El Guanaco delights with authentic latin dishes from Mexico and El Salvador

By Leah Salzenstein

Cobblestone streets, friendly people, beautiful cultures, delicious food. If this sounds appealing to you, then you should check out El Guanaco in Troy, Michigan. Family owned and operated, this restaurant offers authentic Salvidorian and Mexican cuisine. The family brings their cultural background, which they incorporate through their delicious food, and bring it all the way to your table. The staff is friendly and does the utmost to make your dining experience the best possible. I got the privilege to greet the owners and take a look back at their kitchen where they are always hard at work to give you the finest food possible.

Photo by Leah Salzenstein

On April 24 2021, Doug Salzenstein orders two delicious chorizo (spicy sausage) tacos along with two savory Al Pastor (pork) tacos. All four tacos equal a total of only around $11. We ate in the restaurants heated outside eating area, which is fully furnished.

If you are looking to learn more about Salvidorian and Mexican culture or just want to have a tasteful meal at a reasonable price, look no further than this cute restaurant on the corner of Livernois Rd.

Spicy tacos, savory tamales, and flavorful beverages, are just a few of the many delicious and authentic dishes offered at El Guanaco. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served in their lively and colorful atmosphere. The painting and posters that cover the walls of the establishment reflect the different beautifully unique Latin cultures. A small picture on the wall displays some of the great agricultural backgrounds that fuels the delicious dishes you consume at their restaurant today. Many times you will find your favorite Latin songs playing in the background, or a long awaited soccer game playing on the TV, where people are watching intensely - but the team spirit is still in the air. The friendly waitresses bring you complimentary chips and salsa; the tortilla chips are always warm, so you can tell they are fresh and made of the best quality ingredients. I also encourage language learners, as menus are primarily in Spanish, but include English translations as well. Mix and match to create your perfect dish or order a platter for the whole family to enjoy at a very reasonable price. Maybe beans aren’t your thing; the waiters and waitresses go above and beyond to customize your meal to your personal liking and are always willing to substitute different ingredients.

Photo by Leah Salzenstein

One of El Guanaco’s friendly cooks flips some of their famous, flavorful pupusas. Pupusas are an El Salvadorian delicacy; an outer shell made of corn-masa with an inner filling to match your preference. All staff wear their face masks correctly to ensure their customers safety.

From a first glance the restaurant may look tiny in size, but it’s actually quite roomy inside; nicely decorated and furnished with clean tables and chairs. In the summer - or during COVID times, you can also enjoy your food in their outside eating area. Heaters can be turned on, as we know Michigan weather changes ever so often. Colorful lights are strung both inside and out to set the atmosphere as fun and family friendly.

Photo by Leah Salzentien

A nice two person table and chair sit inside the main inside eating area. Colored string lights were strung around the ceiling, giving a cozy glow to the restaurant. Tables are set apart at a safe COVID distance and cleaning practices are up to date.

I advise you to try some of their well-known El Salvadorian pupusas. The crisp corn-masa outer shell and warm inner pouch of beans, cheese, and shredded pork, makes the perfect mouthful. You can customize the fillings to your personal liking. Last time I attended El Guanaco, I personally found the potato, spinach, and chicken filling to be quite appetizing. Add that to their sweet “Licuados Do Frutas”, a refreshing fruit flavored shake, and you’ve made a tasteful dinner that will make you come back for more.

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