As a first generation Salvadoran-American, Ana Reyes grew up eating Salvadoran tamales—both those served to her on visits to El Salvador and those sold at El Tamarindo, an Adams Morgan restaurant owned by her family, where today Reyes is the manager. She says her coming of age at the restaurant—and the gastronomic experiences that went along—have always made her feel connected to El Salvador.

El Tamarindo makes two kinds of tamales: el tamal de pollo (chicken tamal) and el tamal de elote (corn tamal). Reyes says El Tamarindo uses the same authentic Salvadoran recipes it has used since El Tamarindo first opened in 1982. It is the longest standing Salvadoran restaurant in the Washington area.

We talked to Reyes about how tamalmaking has traditionally been a family affair—and her favorite way to eat mouthwatering tamals de elote (fritos)!

For more information, visit El Tamarindo’s website

El Tamarindo
1785 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009


Article by Estefani Flores; Video shot and edited by Daniel Martínez