Cheap Eats 2007: Sergio’s Place

Weekdays feel like weekends at this colorful diner as the jukebox pumps out a bachata, a bolerolike ballad, and Salvadoran couples and families dine on big plates of enchiladas guanacas, fried tortillas piled high with sautéed chicken, pickled cabbage, and shavings of cheese.

The kitchen turns out pupusas in more than a dozen variations—chorizo and loroco, a zucchinilike vegetable, are especially savory. But the pleasures of eating here are not solely Salvadoran. The Cuban sandwich is one of the area’s best—the secret seems to be in the ham and pork, both roasted in-house, then grilled before being tucked and pressed. Tortas are smartly done—the Milanesa with fried chicken bits and a slather of guacamole and sour cream is especially good. Ditto for the kitchen’s foray into regional Mexican, tender chicken mole with a chili-infused red sauce that is spicy yet not searing. For dessert, try atol de elote, a sweetish corn soup, or the creamy tres leches cake.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.