El Guanaco now open

Restaurant serves Salvadorian and Mexican cuisine

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Entrepreneurs Ana Ibanez Rodriguez and her husband David Rodriguez recently opened an eatery called El Guanaco Pupuseria Restaurant, located at 114 W. Main St. in Marshalltown, offering a mixture of Mexican an Salvadorian dishes, including tamales, tacos, enchiladas and pupusas — a dish made from thick corn tortillas and stuffed with beans, cheese and meat, topped with a zesty shredded cabbage and carrot slaw mixture.

The dream of opening up El Guanaco Pupuseria Restaurant has become a reality for entrepreneurs David Rodriguez and his wife Ana Ibanez Rodriguez.

The newly opened eatery, located at 114 W. Main St. in Marshalltown, offers dishes popular in Rodriguez’s native Mexico, and in his wife’s native El Salvador.

Rodriguez worked for Lennox Industries for 30 years before retiring.

“I started on an assembly line, then spent 23 years as an inspector with quality control,” he said. “My wife and I have lived in Marshalltown a long time, and we became citizens. We decided now was a good time to open up our own restaurant.”

The couple created their menu based on their favorite native dishes, including: burritos, tamales, tacos, enchiladas, sopas, carne asada, shrimp cocktail, menudo (Mexican soup) and flautas. Customers can customize their orders, specifying the type of meat or filling desired in the dish.

However, the food that has already become the most popular at their establishment are the pupusas, a dish made from thick corn tortillas and stuffed with beans, cheese and meat, topped with a zesty shredded cabbage and carrot slaw mixture.

“The food has a Salvadorian taste,” Rodriguez said. “Even the tamales taste differently than what you get in Mexico, because instead of wrapping them in corn husks, the Salvadorian way is to wrap them in banana leaves, and you can taste the difference.”

Chips, salsa and guacamole are available, and meals come with rice and bean options. For beverages, they serve soft drinks plus Jarritos, which are a Mexican soda, and Horchata, a type of flavored rice water beverage. In the future, beer will be available.

The restaurant is open Monday/Tuesday/Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday/Saturday/Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed Wednesdays, and may be reached at: 641-752-0204.