Best Central/South American Restaurant - 2009
The cuisine of El Salvador is simple and lovely: corn, plantains, potatoes, carrots, seafood, meat—nothing too complicated, everything fresh and homey. This cozy spot on the East Side, filled with papier-mâché strands of fruits and vegetables and Central American flags hanging from the ceiling, makes you feel as if you are dining in mama's kitchen. The menu is thorough and thoroughly tempting, with falling-off-the-bone chicken, crispy whole fish, tender simmered beef, and saucy shrimp—each served with rice, beans, and salsa that is garden fresh and spicy hot, not "Minnesota hot." Each entrée is priced at $12.50 or under and served with thick, hot Salvadoran-style corn tortillas. Horchata, a traditional rice and cinnamon drink, fresh tamarind juice, or hot corn milk will perfectly complement your meal. Mañana's menu cover describes the setting perfectly: "Un rincon tipicamente Salvadoreno en Minnesota"—"A typical corner of Salvador in Minnesota."