Adam & Eats: Pupuseria Virolena

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 212 views 

This week’s adventure takes us back to my new found love, the pupusa. This time around we eat at a place that has been every kind of eatery imaginable, but we hope that this place can stick around despite its troubled location-based problems in the past.

Located at the “Y” where North 10th and North 11th Streets become Midland Boulevard, is the home of Pupuseria Virolena. This little El Salvadorian joint is a perfect example of a “hole in the wall” eatery. You could fit maybe 30 people in there at one time.

Given that the place tends to be on the warm side climate-wise, it would only be a matter of time before those 30 people started dropping like flies from heat stroke, though. Is the heat worth it? Of course.

You know what they say, if you can’t take the heat, you’d better take your sissy butt back to Taco Bell. It’s an old El Salvadorian saying, perhaps you’ve never heard it before. Well, now you have. Anyways, back on topic.

This place is quaint. Very small, very comfortable, very personal. The sign out front with the reversed “N” on it makes me think that the place is secretly run by Russians. But, I digress once again. Despite it being so small, the place is hopping. And you never have to wait very long for your food. Well, considering the lady in the kitchen is making your food from scratch, it doesn’t take very long.

Speaking of food, let’s munch the grindage. This week we’re going to switch things up a little. Rather than starting with the really great stuff and working our way to the not so great stuff, today we’re going the other way. Since this place is a pupuseria, we’re going to be mainly talking about pupusas. If pupusas are not your thing, just get the enchiladas. You’ll be fine.

Now, one would think that something so simple and integral to Latin cuisine as beans could never be a bad thing, but they somehow manage to make their beans, well, wrong. The bean pupusa is, for lack of a better word, bland. Not exciting at all. Boring. Now, you’d think that adding delicious cheese to a bland pupusa would make it better, right? Wrong again. You just wind up eating bland with cheese. Not even delicious picked cabbage and salsa roja can save these two. Unless maybe you drown them in red sauce. It’s a slight improvement.

The good news is that it only gets better from here. If you ditch the beans, the queso pupusa is awesome. What?! Adding flowers from a vine to the cheese ones makes them even better? But, of course. The loroco and queso ones are spectacular.

What could be better than this?

The pork pupusas. They might be one of the best things you’ll ever eat. Second only to the pork and cheese pupusas. You know it’s going to be good, when the only note in my notebook on this one reads “Holy Mother of God” next to it. They’re that good.

Also, be sure to try the flour pupusas, they’re a little different but still wonderful.

If you haven’t drug your lazy butt over to Pupuseria Virolena yet, do it. Now. You can always eat your sack lunch tomorrow.

Until next time, good eating to you and yours.