Last weekend we had our first visit to this great little place called La Taberna Culinaria which translates to The Culinary Tavern. When you first walk in you are greeted by a blackboard with the specials written in chalk. Things like Duck with orange and cinnamon, Octopus and Mango, Steak Tartare and a variety of interesting pizzas woke our curiosity.
Decorated with wine bottles and an interesting spiral lighting arrangement made for a quaint yet comfortable environment. It’s a small place with only a handful of tables and a small staff we were greeted and quickly seated in a booth. There seems to be an earthy theme stripped of all pretension that makes you feel free to move about and be at home. The contrast between scintillating smells, an esoteric mix of ingredients and the casual environment melt together creating an excitement of what is to come.
We started off sharing a big bowl of shrimp with a sauce made by deglazing the pan the shrimp were cooked in mixed with some butter and lemon. Juicy, tender and enormous they were by far the best I’ve had in a long time. All bode well for the rest of the meal as I rushed off to wash up after getting juice all over the place. I must admit I was neither patient nor careful. It was just too good!
After that awesome appetizer we moved on to our main course: the pizza. We had been told that it was good but that is something that must be tried to be found true. The pizza came on this warm log which kept it warm and delicious throughout the meal. We ordered the Margherita with Chipilin which is a “an erect perennial legume growing about 5 feet (1.5 meters) high” and the steak with chimichurri. The steak one had bold flavors which were surprisingly good in the thin crust pizza. GuateDining helped us out to explain further by letting us know that Chipilin is an herb which originates from Mesoamerica. It is usually found in the south of Mexico and Guatemala and is used to make “Tamales” while in El Salvador it is used to make a soup.
Before dessert we had a chance to chat with Chef Eduardo Gonzalez who is a very outgoing and passionate chef. He opened the restaurant with his wife a few months ago and you can tell that they love what they do. He shared his culinary background (17 years of professional cooking in several countries as well as his own cooking show on Canal 7 and doing consulting). He recommended a few desserts but what was especially interesting was the fact that everything there is made from scratch. But more on that later.
Susan and her sister Katherine decided to opt for the Apple Tartlett with cardamom which was a great combination of hot and cold. The apple filling tasted so much like my grandma’s apple pie it’s insane. The hint of cardamom and cinnamon took it into a new and wonderful direction that I just loved!
At the end of the day, it was a great experience. Great service, decent wine, awesome food. It was a little pricey, probably due to the shrimp appetizer, but overall well worth the expense and not over the top. If you are on a budget go straight for the pizza and dessert but if you can justify the expense that shrimp is well worth the stretch.
A few days ago I happened to notice that Mia Cucina, a gourmet goods store, was offering free samples of Ravioli. As my Mom always taught me to never pass up a free meal when possible (and being all of two minutes away from the store) I dragged a friend over there to try it out.
The raviolis were a warm gooey bite of deliciousness! Now I’m not a big fan of cheese, but that was one good little dish! They actually sell several sauces, pastas and precooked pizza bases that I haven’t tried yet but look like they’d do nicely in a pinch.
As well as Buckwheat flower, sauces, wines, aromatic EVOO and spices. I swear everytime I go there I have to use all of my will power not to spend every penny I’ve got!
Note: We corrected the information of the cooking show, thank you Eduardo pointing that out.
La Taberna Culinaria can be found at:
20 calle 25- 96 zona 10 C.C. La Plaza 20 calle, Local 24, behind CC La Pradera.
Tue – Sat 12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Mia Cucina can be found at
Ave. Las Americas 18-58 Z. 13
Mon: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tues: 10:00 am – 7:00 am
Wed – Fri: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm