It's been a LONG while since my last Foodie Tuesday. Again, this is where I talk about some relatively obscure food, or food-related topic, that is nevertheless delicious.
Right now I'd like to highlight the pupusa. Those who live in places with lots of Salvadoreans (e.g. the Mission in SF or close to downtown/Koreatown in LA) know what I'm talking about. It's got to be one of the most ingenious food inventions (besides the burrito): the best way to describe it is a pan-fried corn pancake stuffed with cheese, or some mix of cheese and meat, or cheese and veggies. Such a neat little package that packs such a tasty punch. And yes, it's a specialty of El Salvador, often served with a kind of pickled cole slaw.
When it's done wrong, a pupusa is too-greasy, mealy, bland, limp, or burned. When it's done right, a pupusa can be transcendent.
One of my favorite places to get a pupusa is this tiny hole-in-the-wall on the outskirts of the Mission/Bernal Heights called Los Panchos, just up the street from Mi Lindo Peru and Good Frikin Chicken. I discovered it completely by accident, probably because the wait was so long at Mi Lindo Peru that I had to find a snack to tide me over. Their pupusas are phenomenal - thick and greasy with meat, oozing cheese, and full of flavor.
Another place I found recently, further down on Mission at Richland, is Balompie Cafe No. 03 (I guess the first two were THAT popular) where the $2 pupusas are practically as good, and you can watch the lady make them in her skillful and nimble fingers and chat with the guy at the register. Here's a video I took of the lady at Balompie stuffing pupusas: