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  1. I've eaten at several Salvadoran-Mexican places in DC, but El Rinconcito is the best, and I had to give it some props after a great meal there recently. (I'm surprised it's not already on this board.) Located on Park Road off 14th Street, across from the new Giant/Tivoli Theater complex, El Rinconcito is a neighborhood gem. It's got the usual Mexican fare (tacos, nachos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas and fajitas), and even a selection of hamburgers and subs, but the real draw is the Salvadoran food. The pupusas can be had a la carte for $1.75 each or as a combo meal (Choice of pupusas with a choice of Tamal with rice and beans ($5.95-$7.25)). The pupusas are large, and a couple of these served with cabbage salad can make a great cheap meal. The Tamales de Elote (made with fresh corn) is excellent. My favorite beef dishes are the Carne Deshilada (shredded beef with an egg on top with Salvadoran cheese, avocado, rice and black beans for $10.50) and the Milanesa de Carne (thin breaded beef cutlet with black beans and rice, plantain and fresh pico de gallo for $10.50). There are a wide selection of beef, chicken and seafood choices (ceviche, whole rock fish, shrimp). The specialties of the house are 12 oz. steaks prepared in a couple different ways with rice, salad and tortillas for under $18 (the most expensive items on the menu). Everything tastes freshly made, and they serve real crema instead of sour cream. The fried yucca and plantains are cooked just right, over-fried, soggy or overly oily or mushy like I've had it at other places. Entree portions are generous. I'm still eating my way through their menu, but for next time: Sopa de Mondongo (beef tripe soup), Carne de Salpicon (round eye mixed with cilantro, oregano, red onion, relish, mint leaf), and the plaintain empanadas with vanilla ice cream for dessert. I had a bottle of Dos Equis with my meal for $3.60 (same price for other Mexican beers). They also serve horchata and tamarind juice. Complimentary homemade tortilla chips are served with a peppery, mild pureed salsa. The restaurant is entered from the ground floor, and has seating on this floor and upstairs. The upstairs has a larger bar and a nicer dining room, so head upstairs for better ambience and a view of Park Road from the window. Service is friendly, and we didn't have to wait long for our food. I'm not Salvadoran, so I can't vouch for authenticity, but judging from the largely Hispanic clientele, I believe it's the real deal. Finding places like El Rinconcito is one of the best things about living in this diverse, immigrant-populated city.
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