Last Thursday, the open flag flew outside 180 Battery Street in Burlington as Esperanza Restaurante welcomed guests for its first day of business. The restaurant is now open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday. 

The menu was as advertised prior to opening — in November, co-owners Gerber Rodriguez and Cynthia Nabalitan told Seven Days the new spot would serve dishes from their native countries of El Salvador and the Philippines, respectively. The menu also incorporates Mexican dishes from Esperanza's predecessor, Madera's Restaurante, where Rodriguez worked for several years. 

With about 100 seats, Esperanza is a large restaurant by Burlington standards. On Thursday, lunch guests nibbled enchiladas and fajitas scattered throughout the restaurant as Nabalitan tended the host stand. 

*Photos courtesy HANNAH PALMER EGAN and SEVEN DAYS

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