Carne Adobada

Latino Fusion (Tikal Restaurant & Lounge)

Tikal Restaurant & Lounge, 501 Morris Avenue, Trenton, NJ
Open 6 days: 11 AM to 1:45 AM; Closed Wednesdays
(609) 218-6804   Website    Google Maps

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These days, virtually all of the old Italian eateries in Trenton have reopened as Latino restaurants.  Tikal is the latest, taking over what used to be Rossi’s, a Chambersburg icon which migrated to Hamilton a couple of years ago, and featured an enormous — some might say bloated — hamburger as its signature dish.

Tikal actually completed a gorgeous renovation before moving in, which is not typical.  Where the old Rossi’s was getting pretty dingy, there’s now a tastefully decorated new space, evoking Guatemalan history (Tikal was an ancient Mayan city) through some charming murals and altogether delivering the most nicely decorated Latino restaurant in town.

pyramid

The food, if anything, exceeds the decor.  We’ve now tried a bunch of their dishes, and they varied from good to outstanding.  Tikal offers a more extensive menu than most:  the center of gravity is definitely Guatemalan, but the restaurant’s 3 cooks come from Guatemala, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic respectively, and dishes from each national cuisine are represented on the menu.  There’s also a series of Italian-American “standards” like Vodka Rigatoni or Chicken Parm.  We’ve not tried them, but judging from the competence with which the dishes we’ve tried were executed, they are no doubt acceptable fodder for folks who don’t want Latino food.

Fish taco

We’ve rated the menu as “vegetarian friendly” offering items such as bean or cheese empanadas, salads, and vegetarian side dishes.  Vegans will struggle, but can probably figure out a decent meal.  Pescetarians will enjoy an extensive menu of seafood items.

Tikal (like Rossi’s) provides a full bar.  There’s no wine list, but the house wines by the glass are better than average (the house Malbec was quite drinkable).

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Latino | Restaurants

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