. T had never eaten Salvadoran food before. A major treat was waiting for me when I visited El Carbonero Restaurant in Santa Ana, California.
I was also told to come to El Carbonero hungry and, boy, was I glad that I did.
Maria, the chef and owner, at this local gem can cook!
I am amazed that we have not found it sooner. El Carbonero has been in Orange County, California for 33 years and is just minutes from Disneyland and Santa Ana Zoo.
As it turns out Salvadoran food is Native American food from Lenca, Maya, Pipil and European Spanish people.
Our journey of taste sensations began with beverages.
Cerveza Gallo, Regia from El Salvador, Aqua de Pina, Aqua de Tamarindo, and Horchata Salvadorena were all included. In other words our journey began with our choice of beers, Pineapple Water full of Pineapple chunks, Tamarind Water and Salvadoran Rice Water accented with fresh spices.
Amazing appetizers were next on this Taste of El Salvador feast. This included Chicken Tamale, Yucca and Popusas which was a thick handmade corn tortilla filled with cheese and served with the most delicious spicy cabbage slaw.
Our taste buds were also treated to Caldo de Pallo, a chock full of vegetables chicken soup.
Tostado de Camaron is a cannot miss item. The incredibly fresh shrimp was very light tasting, flavorful and topped with just the right amount crunch in a fried tortilla.
Dinner options at El Carbonero included many options. First was a fresh fish filet that spanned the entire width of the plate. Second was Chicken Fajitas.
Then there was Camaron a La Plancha which was a beautiful plate filled with rice, salad, vegetable saute and perfectly grilled shrimp.
The Platano Frito is perfectly cooked.
The fruit sauce on top just hits it right out of the park.
Bring your appetites and cash. Credit cards are not accepted.
You will be blown away by the delicious food and the very reasonable prices.
If you want to see the rest of the photos from the evening then please visit me on Instagram.
- El Carbonero Restaurant
- 803 S. Main Street
- Santa Ana, California 92701