El Paisa [SF] - La Lengua Chronicles Part 30
Date Dined: 2/6/13
Had a filling dinner at El Paisa last night. The restaurant is proudly Honduran (lots of posters on the wall), and there are lots of TVs for watching sports. When we were there, most tables were full, and many diners were watching a Panama vs. Costa Rica soccer match. Service was relaxed and friendly.
The menu is in both Spanish and English, and there were a number of Honduran specialties only available on weekends. It seems like it could be worth it to come back some time to try those. My dining companion and I shared:
Pollo Frito (fried chicken), which was served with rice, blended black beans, french fries, and salad. The chicken was a bit on the dry side, but I liked the flavor of the thin crispy batter. The pieces of chicken weren't particularly meaty.
Casamiento al Paisa - Fried pork chops (prepared in a similar batter to the chicken, and also a bit on the tough/dry side), served on top of fried green plantains (plain, but not overly salty and not bad). A large serving of rice and bean mixture made w/ coconut milk was on the side, and this was comforting, hearty and homemade tasting....which made me wonder why I don't make this side dish at home.
2 pupusas - one revueltas, one frijol con queso. I liked the bean/cheese one better. The tomato sauce was bland since it seemed to be made with unripe tomatoes. The curtido was a drier style than I'm used to, and it was very spicy (also not common in my limited curtido experience).
There was a jar of pickled spicy onion on the table, which was a nice condiment. I had a passionfruit (maracuya) agua fresca which was large and pretty good, though a bit watered down. They had several other options available too, including nance, which I don't often see.
If you're looking to try Honduran food, this is certainly a good spot to consider.
3322 Mission @ 29th
La Lengua Chronicles: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838611
I'm a fan of the bistek mexicano, a chicken stew dish (which includes green banana, not sweet plantains), and the fish soup with or without coconut milk.
The fish soup with coconut milk is really hard to eat, but really delicious. All the little bones are completely hidden in the milky broth which tasted like a bisque. Fried stuff definitely seems to not be their strong suit. OH and i forget the name but there are more than 1 skewered meats option. those are pretty great too.
I love the green banana, which is used like potato. Sometimes a dish will have that, and sweet plantains. Good tamarindo too.
With this week's rains, I dashed in at 9am to see if the soups might be available at that hour to go. Yes, they are.
Intrigued by kairo's description of the sopa de pescado con coco, but not wanting to deal with fish bones, I ordered the sopa de camarones con coco priced the same at $12. It had not occurred to me that the shrimp might be served in the shell! Maybe I saved a little work, but no matter, the head-on shrimp were sweet and delicious with the bonus of sucking on the heads. I loved the rich, bisque-like soup base. Besides more than a dozen medium shrimp, it had a log of yucca, green bananas, carrots, and a ton of garlic. Corn tortillas, white rice, and wedges of lime were packed separately as accompaniments. Loved it.