Salvadorian food

310. Pupusería y Restaurante Salvadoreño – February 25, 2018 – Detroit, MI

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PUPUSAS!!!! HOW had I gone so long in my life without consuming you, you glorious little pancake-esque tortillas loaded with savory, meaty, cheesy fillings!

My first encounter with pupusas was back in 2014 at El Guanaco in Troy. I was immediately taken by the Salvadorean delights: what was not to like about piping-hot grilled corn tortillas stuffed with meat and cheese? I mean, that is kind of my JAM right there.

Yet somehow I went all this time without consuming another pupusa. I’ve never returned to El Guanaco – certainly not because I don’t want to (I gaze upon it fondly whenever I drive past it) but rather because a consequence of running a blog that’s all about trying new places is that repeat visits are not especially common for me – even when I really, really love a place and intend to go back. And sadly, Salvadorean restaurants are not especially prevalent around Metro Detroit.

But as I discovered a few weeks ago, there is at least one other Salvadorean restaurant in this area:  Pupusería y Restaurante Salvadoreño in Southwest Detroit. Continuing my quest to visit 50 new places in Detroit in Blog Year 5, I set out for the restaurant on Livernois Avenue one Sunday in late February.

Right away, the place won my heart because it had its own parking lot (a category of criteria I especially appreciate in the city), which was packed with other cars for the midday lunch rush. I entered the colorful restaurant bedecked with flags and vibrant artwork and put in a carryout order for one of the combination plates, which contained two pupusas, rice, beans, curtido (a cole slaw-esque, spicy cabbage relish), and a drink. I can’t recall exactly how much the combo cost me, but I believe it was around $8.

The order came out relatively quickly, and I excitedly made the jaunt back home, sucking down the horchata I’d ordered as my drink choice and savoring its creamy, cinnamon-laced goodness. Soon I’d also be savoring those pupusas nestled in my carryout bag!

The glorious moment arrived: I got back home and sat down to devour the pupusas in all of their fresh-grilled, meat-and-cheese-studded glory.

They were of course AMAZING. I’d gotten a ground pork pupusa and a cheese pupusa, and both were wonderfully fresh and flavorful and filling-stuffed. If I had to pick which one I liked better, I’d go with the cheese one (cheesy goodness being pretty hard to beat in its glorious simplicity), but the ground pork one was deliciously savory, too. Paired with the curtido, these bad boys were utterly KILLER. How come more food isn’t accompanied by a spicy cabbage slaw??? That needs to change.

If you have never tried a pupusa and are intrigued, can we agree that that needs to change, too? Give Pupusería y Restaurante Salvadoreño a try – and while you’re at it, try El Guanaco, too! There’s enough love to go around for both of them.

3149 Livernois Ave.

Detroit, MI 48210

38. El Guanaco – July 23, 2014 – Troy, MI



The pupusa combo lunch!

After taking all this time to prepare a delicious lunch, I forgot to bring it to work on this day. I was so bummed. But then I decided I should reframe this as a golden opportunity to try a new restaurant in the area. I checked out Yelp, which has quickly become one of my favorite sites since starting this 100 Places project, and stumbled upon El Guanaco, which serves Mexican and Salvadorian dishes.

I don’t believe I’d ever before considered Salvadorian food, and I love trying different ethnic cuisines, so this intrigued me – especially when I saw all these Yelp users raving about the pupusas, which I gathered were made out of corn flour and had stuffing in the middle. I decided to get a lunch special that had two pupusas, rice and beans, and a spicy slaw for $5.99, as well as a chicken Salvadorian tamale. The whole meal ended up costing a little over eight dollars, and it was a lot more food than I had expected.

The pupusas were especially amazing. You can get two fillings in them here, and I chose ground pork and cheese. They were these piping hot, corn-pancake-type things with this delicious meaty-cheesy filling in the middle. They were awesome! I was really glad that I had forgotten my lunch – and discovered Salvadorian food – after eating this delicious feast from El Guanaco.

1710 Livernois Rd.
Troy, MI 48083