[I5] Buttonwillow Pupusa Taste-off: Elsy’s Antojitos vs. Tita’s Pupuseria
Last year, I stopped in Buttonwillow for a taste-off of Tita’s truck versus its sit-down pupuseria.
I also noticed another pupusa truck nearby called Elsy’s Antojitos. Last month I had a chance to compare Tita’s restaurant versus Elsy’s on my way to the southland.
First, a stop at Tita’s sit-down restaurant with air-conditioned comfort and an indoor restroom for the first pupusa of the day. The long wait for our food was the one demerit of last year’s visit. So this time, acting on a tip from SteveG, I called in my order about 15 minutes ahead of time. Even so, the wait staff demonstrate little hustle getting the food and drink to the table, but it was a considerable improvement. Agua fresca of the day was Nance. The revuelta pupusa had stiffened up ever so slightly, maybe from the holding time till it hit the table. Perhaps in the future, I’ll call 10 minutes ahead. As good as ever, though not quite as tender, with a generous filling that streamed out like a lava flow.
Then I stepped over to Elsy’s Antojitos, parked at the ARCO station, across the street from Tita’s truck.
Like Tita’s, there’s a canopy for shade and wooden picnic table seating.
After a brief wait, my made-to-order revuelta pupusa appeared. The curtido served on the side was almost identical to Tita's. If someone said that they came from the same curtido factory, I’d believe it. The pupusa had a stockier profile, a bit thicker and not as wide as Tita’s, but essentially the same size, just different proportion. The main difference would be that the red salsa is spicy at Elsy's for a bit of kick. Also the revuelta blend has less cheese and a bit more pork giving it a meatier taste and less of the molten cheese lava flow of dairy effect.
From this comparison, I’d say that the food quality is identical. The differences are only a bit of spice in Elsy’s salsa and more cheese at Tita’s. Tita’s has the big advantage of offering indoor facilities. But if one is choosing between the two trucks, just pick the one with the shorter line.
Elsy’s Antojitos truck (ARCO station)
20650 Tracy Ave.
I stopped at Tita’s Pupuseria for an early lunch last week on a drive south. Except for a long wait (a family of seven had just ordered), it was great. The pupusa was just as Melanie described and also the same as I remember from a while ago at their restaurant just up the road.
A few photos.