Take a stroll down the main drag of Tunco and you'll probably notice a few big changes. Most noticeable, the main road is no longer a dirt strip that collects pools of stagnant water for visitors to navigate as they make their way to one of El Salvador's most popular beaches and longtime surfing Mecca. Tunco's main road also offers quite a few dining options that are a cut above the street vendors that were more prevalent in recent days gone by.
If you're not careful, you're apt to walk right past a tiny eatery that's worth a stop in. Charly's is a small, narrow space that's fronted by a facade of river stones with an arched entrance. Inside, a few tables line each side of the intimate corridor, while a tarp keeps sunshine and rain from pouring in from above. A soccer game is apt to be playing on a TV above a small bar at the rear. A clean, compact kitchen offers an interesting blend of Peruvian, Mexican and Salvadorean cuisine.
While a traditional Salvadoran breakfast is offered, the morning menu also has eclectic options like a Peruvian sandwich, with pork belly, onion and sweet potato. They also serve early risers Chicken Cau Cau, a classic Peruvian stew cooked with hot yellow pepper sauce.
Appetizers span Latin America with Mexican “chilaquiles,” lightly fried corn tortillas that are quartered and topped with tomatoes, chicken and cheese. Also on the menu you'll find the traditional Peruvian appetizer “Causa,” a potato-stacked dish with shrimp and yellow peppers. From the seafood menu, less adventurous travelers can take heart in comfort food like Fish and Chips or fried calamari. Beef options include a Mexican-style platter of a spicy strip steak that's served with ranch-style beans. Also on the meat menu, Peruvian food takes center stage with beef tenderloin fajitas that are seasoned with green and red peppers, and a dash of soy sauce.