for a replacement for my old favorite here in North Carolina. So far, I have not found one that lives up to the expectation of my Maryland Salvadorian idol. El Migueleno is good, but not fantastic like my old MD standby.
El Migueleno is in a fairly old building that is somewhat weathered. The outside and inside could use a major upgrade. The furniture is old, the building is old and somewhat run down. There is little to no ambiance. There are no Salvadorian decorations, just a drab old building. Hopefully, they slowly upgrade the decor and clean things up a bit.
But how is the food?
We started off with the Pupusas. Pupusas are the most notable dish in Salvadorian cuisine. A pupusa is a thick handmade corn flour tortilla stuffed with cheese, chicharron and or loroco. Loroco is the common name for Fernaldia pandurata which is a vine with edible flowers that are widespread in Mexico and Central America. Loroco tastes nutty with a strong green flavor similar to greens or simialr to a broccoli or squash. It can be eaten in salads and rice dishes and in El Salvador it is added to the fillings of pupusas. Loroco is not available fresh in the United States because the United States Department of Agriculture's Commodity and Biological Risk Analysis team discovered that the plants can bring with them the "Diabrotica adelpha" beetle.Loroco can be bought in jars (brined or pickled in vinegar), or frozen.
The Pupusas at El Migueleno were very freshly made and still crisp corn tortilla stuffed with cheese and loroco. Very tasty. The primary flavor was the cheese and there was a slight background vegetable and nutty note coming from the loroco. The sauce that came with it was somewhat bland. The plate was enough for a meal. Very filling and this plate alone would be a meal. I would suggest getting a single Pupusa (or 2) for 2 people for an appetizer as this was just too much food for 2 if ordered with a meal
Next was the Steak Fajitas
The Fajitas at El Migueleno Salvadorian Restaurant dish was excellently prepared. The meat was well carmelized and full of flavor. The addition of zucchini was a bit odd, but it worked. The fajitas came with freshly made, hand made corn tortillas. They did not even ask if you wanted flour. Authentic Central American restaurants serve corn. American style is flour. El Migueleno Salvadorian Restaurant is authentic.
Debby had a bowl of Caldo De Res. Beef Spare Rib Soup. This dish had a lot of vegetables. All very large and not cut up. This is a soup that you eat with a spoon, fork, and Knife. The broth was fairly plain. More like a vegetable or chicken broth than a beef broth. There was a side of cilantro and onion that could be added to your liking.
Soups are a very popular dish in El Salvador at every social level. Typically Sopa de res is made from beef shank or beef bone with meat and lots of vegetables such as corn, potatoes, zucchini etc. The Sopa de res at El Migueleno Salvadorian Restaurant fit the bill as an authentic Salvadorian Soup.
Overall the experience was Good Food in a below average atmosphere. The food is quite a bargain for the price with the opportunity to experience some different cuisines that are not commonly found. For those who want to experience different foods and don't mind a restaurant that needs some aesthetic work, El Migueleno Salvadorian restaurant is a place to visit.