Isn’t that fun? It’s almost as fun to say “pupusas” as it is to eat pupusas. We discovered this in November, when we serially dined at El Nuevo Izalco, which was the next restaurant on our serial dining list. It’s located at 6405 Roosevelt Ave, easy walking distance from our apartment. Here’s what it looks like on the outside:
Here’s the inside:
We went at lunchtime on a Friday in November, so the place was pretty quiet. The host, who I took to be the son of the owners, was very friendly. He took the time to explain to us not only all about pupusas themselves, but also about El Salvador. Izalco is the name of their hometown, named after a volcano located there. It has been dormant since the 1960s, but it erupted pretty regularly before that, and it’s an iconic image of El Salvador the way, say, images of the grand canyon or the Rocky Mountains are for the United States. There’s a big picture of the volcano in the restaurant. There are also little ceramic buses on the walls, decorated with the names of the various states in El Salvador. Here are a few of them:
Since I had never had pupusas before, the host suggested a combination plate. My suggestion to you: Don’t. You can order pupusas separately with a lot less on the side, and you’ll probably be less overwhelmed and enjoy them more. Unless you’re REALLY hungry, or you plan on splitting it with someone else. It’s a TON of food. Don’t get me wrong– it’s really GOOD food. But it’s a TON of food. Here’s what we had:
So here I am at the bottom of this post, admitting to you that this dining adventure took place in November of 2011, more than a year ago, and I wrote everything above this sentence in April 2012. Yeah, life got busy, and I got lazy about the whole serial dining thing. Right now it’s a Saturday night in March 2013, and my partner and I are trying to figure out where to have dinner. I keep saying we’re going to get back to Serial Dining, but I refuse to do it until I get around to posting about the last few restaurants we’ve been to. I had hoped to add to this post the exact identities of everything in these pictures and the price we paid for everything. The thing is, I can’t remember. We’ve been back to El Nuevo Izalco since then, and the prices are very reasonable. The owners and wait staff have been just as friendly in subsequent visits as they were on our first one. They seem genuinely happy to see everybody who walks through the door. It’s a good strategy, because it makes us want to go back there. It’s like hanging out at your uncle’s house, if your uncle was a nice old Salvadoran guy who owns a restaurant. If he started hugging the diners, it wouldn’t seem the least bit out of place.
Another good thing I can report: Since our original visit to El Nuevo Izalco, the jerks who opened Pupusa Zone RIGHT THE HECK NEXT DOOR to it have already gone out of business. It’s like opening a burger joint right next to another burger joint, hoping to do it better and faster and put the old guy’s family business out of business. Glad they failed. Pupusa on you, jerks.