Dinosaurs used to eat rocks to help them break up the harsh meals they ingested. Today's deal is much easier on the stomach: for $20, you get $40 worth of authentic Mexican and Salvadoran cuisine and margaritas at El Tamarindo. With its new hours (10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and all night on the weekends), El Tamarindo is an all-day spot for two-drink lunches with recalcitrant coworkers and late-night burritos before you roll into bed to dream about riding burrito-dolphins through an ocean of salsa verde.
The menu at El Tamarindo offers plenty of spicy and savory plates to cover your late-night cravings and dangerous midday drops in jalapeno levels. Start with chile con queso ($7.29) or quesadillas ($7.29). El Tamarindo will tickle your vegetarian pals with tons of options, such as spinach enchiladas with tomatillo sauce ($10.99). Meat lovers salivate over the carnitas burrito (lean pork, tomatoes, onions, and green peppers with ranchero sauce and monterrey jack, $12.99) and enchiladas al cilantro (grilled chicken breast and creamy cilantro sauce, $12.99).
El Tamarindo's laid-back atmosphere and festive fare make this casual hole-in-the-wall a premier destination for the ravenous and tequila-less yearning to drink the salt-rimmed nectar of the friendly gods. Conveniently located at the intersection of U Street and Florida Avenue in Adams Morgan, El Tamarindo's walls display vibrant art to contrast with the exposed brick and simple wood tables and chairs.
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- The low-key, casual atmosphere attracts a diverse crew: Adams Morgan neighbors, Latino families and folks out on an inexpensive date. The menu is huge: everything from yummy appetizers such as chile con queso and the crab and shrimp quesadilla to huge "El Tamarindo favorites" like steak al camaron (served with grilled shrimp, rice and beans) or chicken fajitas. El Tamarindo also has an ample huevos (eggs) portion on the menu and a selection of los mariscos (seafood). – Dana Hull, Washington Post
- Old reliable for neighborhood Salvadorean food. – TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
When Jose and Betty Reyes emigrated from El Salvador to Washington D.C. in the 1980s, they were excited to set down their roots and start a new life. One thing was missing from their new neighborhood, though: the rich flavors of traditional Central American cuisine. Rather than trying to grow a ceviche tree, the couple set out to rectify the problem by opening El Tamarindo. Thirty years later, their eatery still serves time-tested recipes with house-made sauces for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as fresh margaritas and other cocktails. Guests savor bold flavors in traditional Salvadoran pupusas—handmade corn tortillas stuffed with a choice of toppings—or plates of bone-in chicken topped with mole sauce.