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LATIN AMERICAN

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BERACA RESTAURANTE LATINO
3116 Arnoult Road, Metairie
889-0962

For cuisine from way south of the border -- Honduras, to be exact -- come to Beraca. The real house specialty is the baleada, where a soft flour tortilla is folded around red beans, sharp cheese and cream. To make a more substantial meal, add seasoned steak and avocado to your baleada, or add avocado, scrambled egg and sausage for a breakfast flavor. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner daily. Cash only. $

CHURROS CAFE
3100 Kingman St., Suite 104, Metairie 885-6516

The area's Cuban-American community flocks to Churros for a taste of home. The roast pork, served with rice, black beans and yucca, and the hot Cuban sandwich with ham, sliced pork and Swiss cheese are particular favorites. Delivery available. No reservations. Breakfast Monday through Friday, lunch Monday through Saturday. Credit cards and checks. $

COUNTRY FLAME
620 Iberville St. 522-1138
This French Quarter cantina serves up Mexican and Cuban food suited to a student budget. Try the roasted pork, served with beans and rice, or the chicken fajita platter with all the extras. One specialty is the empanada, a Spanish pastry stuffed with spicy ground beef. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

FIESTA LATINA RESTAURANT
2440 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Kenner 468-2384
Festive and lively, Fiesta Latina serves platos gigantes of mostly Mexican-themed food, such as pupusas, the crispy treat made from stuffing tortillas with a blend of cheese and meat and then fried. Chicken and beef fajitas are served on sizzling hot plates. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Checks. $

LA COCINITA ESCONDIDA
4520 Freret St., 891-9557
The name means 'the little hidden kitchen,' but this year-old restaurant isn't so hidden that Uptown tummies haven't found one of the most popular Central American restaurants in town. Mainly known for its Honduran fare, this cocinita prides itself on its CD-size pupusas and carne asada. The Nicaraguan-style tacos are a bargain at $3.75 a pop. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $

LA MACARENA PUPUSERIA AND RESTAURANT
4221 Williams Blvd., Kenner
464-4525

La Macarena's offerings include the favorite pupusas: corn-stuffed tortilla cakes filled with cheeses and pork. Or try yucca fritas, deep-fried yucca root adorned with Latin slaw, pico de gallo and a sprinkling of pork crackling. Bring your own bottle (for now). No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Cash only. $

LIBORIO CUBAN RESTAURANT
321 Magazine St. 581-9680
Cuban favorites abound here including the Ropa Vieja, a beef brisket stewed with onions, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and onion and then served with black beans and rice. Another popular choice is the seafood paella, which comes with lobster, shrimp, fish and chicken in saffron rice with sweet plantains. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $

PUPUSERIA DIVINO CORAZON
2300 Belle Chase Hwy., Gretna
368-5724
Here you'll find the exotic tastes of Central America, where loyal customers come on Fridays for the whole fried tilapia with rice, salad and fried green plantains. There's also the steak tacos, available on Friday and Saturday, and the signature pupusa is a mix between a corn tamale and a tortilla, filled with pork, cheese and onions. Reservations accepted for parties of six or more. Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. MC/Visa. $

SERRANO'S SALSA COMPANY
4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 36, Metairie 780-2354
www.serranossalsacompany.com
This Latin American restaurant boasts more than 50 types of tequila. An order of ratones is the perfect way to start -- four marinated jalapenos stuffed with jumbo shrimp, white cheese and grilled onions, all lightly fried and served with jalapeno pepper jelly and cream cheese. Reservations accepted for parties of 10 or more. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Friday and Saturday. Credit cards. $$

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