Everywhere you look in the area east and north of Park Lane and Greenville Avenue, there is an Ethiopian restaurant or business. Within one of those shops, a pupusa maker offers a golden alternative to sour, spongy, wonderful injera.
The handmade quesadilla-corn cake hybrid treats, a source of Salvadoran pride, are sold from a counter kitchen in the back of Kwick Save Mart, an Ethiopian bodega that stocks Four Loko and MD 20/20 side by side with video gambling machines and Great Value products. Children run through the aisles inciting laughter from young Ethiopian immigrant behind the main register. The only thing missing to fully endear me to the store is decomposing fruit. If the Observer had a shopping blog, I'd write a Shop This post profiling the store. The fact that a middle-aged Latin American couple vends food in the convenience store is a bonus.
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But I digress. The pupusas come in several flavors, not all are available simultaneously. I still haven't had the opportunity to try the lorocco (a flower bud). Each comes with white cheese holding the other filling at bay but oozing out between the grainy corn tortillas of medium thickness. The cheese gives each pupusa a saltine kick cut by its accompaniment, especially the earthy refried beans. The pork is smooth and gives the edges an ochre highlight. A fist of curtido, a tangy garnish of pickled cabbage and carrots analogous to kimchee, comes as a side along with a mild orange salsa. The latter doesn't add much to the inexpensive joy the pupusas bring.
A quick lunch at Pupuseria Yoselyn is a world away from the Whole Foods Park Lane buffets and upscale NorthPark Center's food court, but its every bit as familiar (who doesn't love homey, soul-enriching food?) and a bargain-basement price (each pupusa is $1.35).
Pupuseria Yoselyn 7015 Holly Hill Drive. No. 100 214-622-2706