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Pupusas & Empenadas (wow!) at La Pupusa Guanaca, JP

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Not sure if it's good news or bad news that it took me nearly 9 months of living in JP before I tried this place because now I'm an addict.

I am a big Tacos Lupita fan, but let me share this: Lupita's pupusas don't even come close to these treats! Seriously. I'm not sure how best to describe why - the flavors seem so much more vibrant - the fillings really shine through. I've tried cheese and pork & cheese, they also have bean & cheese. Anyway, I could guess that it's the made-to-order thing, but I'm pretty sure that these are made to order at Lupitas as well (at least in Somerville). I do like the flavor of the sauce at Lupita's better, but they are very different. Lupitas sauce is thin, more like a stock, and really tastes of meat. La Pupusa Guanaca has sauce that has more tomato and spice, and a lot thicker.

Your to-go order at LPG will come packaged up like this: pupusas in foil, one plastic baggie of slaw and one plastic baggie of sauce. It's fun for assembly when you get home.

Oh, and then there's the empenadas. I cannot believe a chicken empenada can taste so good. It's finely ground like a sausage and so flavorful. I went back and tried a beef one, and while it was good, it didn't compare. I still might like the beef filling of the empenadas/pastellitos at Estrella better, but overall, I prefer these fried delights over Estrella and Madrego's.

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  1. Yes, they're very tasty... I enjoyed the bean & cheese and the pork & cheese papusas yesterday. The pork & cheese is out of this world, the bean is good, but a little dryer and not as flavorful as the pork. It takes forever to get them though, but you can't complain when they're made to order like that.

    1. I also adore LPG. The pupusas & empanadas are great. We tried their Salvadoran tacos (tortillas stuffed and rolled into a cigar shape & fried, served I think w/a sauce and boiled egg) at our JP crawl, and while others were on the fence about it, I like them. The burritos are also more than decent, and I've heard good things about the pollo asado plate. I do think the flavoring could pack a bit more punch, heat & salt-wise, but I sort of think that about every place I go to. And on top of it all, the people are really friendly.

      On a different note, I recently tried the pastellitos at Madego's stand again--cheese, chicken and beef, and in my opinion, the chicken was clearly the best and most flavorful. I'll have to compare at Estrella sometime soon--though first I need to try Cafeteria Tropical...

      1. You're screwed. Yep, they are very good at LPG, but I'm surprised you think they are *that* much better than at Tacos Lupita. I favor the TL ones, but this may be a case of what's closest to home. I will give it to you that the curdito (sp?) is superior at LPG but the sauce at Lupita's makes it for me.

        1. The tostada there is also good. How's their tamales these days? I remember not liking the one I had, but it was a few years ago, wondering if they've gotten better.

          1 Reply
          1. re: limster

            i've liked the ones i've had there, but i don't recall them being particularly special.

          2. Bump for a nice little niche!

            Great papusa's and tasty burrito's as well. It seems like a fairly clean establishment and the woman behind the counter was cordial. I will be adding this my list of lunch take-out spots!

            1. I love this place. The pupusas are very tasty, the tacos (thinly rolled, filled, deep fried) are good, the fried yuca - all delicious. Tamales are ok. Best thing - get your order to go and eat it at the Behan with a tasty beverage. That's my definition of a good weekend lunch.