Salvadorean cuisine is rarely recognized beyond the pupusa, a deservedly well known stuffed corn cake. Tropicos Breeze works to correct that, serving up a menu of foods that will fill bellies and please taste-buds, from the enormous steak-based molcateje to the tiny empanada-like pastelitas. Tropicos Breeze's relaxed atmosphere and friendly service make it an ideal place to explore this Central American nation's regional foods, bringing in a wide audience of everyone from curious neighbors to Salvadoreans from all over town.
First you've got to find the restaurant: navigate the alley to the parking lot, and make your way in through the back door. That's the hard part. The easy part is sitting down to the menu, which offers authentic dishes, with easy English explanations and accompanying photos. Among the top offerings are the Platano Frito, described as fried plantain served with beans and cream. If all the foreign foods are stumping you, the Antojito Ejemplo solves the problem, offering a wide variety of appetizers to taste--and enough food for four or more people to nibble on.
The entrees are similarly generous. Each portion of the signature Molcateje could easily feed two people, with its steak, cactus leaves and vegetables in a sauce. It comes with rice, beans, and of course tortillas with which to eat it all. It's simple--meat and vegetables in sauce--as are many of the dishes here, and as is the restaurant itself. Décor and other added values to the restaurant are forgotten; the orange booths sit under beer advertisements and tourism posters. Instead, the focus here is on turning out good tasting food for all kinds of people: children chew happily on pupusas, a grandma talks the ear off a couple on a romantic date, and groups of young people chow down on the foods of their homeland.