Best Pupusas

Maiz Restaurante

Although pupusas have been delighting the residents of El
Salvador for a few thousand years, these savory noshes only arrived in
the Bay Area in the 1980s, when émigrés from the
country’s civil war introduced us norteamericanos to the
pleasures of stuffed and grilled masa. At Maiz, a friendly little
hideaway abundant with folklorico autentico, the house
pupusas are lighter and crisper than the standard and thoroughly
satisfying to boot. Crafted by hand of cornmeal dough and a choice of
half a dozen cheese-based fillings, then grilled, the basic
pupusa is as warm and crunchy as a really good grilled cheese
sandwich. One variation adds a hearty layer of pork and beans, the
ideal foggy-weather snack; another throws in loroco blossoms for
their sharp, tangy, nasturtium-like flavor. They’re served with
curtido, a peppery slaw as imperative to the pupusa
experience as mustard is to the hot dog. Order them à la carte
or as a platter of two with beans and rice.

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