Pupusas, cerveza y batidos
El Salvadoran food at El Rancho
By Susan Ware Flower firstname.lastname@example.org
Francisco Rosa grew up working in his parents’ New Jersey restaurant. There he and his sister, Svetlana Rivera, learned to cook authentic Central American dishes, the food his parents ate in their native El Salvador.
A career in construction brought Rosa to New Hampshire years ago, and his parents have since retired from the restaurant business.
“I missed being in the restaurant, so I decided to do something here with my sister,” Rosa said.
The menu at El Rancho is built around authentic Central American dishes, cooked home-style, and Rosa says the most popular is the pupusa ($2.50 each).
At El Rancho the pupusa is the real deal: a thick corn tortilla stuffed with a mixture of ground fried pork and a blend of feta, mozzarella and an El Salvadoran cheese. It is served with a type of vinegary cole slaw and a dish of a simple tomato sauce.
The menu at this neighborhood place is in Spanish, with English subtitles and color photographs for those not fluent. It includes well-known appetizers like enchiladas (two for $7), tamales ($2.50 each) and entrees like fajita ($12 for chicken) and fried chicken wings ($8). Other entrees include several fried fish dishes, steaks and chicken and hearty soups. There is an extensive list of side dishes, all priced at $2 each.
No Mexican fare, yet, but Rosa said he’s had a steady stream of requests from folks looking for traditional Mexican food, so soon he’ll change his menu to half Central American and half Mexican.
El Rancho serves beer, and batidos, which are milkshakes made with either banana, fresa (strawberry) or passionfruit (maracuya), for $3.50. Eat in if you’d like — the restaurant is cozy, with a good number of tables and a diner counter — or take out.
Right now El Rancho only accepts cash, but Rosa said he will be accepting debit and credit cards soon.