Category Archives: Latino

The cuisines of Central and South America plus Mexico. In Trenton, this is predominantly the food of Guatemala. But it also includes Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Costa Rico, and Ecuador, among others. European Spanish and Portuguese food is categorized separately.

Mi Tierra

Earthy Guatemalan (Mi Tierra Restaurant)

Mi Tierra is another of the many outstanding Guatemalan restaurants in the City of Trenton, serving its burgeoning Hispanic population. Tierra stands apart because: 1) the food is well prepared, perhaps half a notch better than typical and 2) the decor is better than most. While not fancy by any means, it’s a pleasant place to eat, even if you do need to ignore the Mexican soap operas blaring from a TV set.


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tostadas

The New Kid Grows Up (Guate Linda Restaurant)

Prices are incredibly reasonable. The food, including the tacos, tostadas, and several of the meat platters is very good. Note, this is a dive. Clean, friendly, but still a dive. English skills of your server are likely to not exist, so if you don’t speak Spanish (like me), be prepared to puzzle out the menu on your own, and order via sign language.


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mariachi grill

Tres Leches, Tres Leches, Tres Leches (Mariachi Grill)

Mariachi Grill (not to be confused with El Mariachi) serves Tres Leches, a fabulous dessert made from sponge cake and traditionally three different kinds of milk: whole, condensed, and evaporated (plus a whipped cream topping). It’s the best I’ve ever had. And I love Tres Leches. For me, there’s no more to be said.


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Salad

Deli-cate Offerings (City Deli)

City Deli is a somewhat misleading name for a small restaurant near the statehouse that is serving up an ambitious, home-cooked, vegetarian-friendly menu.  If you’re a carnivore, don’t let the veggie-friendly tag get in the way: you’ll find plenty to eat, too. Indeed the menu is astonishingly broad, ranging from the best salad bar in [Continue reading]


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pupusas-on-comal

Stuffed Stuff (Mauceri's Pizzeria & Restaurant)

Mauceri’s is an “old line” Chambersburg pizza joint now under Latino management (as most are). In our limited sample, the pizza is pretty good… the ingredients taste fine but the crust is disappointing. But it’s not a place to make a special trip for. So why are we reviewing? In a word: pupusas! The chef is from El Salvador, the traditional home of these wonderful, stuffed tortillas, which may be the best in town.


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meat-lovers-platter

Burnt Offerings (Restaurante Cristiano Bethel)

Restaurante Cristiano Bethel opened in late 2014 in a charming space that sued to be a 1920’s gas station. What sets it apart is that Bethel’s kitchen is equipped with an infra-red grill. This is the same technology that most high-end steak houses employ to grill meats… perhaps not quite as flavorful as wood-fire BBQs, but pretty darn close, and much more consistent and controllable.


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tostadas

Out of Focus (Castillo's Pizzeria & Spanish Restaurant)

I’ve driven past Castillo’s for years.  It looks like a classic neighborhood pizza joint, a survivor of the Italian Chambersburg.  And at one level it is:  the take-out menu is a six-panel tri-fold.  Open it, and you think you’re reading every pizza parlor menu on the planet: pizza, stromboli, wings, salads, burgers, pasta. Open the [Continue reading]


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buffet

The New Economy (Fuente del Buen Gusto)

The new Trenton economy is on display at Fuente del Buen Gusto every day. Frankly, it’s not the best Guatemalan food in Trenton. Not that FdBG’s food is bad; it’s actually pretty good, but much of it is served off of a buffet, and it suffers a bit from sitting around. However, you won’t find many other places in town that are busier. The joint is usually packed with working men and women from the neighborhood. I suggest that anyone who wants to understand the new Trenton economy should show up here during the week just to check it out.


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posole

Baby Steps (El Potrillo)

El Potrillo (Spanish for a foal, or newborn horse) is a pleasant Mexican restaurant in the heart of Chambersburg. The food at El Potrillo is authentic, home-made Mexican. It’s not gourmet or even particularly subtle, but most of it is pretty tasty, and the portions are huge. Prices are competitive with other Trenton Latino joints, and cheap compared to anywhere else in the greater Mercer County area.


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chicken stew

Cooking Central (Sabor Latino Bar & Restaurant)

Sabor Latino is a friendly Dominican dive located on the eastern fringes of the ‘Burg. I’m not at all familiar with Dominican food, but judging from the menu, it tends more towards stews and soups than the grilled items I associate with Guatemalan cooking; or the various, creative packaging (tacos, burritos, tostadas, etc.) that characterizes Mexican cuisine. That said, it’s all here: as its menu points out in Spanish, it “also serves the cuisine of Guatemala and Costa Rica” and Mexican items show up on the menu under the piquant heading of “International Dishes” .


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