Bridging cultural cuisines by the bridge
El Triangulo Latino on Manheim Avenue – tucked away right by the General Richard M. Scott Bridge on the northern cusp of Lancaster – is as tasty as it is affordable. Named for the shape of the corner building in which it is located, El Triangulo offers a variety of Spanish and Latin American dishes in an interesting environment.
The atmosphere is a bit unusual, but it’s charming. The space is adorned with figures of cars, globes, plates, wine and cheese table mats and many other disparate items, all of which combine for a curious, homey feel – like you’re sitting in your grandma’s house surrounded by the tchotchkes she’s spent a lifetime collecting. Layer on top of that lively music and a flashing light display around the counter (along with a backlit fast-food-esque menu hanging above), and you’re in a cantina. Although El Triangulo serves no alcohol, it’s BYOB, so you can take your dinner in whichever direction you choose – homey or lively.
A solid option for dinner are the empanadas. The chicken and cheese empanada is quite large and inexpensive ($1.50) and packed with piping hot meat. You could easily order a selection of the eight empanada options for a meal and walk out full for just $5.
For entrees, my companion and I tried the cerdo frito (fried pork) and a mofongo – a Puerto Rican dish comprised of mashed green plantains mixed with a choice of meat. The fried pork looked like it was burnt, but that was just the crunchy, tasty outer layer – it was very tender and fell apart under your fork. The mofongo was served with a bonus piece of steak on the side and in a tasty brown sauce.
In one meal, the two of us barely had a chance to scrape the surface of what’s available at El Triangulo. Steak, pork, chicken and fish entrees are offered for $10 or less. Sandwiches like chicken, tuna and salami and cheese are available for $4-$6.50. There’s a whole rotisserie chicken for $9 and a half chicken for $4.50. Options for sides include plantains, beans, fragrant yellow rice, french fries, salad and cassava.
El Triangulo also offers a variety of desserts and drinks, including flan, passion fruit juice, kola champagne and morir soñando – a sugary, milky orange juice that hails from the Dominican Republic and means “die dreaming.”
Whether you’re from one of the many countries represented on El Triangulo’s menu or not, you’re going to find something tasty and fresh-cooked at the triangle on the corner.
• 102 Manheim Avenue, Lancaster; 208-6530
• Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.