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Friday, May 4, 2012

Food Friday: Las Americas

Las Americas is one of those tiny hole in the wall places on Nolensville Road.  Places that don't look like much from the outside (or the inside), but oh man, is the food ever delicious.   A Dean at my graduate school took me here for lunch a few years back upon having heard that I love Central American food. He completely eliminated my need to search all of Nashville looking for the best papusa- and brought me right to the number one spot. Las Americas is hard to miss because the restaurant is attached to a small food market. You actually pay your restaurant tab at the grocery check-out register.

One of the best things about Las Americas is the prices. All of their food is reasonably priced, if not downright cheap. Because of the low cost and love of almost everything on the menu, I always wind up ordering more than one human can eat at any single sitting. But still, I try to cram it all in.

Traditional Rice and Beans

Right when you sit down you are presented with a batch of fresh tortilla chips (hot!) and a chunky salsa. It didn't take my friend Jeff and I long to polish the chips off with a horchata. The staff is friendly and service is usually quick.  The bathroom is not my favorite thing, but its usable. You have to enter it through from saloon-type double swinging doors that are bright orange.  PEE ANNOUNCEMENT.

A single lonely golden papusa

The humble papusa, how I love thee. The papusa is a thick corn tortilla thing that is usually stuffed with cheese and pan fried. You can get lots of other goodies added to your papusa as well (beans, pork, fried pork skin).  The papusa is served with a mild tomato based sauce and a deliciously sour pickled cole slaw. I am an expert at eating papusas, but the ones at Las Americas are HUGE. Twice the size at least of any paupsa I had in Boston. For $2.50- that's a deal that is hard to beat. Plus, the cheese gets perfectly crisp and burnt on the bottom. My favorite part!

A half eaten papusa with sauce and slaw

I love traditional soft tacos and since Las Americas offer them, I always get a few. They aren't my absolute favorite taco in Nashville (which might to go Mas Tacos pulled pork taco), but they are quite tasty.  The offer a nice variety of the "weirder" fillings that I always order. Beef cheek, tripe, tongue- that is where the money is at.  I like the tripe taco at La Hacienda better, but the beef cheek at Las Americas is tender and well seasoned. Definitely my favorite taco on the menu.

Beef cheek and tripe tacos

The old lady who stands in the open kitchen and makes the tortillas is adorable. I've never spoken to her or heard her say anything, but I love her because her hands make magic!  She has been a fixture in the kitchen since I started going almost 4 years ago and I'm happy to see she is still there making everything delicious. 

This is my "excited papusa" face

Las Americas Taqueria on Urbanspoon

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