Looking for Eda’s Latin Food? Your eye will probably first land on its sister, Eda’s Auto Repair, more in keeping with the industrial park where it’s located. But don’t be swayed from your mission. Once inside, you’ll be welcomed to a bright, cheerful restaurant with Nicaraguan flavors you’ll struggle to find elsewhere in NoVA.
In my limited experience with the cuisine, I’ve found Nicaraguan food to boast some of the boldest of Central American flavors. The marinades seem to be deeper, the rice and beans more savory when they’re served by a Nicaraguan chef. But perhaps most importantly, there is the nacatamal.
Listed among Eda’s breakfast items, the $5 masa bomb could likely feed two people, but who would be willing to share? Softer and tangier than Mexican tamales, nacatamales are filled with a little bit of everything—big chunks of tender pork butt, potatoes, veggies and rice. They’re unevenly distributed by design, so each bite is a delightful surprise, a bit like a savory king cake.
Since these were cold and meant to be taken home, I had my nacatamal the next day. Instead, when I dined at Eda’s I feasted on the carne asada. A plate of rice and black beans is topped with lengths of tender beef and a single chunk of oozy-soft queso frito, both of which are even better dipped in a vinegary hot sauce. Maduros are just crisp enough at their edges and provide a hot, sweet foil to cool, acidic curtido. It’s a plate that has everything I want, from meaty, cheesy morsels to pickled veggies. Just one more reason that it’s worth seeking out Eda’s and its oversize flavors. // 9071 Liberia Ave., Manassas
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