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“Hidden Jem !”

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Tu Casa Salvadorena Restaurant
Ranked #178 of 607 Restaurants in Portland
Cuisines: Spanish, Central American, Latin
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Cheap Eats, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Portland, Me
Level Contributor
24 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Hidden Jem !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

I am fairly familiar with true ethnic Salvadorian food having lived in the West Indies and South America, and several years ago when I found this hidden little gem, I was delighted that the quality and quantity of the food was amazingly true to what I knew. The ambiance might be a little better- spanish slapstick comedy program on the TV, 60’s industrial tables and chairs wash of cold air unless you know where to sit...

BUT THE FOOD !

First bite of the plantains took me home to Montserrat. The Mojarra Frita- a full fish was flaky, spicy and finished just right. The Monanero- steak avocado plantains served with rice and beans... Hard to find the plate under all the food.

Best of all- We took food home and total bill was under $ 30.

As is typical, any small salad or pupusas (Amazing!) or anything you thought would be served first... probably wont but all will come together from the kitchen in a reasonable amount of time.

A funky little gem and so well worth surviving the “ambiance.”

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank 2_Island_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    20
    16
    5
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
windham, me
Level Contributor
46 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Excellent simple ethnic food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014

Great menu with pictures. Affordable, friendly, and delicious. Chicken Mole was awesome! Highly recommended for a different experience in Portland.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Erin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great food, great prices, friendly people”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2013

There isn't any good Mexican food in Maine. Thank God for Tu Casa's Salvadorean food!

I've been coming to Tu Casa since it opened. Their prices are still extremely low and the food is still delicious. I used to love coming alone and watching the Spanish language tv that's always playing -- this is a lively place to watch the World Cup! If the weather's nice, you can sit on the patio, which is cute and attractively landscaped.

I order the vegetarian burrito, a cheese pupusa, and a horchata. If you haven't tried their horchata, do -- it's icy cold and much yummier than horchata I've had elsewhere. My boyfriend usually orders the tacos de res or the fish tacos, if they are on the menu.

The burrito is not your typical burrito, full of rice, cheese, and refried beans clumsily wrapped in a stale tortilla. The Tu Casa burrito is filled with a rice, summer squash, broccoli combination. There's a sort of creaminess to the filling, but there's no cheese. The tortilla is fresh and perfect.

Pupusas are a national dish of El Salvador and a must-try when visiting Tu Casa. They are sort of like a savory johnnycake filled with cheese or meat. The pupusa comes with a lightly pickled cabbage/carrot salad on the side for garnish.

Portions are on the just-right to very large size. I usually take half my burrito home when I order a pupusa appetizer. Some of the dishes, like the combo plates, have an incredible amount of food. The taco plates come with three tacos and are about the right amount.

If you come to Tu Casa and don't like it, please try it again and order something completely different. The menu items really vary. I love the burrito here, but I wasn't impressed with the vegetarian taco. My boyfriend wasn't crazy about this place until he tried the tacos de res - now he's always up for going.

The only downside? They're closed Saturdays. A while ago they stopped selling beer, supposedly temporarily, but I haven't noticed if it's back on the menu.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Emera65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Authentic cuisine!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2013

They have a large menu with all authentic recipes. Their burritos are enormous and absolutely delicious. Great place for luch or dinner. Just good fooe!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Wendy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Maine
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent value for money and totally delicious”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2013

Tu Casa is situated on a busy and relatively unattractive street on the edge of center of Portland city, Washington Avenue. The interior of the building is unpretentious and basic with a TV in one corner tuned to a Spanish station. Outside you'll find parking for four cars and a delightful private and colorful patio with picnic table, flowers and umbrellas. It's a charming respite from city noisesand a favorite hangout for local office workers.

This restaurant deserves five stars for its delicious food and generous quantities. Previously we've sat inside and are usually quite comfortable there but on this occasion -- a perfect summer's day in Maine -- the patio beckoned three of us to lunch outside.

We ordered coffee first. This is simply the best coffee in Portland. Very well-rounded and inexpensive. Our meals came at a leisurely pace but we were in no hurry. They were worth the wait. Between us we ordered a Burrito Vegetariana - a tasy combination of veggies and rice; a meaty Taco del res which was generously covered with perfectly seasoned cubed steak and veggies and a Plato Montanero. The latter consisted of savory rice, beans, steak, avocado, fried egg and plaintain. The three of us shared our food and pronounced it all excellent.

We walked away replete and amply satisfied both with the sensation of having had some good comfort food and the knowledge that we hadn't broken the bank. A very pleasant, affordable
and delicious lunch. Highly recommended.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Icooktoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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