Pupusas are one of my new “things”. I discovered them this summer and immediately became a fan. A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish composed of a fried corn tortilla stuffed with one or more of the following fillings: cheese, pork, chicken, beans or loroco. They come served with curtido (a coleslaw like concoction) and a thin tomato salsa; spicy sauce is optional. Last Saturday my fiancée and I stopped in for a quick pupusa lunch at La Carreta, a Salvadoran restaurant on Saint Zotique and one of many in the area. This was our second visit.
We settled into the unassuming restaurant and each ordered two pupusa revueltas (which contain pork, cheese and beans).
I’m not a pupusa expert (yet), but I’ve tried a few now and these ones are really good. Fried to a perfect crisp on the outside, with a soft and moist interior containing enough filling to satisfy you but not so much that everything gets sloppy. The crunchy, tangy curtido is tasty in its own right and the tomato salsa, while basic, gets the job done. The optional spicy sauce gave me that extra kick that I always crave. Put it all together and you’ve got a nice little lunch. It doesn’t get much simpler than this, but when simple is done right simple is usually very good.
We washed our pupusas down with some refreshing fresco de horchata. This was another discovery for me. It basically tastes like watered down milk with a bit of cinnamon in it (in a good way). The internet tells me that the authentic version does not actually contain any milk. It’s made from rice, almond, water and sugar. I’m not sure if this one was made with milk (I’ve read that can be done too), but whatever it is it’s good and was a perfect compliment to my spicy pupusas.
La Carreta has a bunch of other stuff on the menu, and we actually did try a beef taco last time which was pretty decent. But let’s be clear, if I go to La Carreta I’m going for one reason only – deliciously fried pupusas, and my rating below assumes that you will be doing the same.
Price: This is the best part, a pupusa will set you back all of $2.50!
Rating: 3 – It’s good, man.
La Carreta- 350 Rue Saint Zotique Est - 514.273.8884