Pupusas: El Malecon, Pupuseria Salvadorena in Santa Rosa

El Malecon, Pupuseria Salvadorena cook up pupusas in Sonoma County

pupusasmalecon2.jpgThe quick thwap, thwap, thwap of women’s hands tossing thick corn tortillas from palm to palm is the sound of Salvadoran soul food.
No state-of-the-art kitchen gadgets, recipes or plastic gloves required. Just the flutter of hands stretching dough, warming the masa, and gently pulling and patting pupusas into imperfect circles. Pan-fried to deliciousness.
These chubby cousins to the tortilla are the original to-go food: Convenient pockets of cheese, meat, veggies, beans sealed inside corn flat bread. On the side: Curtido (a fermented cabbage that’s El Salvador’s version of kimchi) and salsa.
Cooler than a quesadilla. More able to conquer lunchtime hunger than a mere taquito. And handmade just for you.
El Malecon: Salvadoran natives, Sonoma State students and in-the-know chow hounds rub elbows at this mom-and-pop eatery tucked well off the beaten path. The owners make everything by hand, including the best pupusas in Sonoma County. Fresh horchata, banana leaf-wrapped tamales and hearty platos of ham, eggs, rice, beans and queso fresco round out the menu. 217 Southwest Blvd., Rohnert Park, (707) 794-9047
Pupuseria Salvadorena: One of the first pupuserias to hit the radar of local foodies, this humble little eatery is all about fresh pupusas and authentic El Salvadoran comfort food. Try their pupusas de chicarron, queso y frijoles (pork, cheese and beans), pupusa de queso, calabaza y Espinaca (cheese, squash and spinach) or the pupusa y loroco (a pupusa with loroco flower, an edible flower that grows in Central and South America). And at $2 each, they’re a steal. 1403 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa, 707.544.3141

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6 thoughts on “Pupusas: El Malecon, Pupuseria Salvadorena in Santa Rosa

  1. Recently met a bevvy of former co-workers at Pupuseria Salvadorena for an early dinner and oh my goodness!! I was the last to arrive and thought, “What have I gotten myself into?” because the place looks like a hole in the wall but believe me – one visit and I’m won over!!
    First – the tables were packed at barely 6 pm and primarily with folks who were of Latin (possibly El Salvadoran?) descent….Lotsa families so if you can’t tolerate kiddie racket, get your order to go.
    I had not had Salvadoran food before and was impressed not only with the quality and flavor of everything we tried but with the care given each item. Each item was cooked to order from what we could tell….no microwaving. Please note however that this means you’ll get one thing you ordered and then after a bit another item and then after another little bit, something else you’ve ordered… don’t expect a single plate with your entire order or you’ll be disappointed.
    Between us we had all the pupusas and each was a delight! We also tried the tamales – excellent!! and quite different from the traditional mexican variety I’m used to – wrapped in banana leaves, more moist and more subtly seasoned…
    The cabbage relish was outstanding and we scarfed it down; had to ask for a second bowl….YUM!! Both red and green salsas served in large, unpretentious syrup pitchers also fabulous!!
    One of us could not contain his curiosity (despite a very full tummy) and ordered the Empanada with plantain.
    I was looking for the crescent shaped fried “pies” I’ve come to expect from other latin eateries but instead what appeared was a darkly crusted orb the size of my fist… Of course by now we were all too full for anything to actually look appetizing but the thing proved crunchy on the outside with an inside texture a bit heavier than pumpkin pie, only instead of pumpkin – imagine banana with attitude!! Wow. Addictive.
    Our friend politely offered each of us a bite and then had to fight us off!!
    In addition to a full page of single items, they also offer several “meals” and I am going back soon to try their chile rellenos – stuffed with beef rather than cheese…..with rice on the side..
    Orchada (sp) passed muster w/ our hispanic running partner, all other beverages equally suitable to the menu….no iced tea, just so you know….
    At the end of our meal, we were stuffed and each of us were out a mere $11 – including a nice 20% tip to acknowledge the very sweet, very responsive waitress. The evening we were there, as I said, the place was packed and only two servers so don’t expect hovering and “may I refill your beverage?” but lift a finger and you’ll get immediate attention, served up with a warm personality…..these folks seem to genuinely WANT you to enjoy the food and have fun in their establishment..
    Four thumbs up!!!

  2. El Malecon is amazing! I have been there many, many, times and never been dissapointed. The papusas and tamales are the best I have ever had and the people running it could not be nicer. Go now. Then go tomorrow, and the day after that..etc..

  3. Pupuseria Salvadorena is the bomb! Quick, cheap and delicious. I love the combo pupusas with pork, beans and cheese, smothered with their salsas and the sweet corn masa thingies.

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