Garden City restaurant serves up authentic Honduran cuisine
Restaurant: El Fogon Katracho
Cuisine type: Honduran, Latin
Chef: Celia Lemus
Restaurant bio: Don't let the humble exterior fool you. When you walk into El Fogon Katracho, which translates to Honduran Fire Pit, you'll feel like you've been transported to a cozy cantina in coastal Central America.
The family run restaurant specializes in Honduran cuisine like baleadas, a traditional Honduran dish of homemade flour tortillas filled with beans and Honduran sour cream, to the popular Pollo Chuca: fried chicken served on a bed of green banana chips, homemade salsa and creamy house sauce. Chef and manager Celia Lemus says they also offer some popular Mexican items on the menu, but she wants her customers to try the authentic Honduran dishes so they can "see how delicious our food is."
"Bringing a new flavor to Savannah is my goal," she says. "I love seeing American people coming in and get traditional items like baleadas and watching them bite into it and love it."
The restaurant is open for breakfast with items like breakfast sandwiches and burritos "with a Honduran kick." They also offer a full bar and daily lunch specials.
Chef bio: Celia Lemus says her role at the El Fogon Katracho is everything from manager, waitress to sous chef. She says she learned to cook Honduran cuisine from her mother, Maria Altamirano. Garden City residents are probably familiar with Altamirano's signature tamales.
"When we first moved to the U.S. (in 1992), my mother made tamales and sold them around town on Thursdays," Lemus says. "We would drive around Garden City and she would make about 400 and completely sell out."
Lemus says "no one compares to my mom's cooking; she's the real deal." After deciding to bring her family's recipes to a bigger audience, they opened El Fogon Katracho in January 2014.
Favorite dish: Tajada con Carne molida
Why: "This is such a traditional dish in Honduras," Lemus says. "It's that great combination of starch from the green bananas mixed with the beef, and the salsa sets it off. You can also do it with ground chicken."
CHEF LEMUS' RECIPE FOR TAJADA CON CARNE MOLIDA
5 green bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cabbage finely chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 small cans of Hunts tomato sauce
For the carne:
Sautee 1/2 diced onions and 1/2 diced bell peppers in large skillet. Add cilantro.Cook ground beef and season to taste.
For the Salsa
In medium sauce pan, sautÃ© 1/2 diced onions and 1/2 diced bell pepper. Add cilantro. Add 2 cans of tomato sauce and let it boil. Add 2 cups of water. Season to taste
Fry sliced green banana in corn oil until golden.
Arrange green banana slices on a plate. Layer with ground beef and cabbage salad and drizzle with salsa.
Add Texas Pete for an extra kick!