Bringing us all back to wonderful slow food, I’m going to name another one of my favorite indulgences; cheese filled pupusas. In the Mission District of San Francisco are a great number of Mexican, Central and South American restaurants. Panchita’s Restaurant No. 2 is one central to everything, and has the best hand-made pupusas in the city that I’ve had the pleasure of eating. Pupusas are typically a Salvadoran dish, and are small hand-made stuffed corn tortillas (kind of like filled tortilla cakes) which have been cooked on a greased grill. The most common stuffings include Cheese (particularly/typically Quesillo or Queso Oaxaca, which is a soft South American cow-milk cheese which is stretched curd cheese, similar to how Mozzarella is made), pork and or/beans.
At Panchita’s I typically get the spinach & cheese, and/or the pork & cheese filled. Can you believe that the meal pictured at the bottom of this post (which is two pupusas, rice & beans) was $5.75? One of the best deals in the Mission.
To accentuate the Slow Food theme of this week, however, I must warn you that at Panchita’s that due to the individual care for the preparation of the hand-made meals, the service suffers. My friend Dana and I went there for dinner prior a theatre production meeting. We had an hour and 15 minutes. We were almost late to our meeting. It took 10 minutes before we got menus, another 10 to get water, and about an hour after arriving to get our meals. Only three of about four of the 15 tables were occupied by paying customers. Dirty plates from other prior patrons remained on tables the entire time we were there. Again, however, I have to stress that with their limited staff I’d rather that they do as they do; spend time putting care into all the food they make, than provide instantaneous service.
I’ll return here again and again… but if you have a favorite place to recommend for cheese pupusas, or have a fail-proof recipe for them that you want to share, please write in on the comment section. Thanks.