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Antojitos Salvadorenos

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There is no getting around it: There are some slim pickings around the UH campus. After a while, even the best Chinese, burgers, barbecue and pizza get really stale. Antojitos Salvadorenos (1011 Telephone Road, 713-924-6995‎), only five minutes from campus and without all the nasty traffic involved in heading down I-45, is a welcome alternative.

For the indecisive patron, the specials on the back of the menu are the perfect choice. I got an order of "Special A" ($7.25), which included yuca frita, tamal and two pupusas, and an order of shrimp cocktail. There was a bit of a language barrier, but the friendly waitress was patient with my incredibly rusty Spanish (Abuelita, don't be mad at me), and I still managed to spit out my order.

For about $15, there was enough food for three. My classmates acted like hungry vultures when I opened the takeout container. The pupusas (both pork and cheese) were hot and fluffy, and without the normal layer of grease in the carton. The curdito was fantastic, with just the right amount of spice and vinegar, and I had to slap a few wandering hands that tried to eat it straight out of the bag. Our shrimp cocktail was sadly nothing special, although the vultures thought it was great.

The overall favorites ended up being the yuca frita and the elote tamal. I fell in love with the jumbo-size corn tamal -- it was sweet, dense and perfectly simple, and would make a stellar breakfast paired with coffee and eggs. Antojitos' yuca frita was some of the best we'd ever had. It was perfectly crispy, and the pork was melt-in-your-mouth-tender inside of the crispy and chewy exterior. What a nice surprise.

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