La Cabaña Is Seattle’s Central American Food Hub

On days of big football video games, La Cabaña owner Selvin Oseguera regularly answers cellphone calls from humans of a half-dozen Central American nationalities to reassure them that the game may be proven on the television his restaurant. Oseguera is Honduran, but the eating place serves as a makeshift network hub for folks who hail from Central America. And Oseguera couldn’t be happier approximately that.

Before commencing La Cabaña (Greenwood, 606 N a hundred and fifth St.; 206.420.7693) in 2015, Oseguera had realized that no Seattle eating place changed into serving his domestic cuisine or that of a lot of his Latin American buddies. So he designed his menu to consist of tastes from throughout Central America. The ensuing cultural mash-up can be overcomplicated, but Oseguera’s nearly three a long time of revel in the neighborhood eating place world make the jogging of La Cabaña as clean because of the sweet crema at the facet of the fried plantains.

At age 21, Oseguera accompanied an older brother to Seattle and proper into the kitchen of Chinook’s, wherein he commenced as a dishwasher. Although he had the concept, he would live within the U.S. For just a few years, he worked his way up thru the ranks, experiencing almost every process inside the restaurant industry, from busser to sous chef to manager, shifting through the kitchens of some of Seattle eating places, consisting of Ray’s, Duke’s, Palisade and Tutta Bella. Only then did he, his wife, Elena, and his sister-in-law, Nancy Karina Cerrato, begin making plans in their very own vicinity. While deciding on cuisine for their eating place, they checked out Tutta Bella’s Italian menu and Paseo’s Caribbean-centric food and ultimately requested themselves, “Why don’t we do our food?”

Friends from distinct Central American countries supplied recipes for notion, which they added to their own Honduran menu. Now, La Cabaña diners come together over thick, heat house-made tortillas that accompany a maximum of the dishes and are wrapped around Salvadoran chicken stew with chayote, Guatemalan shredded pork in crimson sauce, and Nicaraguan steak topped with caramelized onions. Because few restaurants serve any of these dishes, each person craving Central American consolation food involves La Cabaña. It can be a difficult crowd. “People are available, and they arrive lower back,” says Oseguera. “That tells me I’m doing it properly.”

RECIPE Salpicón

Oseguera’s wife, Elena, delivered him to this Honduran uniqueness when they had been first courting. Wanting to make him a dish from domestic (she and Oseguera are from the same metropolis), she landed on this shredded meat dish, but it grew to become out he’d by no means had it earlier than! He thinks salpicón may additionally have grown to be popular after he left Honduras (she came to the U.S. 12 years after he arrived), but it’s now one of his favorite menu objects.

The secret to making salpicón, he says, is to flavor as you go. “Every time, it’s a bit extraordinary,” he says, so checking in at the seasonings helps reap just the right flavor.

Note: In the eating place, this dish is made with the beef knuckle, a large, lean, tough reduce that breaks down over extended cooking time. We’ve substituted eye of round in this model for making at domestic.

Ingredients

2 pounds eye of round red meat, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
11/2 tablespoons Johnny’s Seasoning Salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 small white onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
three limes, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, as wanted.

Instructions

1. Place beef in a pressure cooker collectively with 2 cups of water, bay leaves, both garlic cloves and granulated garlic, and Johnny’s Seasoning Salt. Cook for 20 minutes at high pressure, accompanied by 15 minutes of natural stress launch. Remove the beef region on a cutting board and permit cool. When the meat is cool sufficient to address, chop finely. Mix the meat with onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Taste and upload more lime, salt, and pepper as needed.

2. Serve in taco shells, wrapped in tortillas or with rice and beans, crowned with diced radish.

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A baseball fan, vegan, guitarist, Vignelli f, and collaborator. Doing at the crossroads of modernism and elegance creates great work for a living, breathing human being. I'm fueled by craft beer, hip-hop, and tortilla chips.