Our youngest daughter is a humanitarian and world traveller.
Her very first mission was to El Salvador. We credit her with first inspiring us to visit Winnipeg’s only Salvadoran restaurant. All three of our children are much more fluent in second languages than my husband and me, but we have technology on our side — an iPhone.
We were interested in ordering the Salvadoran dish of Yuca Frita and knew that frita meant that something had been fried, but we had to look up the meaning of yuca. It turns out that yuca is also called cassava. We were getting closer. Our helpful server described the vegetable as being close to a potato and then we knew that we were on the right track.
We had made the discovery on our previous visit to La Fiesta Cafecito, that a pupusa was a cousin to a corn tortilla. The delectable little packets are often stuffed with meat, beans and queso blanco (white cheese — similar to a mozzarella). We choose one of cheese and a second of both cheese and pork. These were our favourite tastes of the evening. The little cakes (the literal translation of tortilla) arrived oozing with gooey cheese.
The Valdes family emigrated from El Salvador and have raised their family and lived in Winnipeg for 25 years, 19 of which they have spent operating the restaurant. The café had two previous locations before making its home in St. Vital. The cheerful yellow of the walls and tables remind me of the summer sunshine, which I will miss now that the days are getting shorter.