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Aug 10, 2009 03:36 PM

Estrellita's Pupusas

I'm no expert on Salvadoran food but Estrellita's pupusas are what I dream pupusas should be. I've eaten twice at her booth at the Sunday Alemeny Flea Market. She pats the masa and fillings into a thick pancake and grills them while you wait. You get them light and slightly crispy with the cheese melted and hot, topped with curtido and 1 of 2 salsas.

So far, I've had the mushroom, which is intensely earthy in the same way as Gioia's mushroom slices. The cheese is chewy with sort of a Parmesan tang to it.
I like the mild salsa with jalapeno slices. I didn't think the hot was that hot or flavorful. Yesterday I asked for a Loroco, but either its flavor is extremely subtle, it's an ingredient of all varieties or I just got a cheese pupusa. Nonetheless it was very satisfying but cheesier and milder than the mushroom

Estrellita sets up shop every Sunday at Alemeny. She will be at the SF Street Food Festival this weekend.

Also at Alemeny is Huarache Loco (From DF to SF). They have a full battery of taco fillings including Alambre, which is basically everything but the kitchen sink. It was good but not in the same league as E's pupusas. There is also a "roach" coach which has a few Filipino specialties.

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    1. Sounds good

      Alambre is sometimes a mixture of m eat, onions, peppers, bacon topped with cheese. It means wire and sometimes it refers to meat cooked on a skewer (wire).

      Are there any produce vendors at the flea market?

      1. Do you know if she also at Alemany on Saturdays. That is the day I go.

        1. Sounds good, grilled to order is the only way to go. Yes, loroco has a mild flavor. I've only had canned/frozen, never fresh, so haven't really figured out what it's supposed to taste like myself. Looking forward to trying Estrellita's.

          My problem with El Huarache Loco is that they make up a big stack of huarache masa cakes cooked ahead of time. What's the point if it's not fresh? When I noticed the pile waiting on the side lines, I ordered a quesadilla instead, thinking that surely fresh masa would be patted around a filling and cooked to order. But no, instead the cook pulled a stiff huarache off the pile and folded it in half around my meat choice. It was so stiff and tough, it broke my plastic fork. El Huarache Loco's champurrado was not good either . . . tasting it I then understood why rworange said that the champurrados she's tried taste like dishwater. I'd not run across it until then.

          El Huarache Loco
          100 Alemany Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94110

          1 Reply
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Estrellita's also has champurrado, atole (corn flavor that day although I may have misunderstood) and agua frescas. She has many Spanish-speaking customers and I have seen people order 6 pupusas and take them home. I'm told they can be reheated in the oven.