Yesterday I headed uptown for my first oral history (how exciting!) It would take me about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to my interview subject's home, so to be safe I opted to head up early and have lunch. I did not have any specific plans, but headed towards Carrollton Avenue with a rumbling tummy and an open mind. I walked past Camellia Grill since I had already enjoyed a delicious burger there a few weeks ago, strolled by a few Creole restaurants and rounded a corner to stumble upon a jackpot of family run restaurants lining Hampton Street. Like a moth to flame, I was drawn towards La Macarena, an El Salvadorian restaurant situated across from a strip mall. When I walked in to the restaurant, I was half blinded by its lime green, lemon yellow, and teletubby purple walls. I immediately liked the place, which probably sat 20 people on a busy night. The owner of the restaurant came up to me and introduced herself and the restaurant: the restaurant sources all of its ingredients locally and makes all of its sauces on site. She was extremely kind, and endearing. I knew I was in good hands. I opted for two starters: the Sweet Corn Tamal served with homemade crema and the Chicken Flautas. As I waited for my meal, I studied my French grammar, trying to remember the different uses of demonstrative adjectives. I ended up people watching instead. After about 20 minutes, my meal came out on two seperate plates. The perfect portions. The tamale was fantastic! I had never had a sweet corn tamale, and this hit the spot, although I would have loved to have some jalapenos and cheese to kick it up a notch. The chicken flautas came out with a cabbage slaw on top. They were delicious, but mild in flavor. If you are looking for fresh food and fresh taste, La Macarena is the place for you! Their dishes are subtle, their staff is friendly, and they do not take credit/debit cards, so bring cash!
The owner let me snap a few photos of the Lunch Combos that were coming hot out of the kitchen: