Though coveting thy neighbor's wife or underground sprinkler system is beyond the pale, longing for a mouthful of his cuisine is an understandable desire. Satisfy desires to eat from the table of our nation's neighbor with today's Groupon: for $9, you get $18 worth of Peruvian, Mexican, and Salvadoran fare at La Hacienda in St. Paul.
La Hacienda's menu whisks taste buds on a tasty tour of Latin America, showcasing authentic Peruvian, Mexican, and Salvadoran flavors and washing them down with a selection of Latin beers and soda pop. Flavorful fillings including pork cracklings, cheese, or loroco—a pungent Salvadoran herb—surprise diners from their hiding places inside thick, savory corn pupusas ($2.50), and a choice of seasoned chicken or pork lies snuggly concealed within a pair of Mexican tamales ($8.95). After capriciously courting the fiery kisses of the grill, the carne tampiquena's steak ends its boring marriage to potatoes in favor of a duo of spicy green enchiladas ($10.95), but occasionally rebounds with friendly and familiar fried onions in bistec encebollado, a Salvadoran specialty ($9.95). For teeth looking to trek further south on their gastro voyage, Peruvian-style seco de res piles plates with saucy mouthfuls of beef, sweet potatoes, and yucca spread upon a traditional base of white rice and served with a traditional fork ($10.95).
La Hacienda informs curious palates with a cosmopolitan menu of Latin American cuisine and accessible favorites from the U.S. Like a map of the Pan-American Highway printed on fruit leather, its feasts are an edible testament to intercontinental cooperation, with juicy Yankee hamburgers peacefully sharing table space with Peruvian churrasco and Mexican pozole. Pupusas from El Salvador house creamy cheese, beans, loroco, and fried pork rinds within thick shells of cornmeal, and tacos and tortas turn tender morsels of milanesa or flavorful pork al pastor into easily grippable meals.