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Oct 25, 2006 08:38 PM

Joya De Ceren lunch w/pix

Stopped by for lunch today and tried a pork/loroca tamale and two pupusas: one pork and one cheese. I got it to go - got a nice bag of curtido and a cupful of a mild tomato sauce/salsa.
The tamale was my favorite: light but also moist in texture and very savory. The pupusas were also very good - liked the pork more than the cheese. The cheese filling didn't stand out so much ... the pork was more savory .... they both had a great texture of a nicely browned exterior and a moist interior. Also liked thier version of curtido more than most I've tried....better balanced - vinegary notes but with more fresh herbal (orregeno?) notes .... A very good lunch all in all.

I also went next door to the market and got a couple of Salvadorean chorizo sausages to try - the proprietor asked me if I knew how to cook them and then proceeded to give me a detailed technique and recipe for a tomato/onion preperation. When we got up to the register, he decided to just give them to me! I thanked him and told him I'd be back to let him know how I liked them.
His English was very good - a good resource for any questions about Salvadorean cooking, I would think.

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    1. oops! sorry about that .... 12545 San Pablo Avenue, Richmond 510. 235-5315
      take the San Pablo Ave exit off of hiway 80 - just past the Home Depot - going toward Sacramento. go left on San Pablo Ave maybe half a mile? On your left.

      here's the link to RW's original post:

      1. Someobdy posted about a pupusa place across from West Oakland BART. Anybody tried it?

        3 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            You should have your own theme song. "Here I come to save the day!" Oops, that's already taken. Thanks again for all (and I do mean ALL) your help.

            1. re: oakjoan

              The search engine is self service...take it out for a spin some time.

        1. Yeah, I'll bet those chorizo would be good with tomatoes and onions because there is a tomato quality to the taste. It is much better than the version at Valley Produce.

          However, next time get the longaniza. I'll tell you how good this is ...

          I've eaten lots of chorizo and some longaniza over the past few months. I can't really afford sausage calories and while there are about three places I'd buy chorizo if a recipe called for it, it is unlikely I'll buy any of the chorizo again. It had more to do with curiosity about the different markets.

          However, the longaniza at Joya is so good it is likely I'll buy this again, calories be damned.

          Thanks for writing that about the curtido. I finally had a papusa at La Bamba last week and that is excellent curtido, but Joya/El Tazamel is better curtido-wise. Your description hit it on the head about why ... the balance.

          As for the papusa, I'm not sure which I like better. La Bamba has a better, smoother, more oozy cheese soft papusa, but absolutely no loroco flavor even though I could see the pieces in there. I agree with you about the cheese at Joya/El Tazamul. I think the whole at those two places is better.

          Interesting about the tamale though. I'll have to give them a try. The one thing I didn't like at El Tazumal was the tamale. I'll have to revisit that.