It's a common Chinese-restaurant-finding tip that the more Asian people you see dining as you peek through the curtained windows while on your quest, the more likely it is that the restaurant will provide more-than-acceptable Asian feasts. Translate that logic into the Latin real, and you'll find that Guanaco's Tacos Pupuseria won't disappoint.
WARNING: Sign appears larger in picture than it will when you're trying to find it.
Latin diners flood the small, hut-like Salvadorian joint, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays, as friendly owner Eduardo Revelo boasts. And it's no surprise that on the heels of those faithfuls, UW students and starved Seattleites fight just as hard over Guanaco's 20-some seats.Having opened in 2007, Revelo swears his young business is only getting more popular with time. And with what he claims as "the most authentic Latin American food you can find in Seattle," he's got high hopes for his U-District location and the one in Capitol Hill that's scheduled to open in three weeks.
Guanaco's, housed in the bright green, orange, and purple building off of the Ave, makes lunching feel like a trip to a Latin American paradise. The walls are orangey-yellow with decorations that one would expect to see in a Salvadorian grandma's home, and the counter shields the busy kitchen beneath an unexpected straw covering.
The menu and servers come straight from the heart of Central America, and as its name reveals, no dish is complete without one of their famous pupusas, a traditional Salvadorian entree made of corn or flour tortillas stuffed with meat, cheese and veggies of your choice.
Pancake-like pupusas accompanied by two of Guanaco's sampler platters.
And unlike other Latin dining, Guanaco's dishes won't overwhelm your palate. All tacos, burritos, empanadas, tamales, and soups (among their many traditional side dishes) are light, not overflowing with Latin flavors, but the blend of these choices with a traditional pupusa satisfies all necessities of a good Latin American meal. No need to order dessert either, for their Fresco de Ensalada, a mix of juice and freshly minced fruit, is a refreshing and sweet finish to a Salvadorian masterpiece.
Pop in during the mid-afternoon to beat the dinner rush, order a sampler platter and a refreshing drink to enjoy among the sounds of genuine futbol emanating from the TV, and give Eduardo a goodbye wave as you weave your way out as appreciation for his authentic efforts--he's the guy behind the counter always sporting athletic gear.
Guanaco's Tacos Pupuseria, 4106 Brooklyn Ave NE, 206-547-2369, guanacostacos.webs.com, U-DISTRICT