TLO Restaurant Review: Pupuseria Mi Chalateca

The old house that sits at 2416 NW 23rd Street is something of an aged relic from my blemished past. You see, for a couple of years in the late 1990s, a high-school acquaintance of mine turned the place into a coffee shop and I hosted an open mic night for them. While I had no idea what I was doing, at least I made a few friends and always had a few cups of coffee when I was there.

Returning to that same address last week, I didn’t really know what to expect from the now-christened Pupuseria Mi Chalateca, but, as I entered the storefront and found a seat in the small building for myself, I somehow returned to that old coffee shop as the waiter brought me a steaming cup of El Salvadorean brew—and it was simplemente maravilloso.

As a small child used crayons a table over from me, I looked over the menus—one in English and one in Español—as the chef in the back was shuffling things around, cooking take-out orders. I already knew I was going to get a pupusa—a thick corn-cake often stuffed with the best things in life—but, at the bottom of the menu was the Pupusa Loca O Especial ($6.99). I had no idea what that was but had to try it myself.

As two more customers came in, I was brought out the first of my order, the Pollo Dorado ($9.99), or, as it’s known on the English menu, the Deep Fry Chicken. After helping myself to a few cups of homemade salsa verde and blackened jalapenos from the open salsa area, I dipped the perfect pollo in the salsa for taste and lapped it up like a perro hambriento.

Sided with a bowl of black beans, perfectly cupped rice, a large-ish side-salad and two of the thickest tortillas I’ve ever held in my malditas manos, I could have—and probably should have—stopped there, but the waiter gently sat a plate of my next choice on the table, Pastelitos Salvadorenos ($5.99) or Salvadorean Deep Fried Cakes.

A trio of heavy meat and heavier vegetable cakes—this is the kind of cake I want for my birthday, by the way—each one was scalding hot as the steaming grease dripped down my labios hinchados, but I didn’t care, as I had to have bite after bite of this incredible treat.

With each taste of the Salvadorenos, I silently cried to myself in a mixture of blinding joy and burning pain, a mixture of tastes and emotions that were totally worth it. To be fair though, I did wait a few minutes before sampling the second one, my culinary sadomasochism only going so far.

Even though I was already more than satisfecho, I figured that it would be no problem to have a few small bites of my pancake-sized pupusa, the one meal I actually came to Chalateca for. I choked on my coffee though when the waiter brought out a pizza-size pupusa; the black-marks from the flat-grill sending up signals to Paraíso that, if now’s my time, at least let finish this meal.

I gently cut the corn-meal casing of the monstrous meal into a few slices, the well-cooked meat, vegetables and God knows what else gently spilling out of the gaping wounds of many flavors. As I had a slice of this pupusa gigante, I closed my eyes to favor and savor the eats, mourning the loss of the coffee-shop but thanking God that Chalateca is now there. Cómpralo ya!

_

 Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

 Support TLO (and, by proxy, Louis Fowler) by becoming an Ogle Mole…sign up here today.

Support Local Media

Help keep The Lost Ogle in business. Join the TLO Membership Club today for only $5 a month!

More The Lost Ogle News

2 Responses


  1. First!

    Lol. Sounds good but we need pics of the insides of those central american goodies.


  2. Ahh sandmans I went there a fewt imes when I worked at the America Online sweatshop during Y2K

Comments are closed.

We encourage engaging with our content, however we ask that you follow our Comment Policy. Learn more.

Join the Club.

Become a Member

Help keep The Lost Ogle in business. Join the TLO Membership Club today for only $5 a month!

You may also like...