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Thursday, January 20, 2011

With Los Catrachos, S.F. to Get Its Second Honduran Restaurant

Posted By on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 8:36 AM

click to enlarge Will Los Catrachos offer authentic Honduran dishes, or be a Central American hybrid? We have our fingers crossed. - LUIS CHONG
  • Luis Chong
  • Will Los Catrachos offer authentic Honduran dishes, or be a Central American hybrid? We have our fingers crossed.

SFoodie spotted this (misspelled) sign for upcoming Honduran restaurant, Los Catrachos, in the space formerly occupied by Salvadoran place Costa del Sol, at 4423 Mission (at Avalon). The interior is under construction, so it'll likely be a while before Los Catrachos opens.

"Catracho" ("catracha" for a female) is the slang term for Hondurans. The word originated in the 1850s, derived from "Xatruches," nickname for the victorious Honduran troops under the command of General Florencio Xatruch. Nowadays it's attached to more peaceful pursuits, like Honduran music, as in punta catracha, the Garifuna booty-shaking music. (Warning: Lower your computer volume before playing the YouTube video!)

Although Central American cuisines share a culinary heritage due to proximity, each country's food is distinct enough. That's not always easy to see at Central American eateries in San Francisco, since restaurants tend to adjust their menus to fit a wider clientele.

Some are Mexican hybrids, with tacos, burritos, and a few odd platos, while others feature multicountry cuisines. Take El Paisa, S.F.'s only other Honduran restaurant, which features Honduran, Salvadoran, and Mexican dishes. We're hoping Los Catrachos offers a more robust example of Honduran cuisine.

Dishes on our wish list include anafres, a nonprocessed-cheese version of nachos: seasoned refried black beans and cheese, served in an anafre pot (a clay chafing dish that keeps it hot), served with a plate of tortilla chips for dipping. Also sopa de caracol (conch soup or chowder), sopa de capirotadas (cornmeal dumpling soup), and Honduran tamales.

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Luis Chong

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