|Photo courtesy of Google Street View|
Like most towns, our town hasn't uniformly grown and prospered over the years. Big box stores came to other sides of town and set up their stores which caused those sides to develop and leaving many areas to slowly wither away and rot. Recent trends have sought to reverse that and the inner parts of town are slowly being improved again and perhaps not coincidentally, the big box stores have closed their doors and are leaving behind large empty concrete parking lots and run down box store structures. Still, there are parts of our town that have spent many years withering and may never recover from the years of neglect.
My wife's office moved to a new location on the edge of one such blighted district which coincidentally houses one of our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants just a few blocks away. It is the orange building you see crammed in-between two much larger buildings and it only about 10 by 40 feet in dimension. In that space they cram a bathroom, kitchen, counter and about a half dozen tables. It is cozy to say the least but due to it's look, location, etc., we have never had to wait for a table.
It serves up El Salvadorian food that is best described as home cooked comfort food. It is what I would consider very basic but very tasty. Most people driving by would take a look at the place and keep on driving because it looks like a dive on the outside. Those that do open the door and peek in might turn around and walk away because it looks like a dive on the inside as well. Everything in it is well used and run down. The simple menu consists of black and white photos printed off on a printer and taped to one wall. The other wall is full of handwritten Hispanic ads looking to sell something. But the tables, walls and floors are always clean and being somewhat of an adventurous eater, I have always walked in and sat down anyway. I haven't been disappointed.
Coincidentally, it is beside another of my new favorite stores that makes fresh tortillas daily. I was okay all my life eating those plastic wrapped tortillas out of our local grocery store that were made in some factory somewhere and are all very uniform in size and shape. That was until I ate a warm tortilla that was literally less than an hour old. Suddenly what I had been eating tasted closer to what cardboard tastes like than what a tortilla should taste like. Now we just pop in whenever and buy a dozen fresh and generally still warm tortillas when necessary and if they ever close up shop, I will probably never be able to force down one from a grocery store again.