BG Eats: El Rinconcito is tasty, cheap and authentic

Authentic Central American food is served aplenty at El Rinconcito, located at 760 Campbell Ln. The three page menu is lined with many dishes found south of the border, like this plate of the bean and cheese pupusa, chicken tamales and beef tacos. Nick Wagner/HERALD

John Greer

Situated next to a Great Clips on Buckhead Square, El Rinconcito presents a humble picture. The menu is cobbled together with tape on the front window. The inside of this small Salvadorian joint is very plain and bare, which seems to convey that the focus is solely on the food. 

For such a small restaurant, El Rinconcito offers a surprisingly wide range of dishes, ranging from the ubiquitous taco to lesser-known, traditional fare like pupusas and sopes. 

It is difficult to go wrong with the selection, especially with the arra of condiments available. Patrons are presented with three enticing options: a vibrant green chimichurri-esque sauce, a more subtle and runny tomato sauce and a heaping bowl of vinegary slaw. 

The cuts of meat tucked into the tacos were pretty small but fairly tender and seasoned well. The slice of avocado was a pleasant touch— a sliver of creaminess that balanced the savory and spicy flavors. With a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and the right use of condiments, they were more than good. 

The pupusa, a doughy masa cake overloaded with a molten paste of refried beans and melted cheese, was warm and rich. It was an ideal vehicle for the herby, pungent green sauce. 

The chicken tamale was fine, a mixture of masa, meat and spices wrapped in a husk and cooked to a grainy mash. The soft and savory filling was comforting, if not particularly flavorful. 

Cutting through the crunchy hunk of fried masa that formed the base of the sope was a difficult task, even with fork and knife. Yet accessing its layers of warm refried beans, sour cream and tender strips of beef was well worth the effort. A slice of ripe tomato and crunchy slaw added a dose of acid and texture to a simple, yet complex dish. 

El Rinconcito is the most authentic Latin American restaurant on this side of campus. It also happens to be one of the tastiest and cheapest, and certainly merits a visit.