Sunday, May 31, 2009

Las Americas

Nashville Restaurants and Food

Las Americas

4715 Nolensville Road



It’s tucked out of the way, up a little hill and hidden by signage. Once you find Las Americas, though, you are bound to find your way back. It’s a bright, lively family place that serves up some really good food that spans several countries.

Start with pupusas, the classic El Salvadorian fried masa flour dough masterpieces, which come out of the kitchen hot on the outside and gooey inside. Revueltas are the mixed variety, which at Las Americas means pork and queso melding together for a rich, satisfying center. The curtido slaw may lack a vinegar kick but the tomato salsa served alongside adds a nice tangy note. The pupusas are a specialty at Las Americas. The fillings include the popular chicharron, pork rind, version and straight cheese.

The rest of the menu runs Mexican in style. Sopes are masa cakes with your choice of topping. Gorditas, guaraches and of course tacos are available. They have a slightly wider variety of meats than you might see at some places in town, including Deshebrada (shredded) beef, carnitas pork tips, tongue, Cabeza beef cheek and tripe. The deshebrada beef taco is a pretty little thing served up with a wedge of ripe avocado.

If you’re getting the feeling that this isn’t your typical Mexican restaurant, you’re right. You won’t find Americanized ways of doing things. No chips and salsa here. You can ask for it on the side and pay for it, but the chips could very well be whatever they pull out of the adjacent market and that may be tostada shells. It’s just not something they usually do south of the border. If you want a nice side order up some of the creamy, fresh guacamole for a real treat. All that said there are people who speak English here and you won’t feel out of place. Bring some kids and you’ll fit in even better.

The Torta Al Pastor has a crispy, grilled bun and well mannered layers of tomato, lettuce, onion inside. This isn’t one of the over the top tortas you find at some spots. Still, it hit the spot.

Veggie Eater: The menu is not terribly veggie friendly, though I’m certain the folks here would substitute veggie friendly stuff. As I really wanted to try the pupusas, I ordered the bean and cheese pupusa and a cheese quesadilla (really chicken quesadilla, minus the chicken). The bean and cheese pupusa was comfort food at its best; smoky masa enveloping a smudge of bean and melted queso. Very simple, but very good. The cheese quesadilla was about as exciting as it sounds. They had quite a few enchilada choices, which again, I assume could be made with cheese enchiladas. The enchiladas verdes and enchiladas with chipotle sauce both were contenders for my attention, but alas will have to wait for another day.

Meat Eater: We’ve heard great things about Las Americas from readers and especially the folks on the Nashville Scene Bites blog and we’re glad we finally doing a review. The prices are pretty cheap. We ordered a boat load of food for less than $20. You could easily have lunch here for $5.

Las Americas Taqueria on Urbanspoon


Lannae said...

I like the cheese and the cheese and bean papusa. I have learned to only order 1 papausa, and a Mexican Coke made with cane sugar, not HFCS, all for less than $5. Eventhough I think I should pay more because lunch should not be that inexpensive, and then consequently pay buy more, I must resist because I don't need that much food. I need to just accept a decent very inexpensive lunch.

LA girl said...

I find their pupusas to be on the very greasy side and like you I think that their slaw lacks the vinegar kick found in most Cuban and El Salvadorian curtido slaws.

Eric and Katie said...

Lannae: definitely the spot for a cheap lunch...we always order way too much on our excursions, because we are trying to sample as much as possible. LA girl....I think the salsa made up for the lack of vinegar...nice and tangy, but with all that savory richness in the pupusa I agree you need some balance. we're trying to find a little pupusa place in Madison today that I spotted weeks ago...we'll let you know how it goes...

Dina said...

Thanks for the hook-up. The hubby & I went there today for lunch & it was muy delicioso! We'll be back again I'm sure!!