Saturday, December 12, 2009

Resto Review: El Dorinda

Ah yes, another restaurant review! No unfortunate incident to avoid discussing in this one, however (if you would like to read about the thrilling events preceding my visit to the last resto I reviewed, go here).

Anyway, this place is too cute! I went to El Dorinda last night as part of a group of expats, partly because it’s fun to get together and meet new people, and partly because I had been sitting on my ass all day in my apartment and I needed to get out before I became glued to my futon. Located in Palermo Viejo (Guatemala 4487) El Dorinda is a restaurant and bar that serves “comida y bebida con mucho arte,” according to their website, and is fairly new on the BA restaurant scene. I don’t know about the art (there were a few pieces of interesting fabric-work hanging on the walls), but the food is amazing. The menu features an extensive list of mostly Spanish food, including tapas, picadas, pintxos vascos, and other appetizers, as well as a daily homemade “plato del día” and several salads, sandwich, pizza, and dessert options. Since we were a large group of about 20, we ordered lots of little dishes to share and then each got a main course.

The tapas we got included various cheeses, jamón crudo, salami, guacamole (very salty and lime-y) with tortilla chips, sardines with onions, bell peppers in oil, and a few small tapas sandwiches with toppings like olive spread, eggplant, and tuna. I recommend the bell peppers in oil (morroncitos en provenza), which was delicious on top of some slightly crusty French bread. Among the main courses ordered were a vegetarian sandwich (not too complicated, just some avocado and spinach on bread), a chicken dish with potatoes, and homemade hamburgers (which I ordered—they came with roasted potatoes and were delicious, although I did ask for some mustard to go with them since they came un-sauced).

But I must say I agree wholeheartedly with the reviewers on Guia Oleo: the star of the show was the Empanada Gallega (it deserves capital letters!). A whole portion would feed two people (for just 18 pesos!) and is really really good. They also have a half portion for 10 pesos. The crust is fluffy and buttery, the filling of tuna (I’m pretty sure it’s tuna) and sauteed peppers and onions is flavorful and perfectly seasoned, and the whole thing is just one big casserole of YUM! I really enjoyed it (clearly), and next time I will order a whole portion just for myself, fatass that I am.

The drink menu is also extensive, although we mostly stuck to beer and water. The service was excellent; we had one waiter for all 20 of us, and he was perfectly pleasant, got all the orders right, and brought out anything anyone requested (like my mustard). It is a small place, with about 10 tables inside and two outside (complete with comfortable wicker chairs instead of those awkward metal director’s chairs most places have), but the staff is truly very nice and attentive. The prices are quite affordable as well—most of the tapas are between 10 and 16 pesos and each pintxo vasco is 5 pesos. Pizzas are 24-34, salads and sandwiches are 17, and drinks range from a 10 peso porrón of Quilmes to a 36 peso Glenlivet 12 year Single Malt or a 70 peso bottle of Tomero Malbec.

(fotos from El Dorinda's website)

I would highly recommend El Dorinda; it's a comfortable place to sit and enjoy some drinks and tapas with friends. Get a few different dishes and try them all, and definitely order an Empanada Gallega. Or three.

1 comment:

  1. Hear, hear! I would emphasize that it's much better to order a bunch of tapas and a big Empanada Gallega to share among the table than individual entrees.