La Libertad is a coastal town in El Salvador. It’s also a restaurant in Pelham. Tonite, Mr Foodie and I visited the latter.

This place was quite a find. I don’t believe we have ever had El Salvadorian food before so I must admit, I’m not an expert and I have no basis for comparison. But what we had, we loved. And it was served by a waitress who had a genuine interest in making sure we enjoyed the food, which made for a fantastic foodie experience.

La Libertad can be found-where else-in a strip mall in Pelham. I continue to be intrigued by the quantity of places like this in strip malls…. Where I’m from, anything in a strip mall is to be strictly avoided. Someone, explain this to me. But I digress. I forgot to photograph the outside-a standard Birmingham strip mall neon sign.

Once on the inside-this is a warm, cozy place where mostly Spanish (and in my case, a semester of college Spanish) is spoken. We knew that was a great sign and proceeded with our usual strategy at a place that looks like it is going to be great-order a little bit of everything.

The Menu

So much of the menu looked so fantastic. I like how colorful the menu is, and that there are clear translations:

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After reminding ourselves that we would be back (but probably not for at least a few weeks-Pelham is far-so we HAD to stock up), and with our waitresses’ guidance, we went with the following:

Appetizers and Small Plates

Our pork tamale came wrapped in some kind of paper that I’ve never seen before:

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This was the biggest tamale I’ve ever had, and was stuffed with juicy pork and vegetables. Absolutely wonderful. Here’s a closer look:

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Then a papusa, or homemade corn meal stuffed with, in this case, cheese. This one was oozing a little cheese, mmmmmmm:

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This is delicious if eaten alone, but even better with the condiments they bring-pickled slaw and tomato sauce:

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Then the plaintains. We accidentally ordered two kinds of plantains; the traditional delicious sweet kind:

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And then this. This was quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever had, and also the richest. Looked like mashed up plantains encasing a sugary sour cream center deep fried and covered with sugar.

When they arrived, we weren’t sure what we had ordered. Mr Foodie looked at the plate, looked at me, and said, potato?

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After some dissection…. NOT a potato.

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Main Course

Wow. By this point we didn’t think things could get much better and we weren’t sure whether there was anything else coming. Of course, there was. We had ordered chicken stew-which turned out to be an amazing chicken soup chock full of veggies with a quarter chicken, rice, and beans on the side. Served with 2 homemade ?flour tortillas. Spectacular:

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Beverages

I usually don’t talk much about beverages-I am just more interested in food-but I have to show you this. Mr Foodie ordered this banana flavored soda which was out of this world. I’m sure bananas had nothing to do with the making of this treat, but I don’t care:

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Seeing that I didn’t have anything to drink, halfway through our meal, our waitress brought me some “juice.” When I asked what it was, she told me “mango and other fruit.” It had little bits of pulp (orange, maybe?) in it and was the perfect refreshing compliment to our meal:

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La Libertad, just as soon as I finish working off those plantains, I’ll be back. Give me a few days…..
La Libertad on Urbanspoon