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Cheap Eat Of The Week: Balompié Cafe

What if I told you that the best meal that I, someone who dines out four or five nights a week, have had recently cost only $9.95? True! Last Friday I headed to Limón Rotisserie in hopes of getting a good, cheap meal within a one-block radius of my house. The crushing mob of people with that same idea (and the one-and-a-half hour wait) deterred me, so I soldiered on to Balompié Café, one of my favorite restaurants.

I usually get the Salvadoran sampler, a tasty trio comprised of a pastele (kind of like an empanada), a pupusa (with your choice of filling) and fried yucca (topped with your choice of meat). But since I was feeling adventurous, I decided to break away from routine and get the chicken enchiladas. Because really, what’s more adventurous than chicken enchiladas? I was further encouraged by the knowledgeable nod from our server. Well, let me tell you that $9.95 can buy happiness, if your idea of happiness is a plate of enchiladas, the hand-shredded chicken within moist, the red enchilada sauce just tangy enough, a good layer of salty cheese blanketing the surface. The rice and beans, pickled vegetables and curtido (a brightly acidic cabbage salad) are just icing on the cake.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of restaurants, you must read this article, “Eight Great Ways to be a Great Customer”, on gourmet.com. My favorite line: “The only cologne worse than Desperation is Entitlement.”