Cheap Eats 2015: Samantha’s

Where we get our pupusas.


Carne Asada from Samantha's. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Samantha’s



The Latin fare in this sunny dining room isn’t so much fusion as a collection of the greatest hits from Mexico, El Salvador, Spain, and Cuba. Begin with a cross-contintental tasting: garlicky Spanish shrimp in wine-butter sauce; chorizo and mushrooms cloaked beneath queso fundido; and tamales stuffed with tender chicken and chickpeas. Generous entrées, many served with black beans and buttery rice, nearly guarantee leftovers. We’re partial to masitas de puerco—Cuban pork marinated in garlic and bitter orange—and smoky carne asada skirt steak. The one can’t-miss dish among many options: pupusas, thick yet greaseless, stuffed liberally with roast pork and cheese (there are nine fillings to choose from), and served with tangy cabbage slaw.

Cuisine: Pan-Latin

Where you can find it: 631 University Blvd. E., Silver Spring; 301-445-7300

Also good: Seafood pupusas; classic ceviche; pan-fried trout with tomatoes and white-wine sauce.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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.