Pupusas are like Salvadorian quesadillas, only the edges of the "quesadilla" are sealed shut, creating a positively awesome hot pocket of goodness within. Some people liken them to stuffed corn tortillas or thinner versions of the Mexican gordita, but we think they're more like envelopes of melted divinity. The inside is usually filled with your fancy of pork, cheese, beans, or loroco (a tasty green flower blossom). Try them singularly, or mix and match.
Here in Houston, you'll find pupuserias aplenty in the Bellaire-Bissonnet-Beechnut triangle, a hotspot of Salvadorian cuisine. Last Friday we braved the chill to hit up Misha's recommendation: La Pupusa Alegre at 6209 Bellaire, a divey joint with checked tablecloths, telenovelas, and little-to-no English. Possibly hinting at its greatness, La Pupusa Alegre is missing the upbeat music and alarmingly bright lights of the standard pupuseria. We likey.
Grab a table and place your order. The most popular is the pupusa revuelta, a heavenly disk bursting with chicharrones and cheese, but our repeat favorite is the loroco and cheese. These pupusas are the definition of fresh, made right as you order them, oozing with flavor and melted cheese, and glistening with just a slight hint of grease. On the side, you'll find a large bowl of curtido (a pickled cabbage) and a thin salsa. First you spread the sauce; then you pile on the relish. Finally? Dig in to the delicious Hispanic pancake of scrumption. And yes, we know that's not a word.
At $1.85 each, these pupusas won't dig into your savings -- but be forewarned that the place is cash-only. Seek 'em out -- Pupusas are cheap, tasty, and beautifully filling. Also? It's just fun to say. Pupusa.