We walked into El Tamarindo Cafe for dinner and were quite surprised at how nicely the inside of the restaurant looked. It’s located in a strip mall in Lighthouse a Point and you would never think that such a nice looking Latin Restaurant is just inside the front door. They do have some outside seating as well, but we really recommend dining inside.
We were early and seated immediately at a nice table by the window. The windows are ‘frosted’ to let in the light, but don’t allow you to see outside…which is actually a smart move. Who wants to look out at a parking lot?
The restaurant looks fresh, modern and has a hint of upscale to it. Tile and granite tie in with soft lighting and some interesting features that make it visually interesting. The wine bottles are stored on a unique wine rack on he back wall making an architectural feature. There was also a large table in back with a cool chandler almost making it look like a ‘special table’.
Our server was very friendly and warm explaining the menu. The menu is quite large specializing in Peruvian cuisine. They also have Cuban, Italian, Tex-Mex, Argentian and sushi options. He also went over the specials with us and brought over a tablet to show us the pictures of the specials. Cool way to present those.
While we were looking over the menu, we got our drinks. The soda is fountain, so I’m guessing there are refills ( I didn’t finish it so don’t know if they are free). Jeff ordered the Ginger Pear Iced Tea that came in a cool glass pitcher.
They dropped off some fresh bread and chimichurri sauce for dipping.
We actually were the first ones in for dinner, but as the dinner progressed, customers started entering and it was filling up fast. Our entrees didn’t take much time and when they were set down, they looked amazing. We both ordered from the Peruvian section and were so glad we did.
Jalea Mixta – $17… mixture of deep fried seafood with leche de tigre (ceviche salsa). This was a huge plate of food! Calamari, shrimp, scallops, fish, muscles and clams covered the plate. The coating was light and crisp. The seafood was fresh and cooked perfectly. The ceviche salsa was bright, fresh and was the perfect pairing do dip the seafood in. We took a lot home and it was almost as good baked in the oven, reheated.
Lomo Saltado – $19…traditional Peruvian dish of stir fry marinated strips of sirloin beef mixed with French fries. The server actually recommended this dish and Jeff loved it. The beef was tender and fresh. While the French fries were of the frozen variety, they were steak fry cut and when mixed with the sauce, worked well. The sauce was more like a gravy to us and had the perfect balance of flavor. The tomatoes in the dish were fresh and have the dish a bit of acidity and interest. We also took a large potion home and made a breakfast hash type dish the left overs that was awesome.
Jeff ordered an espresso after dinner that hot the spot. We also talked with the server for a bit and he told us that they have a few other locations in the area, each with a different specialty and look. This location had been open for about a year and he was rally proud of restaurant. We can see why. Great service and food at really great prices. We didn’t see anything on the menu over $19 and they have some great lunch specials for $7. We will definitely be back.
El Tamarindo Cafe is located at 3100 N. Federal Hwy, Pompano Beach FL.