It had been a while since we'd been here and even longer since my last post on the place. The Missus is sure craving Her Latin American dishes. She had been mentioning returning here for close to three weeks before we finally made in back. In my last post, I mentioned how the place had been "freshened up" a bit. Now it's pretty much returned to the look of old....a bit mismatched and worn, but we really don't come here to gaze at the design and furnishings.
The service was fairly unorganized, but very nice....it seems like the customers were more of the problem as one of them kept walking to the counter and shouting to whomever was in the back! Sheesh....
The Missus loves the curtido, the pickled vegetables that accompany pupusas. But not on Her pupusas...She eats them with Her chips! She also misses the large communal container of curtido,which has been replaced by a bowl. I'm figuring code violations probably made this come about.
We started with Pacaya Forradas, basically the the flowering portion("male inflorescense") of a species of palm. The pacaya look much like tentacles of baby corn.
This looked much different then what we had here before. I thought the sauce tasted much like the salsa we had with the chips. It lacked body and didn't have enough of the tangy tomato flavors. It wasn't bad, in fact the Missus still loved the slightly bitter flavor coupled with the nice crunch. I thought it wasn't quite as good as before and not nearly as good what we had in Honduras, though I didn't expect that since what we had in Copan was fresh and this was obviously bottled. Still, it didn't seem too different, perhaps just a bit more tough and bitter. If you order this dish, make sure to get it with hand made tortillas, which are like pupusas without filling.
While I thought the pacaya was not as good as before, I believe the pupusas were better than I recalled. Very moist and well put together. The Pupusa con Chicharron almost squirted molten juice on me when I cut it open. Nice rich pork flavor...a little goes a long way.
And while I enjoyed the pork a lot, perhaps the queso en loroco was even better. Loroco is the green bud of the Fernaldia pandurata, a vine that grows in Central America. You can find jars and bottles of these, as well as pacaya at Northgate Market. I really like the unique, pungent-artichoke like flavor that comes through clearly.
Though it could easily be said that in spite of the cheese, you could really make out all of the different flavors in the pupusas...the Missus had three Herself.
I had a taste of the jalapeno and cheese and thought it as pretty good. The curtido also helps cut the richness of the fillings as well.
Consumption of masa will usually put me into a pre-coma state and my two pupusas were no exception. The Missus took it a step further and had an entire tamale elote en crema....a sweet corn tamale!
After which we headed home for a nice Sunday nap! On the drive home, the Missus mentioned that we haven't been to El Salvadoreno in a while. We always preferred this place....but will probably need to check them out soon....just for comparison sake, right? Especially since the Missus is still on Her Latin American food kick!
El Salvador Pupuseria y Restaurante
3824 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92105