I had no idea what to expect. If anything, I was quite looking forward to this visit as I have never had Salvadoran food before. I was ready for some Salvadoran food experience. And it all began with a quick language lesson on what Guanaco means:
Please note that this is a complimentary meal, but I still aim to give you some unbiased thoughts about the experience.
The package comes with 5 items. First of all, you have a choice of beverages: Cebada, Horchata, and Tamarindo. I had a sample of Horchata and I found it rather similar to the black sesame milk tea that you order at a bubble tea place. In the end I chose Tamarindo, which is made from the tropical tamarind fruit. It was quite refreshing with a hint of sourness from tamarind. A nice summer drink.
The rest of the package includes:
- Pasteles – deep fried maize pocket stuffed with beef/chicken, cheese and vegetables
- Yuca Frita – deep fried cassava root
- Curtido – pickled slaw
- Pupusa, you have 4 options and I chose Revueltas – seasoned pork with vegetables, cheese and savoury refried black beans
Pasteles is like a samosa but with cheese. It’s a deep-fried meat pocket that has a lot of vegetables and some ground meat. It goes pretty well with the watery tomato salsa (which is traditionally this watery) that accompanies this package.
Yuca Frita is the substitute for regular French fries. They were crunchy, but have a coarser texture than potatoes. The same tomato sauce was also used as my ketchup substitute.
Curtido was not very memorable. It’s not like regular coleslaw because it didn’t use mayo, but somehow the pickling of the cabbage didn’t give me the refreshing taste that I expect to get from pickled vegetables.
Lastly, the Revueltas Pupusa. It was probably the most disappointing component of this package. When the description says “seasoned pork with vegetables, cheese and savoury refried black beans”, I was expecting to find lots of meat stuffed inside the pancake-like tortilla. It was nothing like Diana’s Pollo (Chicken) Pupusa that was thick and stuffed with meat!! Mine was thin, mushy, and I opened up the tortilla and I could barely find any beans or pork. It was all white inside. At certain bites I can taste the black beans, but I wouldn’t know it’s a pork tortilla as I couldn’t taste any meat flavour. As a result, it became rather bland.
Overall items in this package may be too greasy for some as they are either grilled or deep-fried.
All food items are made to order, so you may need to wait a bit if it’s busy. Patience is key.
I must say I was clueless about Salvadoran food. I still am. So perhaps Guanaco has done everything right and I’m just not attracted to Salvadoran food because I found Guanaco’s food rather bland and mushy. From talking to JN who has previously eaten at Guanaco, she too didn’t its food very appealing. However, other bloggers seem to really enjoy the same package, so for $9 it may be worth trying the GuanaCombo. Let me know what you think. And if you know of any good Salvadoran restaurants in Vancouver, let me know because I would love to be convinced that Salvadoran food tastes good.
Seymour Street & Robson Street, Vancouver