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Restaurante Telamar

Restaurante Telamar (2901 Tulane Ave., 504-553-7696) was a small family-run cafe that was part of a wave of Latin American restaurants that opened after Hurricane Katrina. It stood out and won an enthusiastic following for its proprietors' robust rendition of Honduran home cooking and traditional flavors centered around fried plantains, thick sauces, cool crema and puffy, hand-made tortillas.

  The restaurant occupied a few obscure addresses before it quietly disappeared. But after a hiatus, Telamar is back, this time on Tulane Avenue.

  As has always been the case at Telamar, smiles come easy but a formidable language barrier awaits customers who don't speak Spanish. There is little menu description to help.

  Some of the specialties are breakfast baleadas, or folded tortillas filled with egg, beans and crema; lengua (tongue) chopped into chunks and stewed in a thin, red sauce; chuletas (pork chops) buried under ropey piles of onions and peppers; Honduran tacos, which are stuffed with chicken and rolled and fried like Mexican flautas; and pollo con tajadas. This last dish, probably the marquee item here, is fried chicken with long, ribbon-like slices of fried plantains, all soaked with aderezo, a mild, savory, creamy sauce. Over this goes a generous salad of fresh cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and pickled onions stained the color of beets.

  Telamar is run by Elisabeth Olviedo and her daughter Daisy, both natives of Honduras. They moved to New Orleans soon after Katrina and got to work preparing boxed lunches for crews of laborers from their Uptown home and serving hot food direct from their stove. The women eventually opened Telamar in a former daiquiri shop on Earhart Boulevard and later moved to Washington Avenue.

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