- zameloy Oct 7, 2006 05:31 PM
After spending a considerable time in Central America, I have developed a strong love for the Salvadorian miracle, the flor de loroco Pupusa. I am spending the next week or so in SF and was wondering if someone could give me the BEST pupuseria in the area. Pupusas and curtido, worth the trouble...
I hope you'll report back about what you try in SF and how it compares to El Salvador.
Oddly enough, the only place I've tried to date where the loroco pupusa has any loroco taste is Montelimar Restaurant on Mission Street.
At the time, I just thought the taste was off. Then I had a loroco pupusa at probably one of the best Salvadoran restaurants in the Bay Area, and there was that taste again (sorry, this place is in the East Bay in a remote location ... but if you need a lizard meat fix ...)
Balompie is often cited as one of the better pupusa places in SF. There is a link about my visit to Balompie in the above link.
The best pupusa/curtido I've had in SF has been at Rincon Latino
I've since found out that some Mexican market sell Salvadoran cheese with the loroco in it. Maybe why that's why the flavor of loroco doesn't come through often.
They sell lizard here?! I had to pass on the lizard because they were being dangerously over-hunted but would jump at the opportunity if it arose. Locals called it chicken of the trees. Have you tried it? I'm curious.
I did have a Loroco pupusa around the corner on Mission and I too found that more than anything it tasted like green chile. Still, I can't complain. A mediocre pupusa beats no pupusa!
It's the Bay Area ... it's organic ranch-raised lizard. I'm such a wuzzie and haven't tried it. However, here's an post with a link to an East Bay Express article where the reporter tried it and, uh, it tasted like chicken.
Actually people started eating them because it was effective pest control. Then they liked them so much, the lizard started to go extinct. So they saved the day with lizard farms ... ok, I'll stop being lazy and use the right word ... garrobo.
You can find it canned in some markets selling Salvadoran foods. Of course, requests for canned lizard recipes should go on Home Cooking.
The best pupusas with loroco I've had were at La Santaneca . . i've only ever been to the one up Mission Street near Daly City. . .their curtido is very good as is their licuado de guayaba. The loroco in the pupusas is abundant. . more than I've ever had in a pupusa - very good.
El Patio has amazing specialties from El Salvador including terrific pupusas. They come in two different styles, one which is made from rice flour. The filling are cheese, pork, zucchini or loroco. Their black beans, platanos fritos and crema are also outstanding.
3193 Mission St about a block or so past Army
menu available here:
The two branches of Taqueria La Bamba have queso con loroco (or lorocco?) pupusas. I asked about it once and they showed me a plastic back of flower buds, similar to those bags used for pre-washed lettuces. Does that sound right?
Alrighty...went to Panchita #2 and I am coming to you with a mixed review. After being ignored for a good 15 minutes (we were customers #5 and #6 in the restaurant) our "pleasant" young server came to take our order informing us that there were no tamales de pollo, tamales de chancho, avocado, chan, or horchata. We had tamales de maiz fritos which came to the table over fried but still tasty served with sour cream and house made refried beans. Not bad but definitely not the best we'd eaten. Then we had three pupusas: one lorroco and cheese, one bean lorroco and cheese and one revuelto with chicharrones, beans and cheese. The pupusas themselves were actually very good (although the lorroco was not fresh but frozen...so-so). The main proble here was that the accompniaments, as important as mustard is to a hot dog, were substandard. The curtido was pretty watered down with soggy translucent bits of cabbage floating in salty vinegar and the tomato sauce, usually bright and spicy tasted flat and tinny like old canned tomatoes. We asked for chile, the hottest they had. We got a greasy bottle of Tapatio, the king of hot sauces granted, but far from hot. Our overall experience was a 5 out of 10 (and I was dining with a Salvadorian so...I'm coming with a tiny shred of credability). We are hoping, nay praying that Balompie lives up to the reputation it has earned here in town. And yeah I'd nibble on some garrobo legs if I had the opportunity. Is Niman Ranch supplting those now?
I found the pupusas at Panchitas little tough. The ones at El Patio are more tender and tastier.
If you are loking for excellent traditional pupusas, Balompie is the spot. Super fresh loroco, wonderful oniony refried beans, crispy sweet tamales de maiz fritos, balanced curtido with plenty of oregano and most importantly the perfect pupusas. All served by a super friendly staff eager to tell you how beautiful their homeland is. I highly recommend this restaurant. I will definitely be eating there again before I head back home.
Am I the only one that loves El Zocalo? I've never tried the loroco pupusas, but I will the next time I'm there. Pupusas made to order, so the place is slow, and the service is surly, but I still make a trip across town at least once a month.
Mmmm, I'll have to check out Balompie, too.
i like el zocalo too, and i have tried the loroco there. yes they are slow, cuz they sell a lot of pupusas to go and they do make them to order. when they finally arrive, they are piping hot. the curtido is the best way to soothe your scorched tongue.
We've recently tried Jalapeno's in Fairfield, and found it pretty tasty. They serve Mexican and Salvadorean food, plus a small selection of American breakfasts and sandwiches. We haven't tried the Mexican side of the menu, only the Salvadorean things, and have been quite pleased.
Jalapeno's is a fairly typical hole in the wall sort of place, with 8 or 10 tables covered in vinyl tablecloths. Service is casual and quite friendly. They seem to do a strong lunch business, haven't been there for dinner. There is no lunch menu, portions and prices are the same as dinners. Portions are generous, prices are quite reasonable. Most pupusas are $1.75, lunch/dinner plates about $8.50 or $9.00.
Pupusa offerings include chicharron, queso, queso con loroco, queso con zuchini, frijoles, pollo, azada, and combinations of those. Any of those can be ordered "de arroz" except pollo or azada. Pupusas seem to be made to order, and arrive piping hot. For anyone who happens to be on a pupusa crawl --or just searching for good food near Fairfield-- Jalapeno's is definitely worth a visit.
Disclaimer: I profess no great expertise on pupusas in particular, nor Salvadorean food in general. We just happened to try this place, and found that we have liked the food we've eaten there. Cannot comment on such things as authenticity (whatever that means), or make comparisons to others.
1690 W. Texas
Fairfield CA 94533