La Fritanquera delivers the fresh and robust flavors of Nicaragua

La Fritanguera delivers the fresh and robust flavors of Nicaragua

La Fritanguera delivers the fresh and robust flavors of Nicaragua
Despite the COVID challenge, La Fritanguera owner Jenn Jimenez has developed a loyal clientele looking for her unique Latin-Carribbean cuisine. (Rich Eber photo)

CONCORD, CA (Mar. 8, 2022) — If Guy Fieri brought his popular TV show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” to Concord, the first place he would likely visit is La Fritanguera.

This eclectic, Nicaraguan eatery on Colfax Street serves a unique culinary style, making it stand out as one of the best restaurants in the region.

At the helm is chef-owner Jenn Jimenez, who describes what she serves as Latin-Caribbean cuisine. With only six tables for inside dining along with outside seating for larger parties, she has attracted a steady clientele since opening in 2017.

The key to success is her mixture of fresh ingredients, including extensive use of plantains, chilies, garlic, achiote and other spices found in her native land. What makes the restaurant’s popularity more noteworthy is that Jimenez has no formal culinary training or food service experience prior to opening La Fritanguera.

When diners begin their order via cell phone, the Taquitos Nicaraguense are a good place to start. This is a fried flauta (corn tortilla) filled with chicken and topped with cabbage, cheese and sour cream. Another good choice is the Yuca Frita, made from the root of the cassava plant. A low carb alternative to potatoes, it is dipped in a tasty chimichurri and cream sauce.

For larger parties or a meal for two, La Fritanguera offers a sampler plate that incorporates meats, salads, plantains, beans and rice dishes.

La Fritanguera delivers the fresh and robust flavors of Nicaragua
Rich Eber photo.

Several meat and seafood options appear on the main lunch and dinner menus. Utilizing primarily skirt steak, they offer several cooked-to-order dishes served with different sauces. I am especially fond of the Baho and Bistec Encebollado topped with buttery sautéed unions. Jimenez also makes entrees using shredded beef marinated with exotic spice blends. The Carne Desmenuzada (Nicaraguan tri-tip pot roast) is a cold weather treat. They offer their fried shredded beef tacos for special occasions and catering jobs.

When it comes to pork, Jimenez utilizes achiote-marinated loin and pork butt for a number of dishes. The Chancho Frito with bite-sized cubes incorporates many of the flavors of the Nicaraguan taste profile.

Using the same citrus, chimichurri and achiote marinade, La Fritanguera serves flavorful chicken thighs in several menu items. I am also partial to their fried chicken served as a lunch special.

Also noteworthy are the seafood selections. Using large 16-20 shrimp, she avoids overcooking this delicate crustation. Their Camarones a la Jalapeño (in a pepper cream sauce) and the garlic Camarones al Ajillo compare favorably to what can be found in white cloth seafood establishments.

For the undecided, there is a surf and turf combining grilled shrimp and carne asada steak. For non-meat eaters, La Fritanguera has an El Vegetariano that includes their fried cheese bites and a vegan option for those who don’t consume dairy products. With their unique combination of house-made plantain chips, yuca fries, spicy coleslaw and other assorted treats, their meatless entrees are anything but dull.

Without doubt, the signature dish is the Nacatamal Tamale. It is larger than its Mexican counterpart and can be eaten as a full meal. The tamale consists of garlic-infused masa, potatoes, raisins, olives, chili peppers, mint, onion and pork belly wrapped in banana leaves and cooked for three hours.

La Fritanguera offers a wide variety of Nicaraguan beverages. Kids especially like the cocoa-rice chocolate drink. Other concoctions include pineapple, tamarind and dragon fruit lemonade. Also worth tying is the Tona beer from Jimenez’s homeland.

Jimenez has created a wonderful dining spot, which she hopes to expand in the near future. One doesn’t have to be Guy Fieri to experience this unique restaurant.

La Fritanguera, at 1819 Colfax St. in Concord, is open 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, as well as catering special events. For details, visit

Rich Eber is a local journalist and long time resident of Concord. He covers topics from politics to gourmet food. Contact him at ­

Rich Eber
Rich Eber

Rich Eber is a local journalist and long time resident of Concord.  His diverse topics covered go from politics to gourmet food.  He can be reached at