Chicken Soup at Usulutan - Mission, SF
In search of chicken soup, I stopped by Usulutan today - I had never been before. I ordered the chicken soup ($8.50) which took about 15 mins to arrive at my table.
As I waited, I was served a large basket of tortilla chips and a nice, fairly mild salsa - it tasted homemade, and similar to the red sauce served on pupusas.
My soup was large, and contained a drumstick and a chicken thigh, as well as slices of carrot, chayote and zucchini. Also a few chunks of potato. On the side was some fresh salsa (onion and tomato), cilantro, rice, and two wedges of lime. I added the salsa, cilantro and lime to the soup, and meanwhile took the pieces of chicken out. I also added the rice. The broth was good - simple, and on the salty side. The vegetables were on the crisp side - the carrots and zucchini were good, but I thought the chayote tasted rather muddy, which I haven't experienced when it's been cooked longer to make it soft.
The soup was served with two freshly made, thick, corn tortillas - these were awesome. They were piping hot, and were great dipped in the soup, as well as the salsa. I could hear the sounds from the kitchen, of someone making the tortillas and pupusas (which other tables had ordered). I saw an order of cheese pupusas that looked great (I've read reports here that say they are only OK). But based on the two tortillas I had today, I will definitely go back to try the pupusas soon.
I ended up not eating any of the chicken, since the soup and chips were enough. I got it to go, and this evening made a nice chicken salad with the leftover dark meat.
The chips were pretty good, but I couldn't tell if they were homemade. My guess is no. However, they were thin and not very salty, so they tasted local....similar to chips from Casa Sanchez or La Palma....not the thicker, saltier, commercial type.
A few blocks down the street, at El Delfin, there is also excellent chicken soup - a different style than at Usulutan, but I think a bit better. The chips there are usually homemade.