It’s almost summer and what do we want? Ice cream dripping down our arms, hot dogs in our hands, and all kinds of crap fried on sticks. Yeah, we want to hold our food in our hands. Lucky for us, the list of portable snack spots just keeps on growing. A new restaurant, called Pupuseria La Palmera, is now serving that snack without a season, the El Salvadoran pupusa. Similar to the Mexican gordita and the South American arepa, a pupusa is a thick corn tortilla filled with goodies and fried in a pan.
California native Mauricio Prieto opened La Palmera just two weeks ago, in the old Stabby’s Cafe spot across from the Colossal Cafe in Minneapolis. And while his is a sit-down restaurant, the pupusas his El Salvadoran mother, Ana, makes are perfectly palm-sized, and almost cheaper than a pack of gum.
The restaurant’s full menu offers just three varieties of pupusas: bean and cheese ($1.75, top); a combination of pork, cheese, garlic, onion, and peppers called revueltas ($1.75, bottom); and the classic cheese and loroco ($2). Loroco is a green, tropical flower specific to Salvadoran cooking. It gives the pupusa a unique pungency, something like spinach mixed with okra mixed with parmesan cheese. La Palmera’s loroco pupusa is thick, oozing, and earthy. The revueltas is slightly sweet and never too salty, and the bean and cheese version is highly seasoned and would make a satisfying breakfast (which La Palmera serves every day). The restaurant’s accompanying curtido de repollo, a fermented slaw of cabbage and carrots typically served with pupusas, adds a welcome heat and contrasting crunch to the soft masa cakes.
Then there’s the sun-filled dining room in which you’ll enjoy your pupusas. I guess that’s why they call it “the palm tree.”
Pupuseria La Palmera
El Salvadoran food in South Minneapolis
4157 Cedar Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55407
CHEF / OWNER: Ana Prieto / Mauricio Prieto
RESERVATIONS / RECOMMENDED: No / No
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / Limited
ENTREE RANGE: $1.75-$11