Since I managed to get some folks to visit Dogpatch for the tablehopper supper at Piccino, what the heck, let's give y'all another great reason to come to the 'hood: the best darned pupusas in the City. Buckle up, because the pupusas at ~THE NEW SPOT~ are gonna mess you up. You're going to become a zombie for them.
They are downright ethereal. Not greasy, or gluey, or dense. I really wasn't aware a pupusa could be light, but they actually melt in your mouth--they're that tender and delicate. It's a new pupusa paradigm, completely.
I munched one stuffed with chicharron and queso (pork and cheese/all $2). The zucchini special I had was also de-lovely. You have to order a minimum of two per order, but what's difficult will be ordering a minimum of two, for reals. You're gonna want them all: just cheese, or beans and cheese, or cheese pork and beans, or loroco and cheese, or chicken and cheeseâ¦ plus there are special pupusas of the day too. Hungry yet?
I want to ask them to make breakfast pupusas. All I can think about is one with chicharron, cheese, and a fried egg on top. (I have a sick mind like that.)
They also come with a sparkling curtido (coleslaw), plus chips and homemade salsa. Call me a freak, but I love my pupusas with a side of sour cream, and a few shakes of Cholula--a holdover from my days of pupusa missions with my buddy Paco in L.A.
To be honest, I tried this casual little Mexican and Salvadorian place when it first opened about a year ago, and I wasn't impressed. Wasn't sure where the flavors were hiding, but they weren't here. Now they have come back in full force, yay. Like one day we started with a wonderful albondigas soup that tasted like something your abuelita would make for you (if you had one). Mighty good meatballs, man.
There's an impressive variety of dishes, like panuchos, pasteles, fried yucca with chicharron, chile rellenos, chimichangas, tortas, chile verde, enchiladas with moleâ¦ the list goes on. Good stuff, Maynard. Some folks were munching burritos or tacos, but I say save that for your Mission taquerias, and at least start with the home-style dishes here first. All are under $10, and the main dishes come with rice, beans, and salad. I've also heard some of the drinks are really good, and unusual, like a chocolate and corn drink I gotta return to try.
The place is clean, and the folks are friendly. Love the macaw mural. It's a small joint, so there are only a few tables, and the lines can be long for lunch take-out, but everyone must agree it's worth it--and the food even comes in biodegradable containers, cool! The breakfast options are also notable, from chilaquiles ($5.95) to huevos rancheros ($5.95) to all kinds of scrambles. Enough to make you remember why it's the most important meal of the day.
The New Spot
632 20th St.
Cross: 3rd St.
San Francisco, CA 94107