It sure feels like I've been doing this for a long time. I remember doing a post on El Salvadoreno way back in August of 2005. A few months later, the restaurant moved into its new digs right next door. And though I've driven past the place dozens of times, I never took the time out to grab a meal until recently.
Here's what the "old" El Salvadoreno looked like back in 2005.
If you think that is a big change; check out the dining area.
Wow. Here's the old 7 table El Salvadoreno, which I thought had a nice quaint charm.
About this time I started wondering if anything else had changed....like maybe the menu? If I had any doubts, one look at the menu told me otherwise. I noticed all of the dishes I'd had before. As with the everything else, the sticky two page laminated menu, had been replaced, "now with 100% more color photos!"
Since I had my first Pupusa at El Salvadoreno, I decided to stick with that. Soon enough the hot sauce arrived.
And instead of the usual "communal tub" of Curtido, the lightly pickled cabbage slaw. A bowl of Curtido was brought to my table.
Today the Curtido was crisp and fresh, with a nice oregano aroma, though not as "pickled" as I recalled.
I had ordered a Pupusa Revuelta Con Todo (a mixed Pupusa - $2.25), a Pupusa de Chicharron($2.00), and a Pupusa de Queso and Calabaza($2.00).
The Pupusas arrived steaming hot, and the fillings were molten. The texture of the exterior of the Pupusa was even better than I remembered, slight crunchy and crusty. As you got past the crust, a slight corn-masa flavor hit you, and the "tortilla" got a bit more chewy. The Revuelta was by far my favorite, a nice contrast of flavors, with the jalapenos adding a nice surprise zip now and then. I received the Chicharron con Queso, instead of de Chicharron. It was fine, nice and gooey, but came up short in the "porkyness" territory. The de Calabaza con Queso was very blah. I wasn't paying attention. I should have ordered the Pupusa de Loroco con Queso. In this case the Calabaza was plain and simple zucchini.
3 Pupusas were perhaps, 1 too many for me. Still, you can't beat the price, a filling breakfast for under $7. I've always received very nice and friendly service at El Salvadoreno. There are those who believe the area is on the "sketchy" side. But I've never had any problems in the neighborhood. All of the old favorites, like the fried chicken and the tamales are still on the menu. I need to make an effort to revisit other places that I haven't been back to in a while.
Restaurante El Salvadoreno
2845 Imperial Ave
San Diego, CA 92102
I keep forgetting to keep some room for this:
Right across the street. Maybe next week?