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Feb 1, 2010 08:27 AM

Pupusas in Northern Westchester?

I just found out yesterday that they stopped making pupusas at one of my favorite empanada places (Quimbaya in Ossining). I had such a craving for them! I know pupusas and other Salvadorean treats abound in Port Chester, but are there other places I might have missed that are a bit closer to Ossining and thereabouts? Thanks so much!

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  1. Rincon Santaneco in mt kisco has 4-5 varieties of papusa.

    15 Replies
    1. re: vinouspleasure

      that's the place kind of near Lefteris, right, but on the other side of the street? I've seen it a bunch of times, but haven't stopped in (shame on me!). How are the pupusas there? I'm assuming they have the normal varieties? cheese, chicharron, beans, loroco? Anything else?

      What's the cost?

      And, finally, any idea how they compare to others in Westchester (PC in particular)?

      Whew... sorry for all the questions!

      1. re: adamclyde

        lotta questions! They have 4-5 varieties including cheese, chicharron, beans. I don't think they have loroco. I recall the cost is about $3/per. I've never eaten in pc (it's a long drive from our part of the county), so I have no idea how they compare. In general, I've found the food to be good there, tacos are pretty good.

        I do like the papusas and would be interested to know how they stack up against pc.

        1. re: vinouspleasure

          Thanks, vp! So glad to hear they're available in Mt. Kisco! PC is a long drive for us too. I really enjoyed the pupusas at Quimbaya when they used to make them. (I was a bit off-put when I asked if they would make some for me, and a staff member just gave me a flat-out, "No - we're not making them anymore.") Looking forward to trying Rincon Santaneco - thanks again!

          1. re: Sra. Swanky

            I liked the pupusas at Quimbaya and its closer than kisco for us...I do also like the empanadas at Quimbaya...

            1. re: vinouspleasure

              I like the empanadas there too -- but it's the pupusas that I'm really going to miss if they insist on never making them again. Maybe you could put in a request to bring the pupusas back to Quimbaya like I did. There's strength in numbers!

              1. re: Sra. Swanky

                You sure Quimbaya made pupusas? It's a Colombian place, so not the sort of place I would have ever thought to have seen pupusas.

                I know they have arepas there, which are similar in shape/size/function (sort of). Maybe they called their arepas pupusas? (though I'd be really surprised if they did, frankly).

                Strange. Now I'm all perplexed.

                1. re: adamclyde

                  Hey adam - yup - they used to make pupusas at Quimbaya not too long ago. Their pupusas -- corncakes with cabbage, tomato and cheese - was their only variety. They do make arepas (the masa is on the sweet side) too - with melted cheese.

                  1. re: Sra. Swanky

                    weird. I wonder if they were having an identity crisis?

                    Based on your description, their arepas sound like the arepas de choclo... sweet with an extra strong corn flavor.

                    1. re: adamclyde

                      Maybe they *were* having an identity crisis- it could be the reason why they don't serving pupusas anymore! (But they did serve them - and they were good - I wasn't hallucinating, I swear!)

                      Arepas de choclo -- yup - that's what I had when I couldn't get the pupusas. The arepas they had on Sunday were sweet and very strong on the corn flavor.

                      Off to Rincon Santeneco very pupusa craving will not be denied!! :o)

      2. re: vinouspleasure

        Vinous - thanks again for the rec! I stopped in to Rincon today before the snow hits. The pupusas were delicious! Exactly what I was jonesing for! :o)

        1. re: Sra. Swanky

          glad you liked it, which did you try? Did you try anything else? btw, there's a real deal pattiserie not far, la tulipe, 455 Lexington Ave, about a 10 minute drive, well worth it.

          1. re: vinouspleasure

            Yes - I've been meaning to try Tulipe - thank you!

            I had two pupusas - 1 with cheese and 1 with chicharrones and cheese. They were awesome. I haven't tried pupusas in Port Chester, but I think these Mt. Kisco beauties could definitely contend with them! I didn't try their other dishes, but I'll definitely be back!

        2. re: vinouspleasure

          I finally tried Rincon Santaneco the other day with some colleagues. Between the four of us, we sampled healthy doses of all varieties of pupusas:

          frijol y queso
          chicharron y queso
          loroco y queso

          Overall, it was very good. Overall, I think they are better than Rincon Salvadoreno in Port Chester, but I still like Rincon Migueleno in Port Chester the best of all (what the heck is it with "rincon" and salvadoran restaurants? Oddly, none are actually on corners to begin with :) )

          Anyhow, Santenecas in Kisco is good. $1.50 each, they are a tad on the fat side, giving them a bit more heft. They are a wonderful golden brown color and the masa is more prominent in these. I didn't like the black bean filling here all that much. It didn't have as much flavor. The pinto bean pupusas de frijol at Migueleno are a better bet. Miguelenos are a bit more tender, very slightly greasier, but also slightly more flavorful. But, again, Santanecos are very good too. Now I'm just bummed it took me a few years to finally stop in. But thanks folks for the reminder and motivation.

          1. re: adamclyde

            adam, thanks for review and comparison. Is the cost the same in PC? They seem to be a terrific bargain at Santenecas. Did you try any of the other food? I've had the tacos a couple of times and they're pretty good. I've seen some nice stuff come out of the kitchen but I don't speak spanish and there's not too much english spoken.

            One of the best meals I've had at these type of restaurants was called "a typical lunch" and it consisted of steak, fried egg, fried pork and maybe a plantain. Unfortunately (but lucky for my heart), it was in an area of nyc that I don't visit much.

            1. re: vinouspleasure

              Cost is the same - $1.50 for a pupusa. The only other thing we tried when we went was a chicken tamale. Which was huge, but not really all that great. Typical of central american, it was wrapped in banana leaf with a soft, slightly gelatinous masa. The filling was a chicken leg (bone and all). I'm used to getting bone in the central american tamales (one reason I like mexican tamales better - usually no bones), but not used to it just being an entire chicken leg, skin, bone and all. The flavor was just OK, it was served with pickled onions and curtida (the cabbage "slaw" that you get with pupusas). It was fine, but I wouldn't order it again. I'm sure they have lots on their menu worth exploring though.

              As to the other thing you ordered, it sounds like you were at a colombian restaurant and ordered bandeja paisa, which typically comes with a thin steak, chicharron (fried thick pork belly, sometimes skin attached), rice topped with a fried egg, beans and an arepa. It's very common for Colombian restaurants. Here's a link: that explains more (though I don't recall ever having it here in the States when it featured blood sausage, which apparently is traditional.