Details

Samantha's

631 University Blvd., E.
Silver Spring/Takoma Park, MD 20901

301-445-7300

Neighborhood: Silver Spring/Takoma Park

Cuisines: Tex-Mex, South American, Peruvian, Mexican, Salvadoran

Opening Hours:
Open Sunday through Thursday 11 to 11, Friday and Saturday 11 AM to midnight.

Nearby Metro Stops: Silver Spring

Price Range: Inexpensive

Dress: Informal

Noise Level: Chatty

Reservations: Not Needed

Website: http://samanthasrestaurant.net/

Best Dishes:
Chicken tamales; carne asada; Salvadoran-style whole trout; masitas de puerco; seafood pupusas; black beans.

Price Details:
Appetizers, $3.95 to $10.95; entrees, $10.95 to $25.95.

Samantha's

June 2006 Cheap Eats

There's a partylike atmosphere at this Salvadoran eatery on University Boulevard. Maybe it's the icy pitchers of tart margaritas. Or the walls in shades evoking Fiestaware. Or the generosity of spirit.

The heaping plates of savory Central American classics--fluffy chicken-stuffed tamales and the marinated There's a partylike atmosphere at this Salvadoran eatery on University Boulevard. Maybe it's the icy pitchers of tart margaritas. Or the walls in shades evoking Fiestaware. Or the generosity of spirit.

The heaping plates of savory Central American classics--fluffy chicken-stuffed tamales and the marinated carne asada--are almost a bonus. The menu offers Mexican standards like fajitas and enchiladas, but that's not where the kitchen's heart is. Look instead to a whole trout, moist within and crisp without. Or delicious morsels of pork spiked with the bite of mustard and bitterness of oranges. Pupusas have an appealingly brittle crust--besides the usual pork and cheese, there's a wonderful seafood version with bits of shrimp and scallop.

Little things are done well, too--house-made tortilla chips, soupy but flavorful black beans, and well-slicked, garlicky white rice so pleasing it could be eaten by the bowlful.