Battle of the Dishes

Salvadoreno v. Guanaquito: Clash of the Pupusas

Page 2 of 2

In This Corner: Salvadoreno Restaurant

The Setup: This family-owned restaurant serves food from all over Latin America, including Panama, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and, of course, El Salvador. With four Valley locations and one in California, these Salvadorian transplants, Miriam and Nina Martha, have effectively spread their family recipes to a large American audience.

The Good: The masa-to-stuffing ratio was really what shined for Salvadoreno -- the cheesy inside was gooey, hot, and well dispersed throughout the circular pupusa. It often is a struggle to evenly distribute the ingredients within a pupusa, but Salvadoreno masters the bean and cheese relationship. These pupusas were sturdy enough to eat by hand, with a crispy and slightly charred exterior that gives a good crunch, quickly followed by oozing cheese and beans. Though the loroco pupusa, which is filled with cheese and a native flower to El Salvador, could have used some more flowers to counter the powerfully salty queso.

The Bad: The curtido at Salvadoreno left much to be desired, as the pickled cabbage that accompanies these otherwise fabulous pupusas is lacking in both spice and flavor. Usually a refreshing, bitter, and spicy addition to a pupusa, the uninteresting curtido could easily be forgotten while at Salvadoreno.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nina Gruber
Contact: Nina Gruber