I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is at Pupuseria Salvadoreña in Rogers, Arkansas.
Greetings from Rogers, Arkansas
N 36° 19.048’ W 094° 07.695’ Elev. 1355 ft.
I love pupusas. But what are they? Well, best I can figure they’re a cross between a tortilla and a hoe cake that I guess only Salvadorans make. Often they’re plain and served in place of a regulation tortilla. But they also stuff them with all kinds of things, like cheese, beans, meat, what have you. (The complete list is on the left side of the menu.)
I found Pupuseria Salvadoreña when I was picking-up at Tyson’s, the evil corporate chicken pluckers and packers; it’s located a half-block from the plant. Still it took a while to find because the storefront is so unassuming.
They have two locations in Rogers. While I suspect it’s actually easier to park (in the Merchant of Death parking lot) at the #1, I like to go to this one. It’s important to be a repeat customer and, at this one, I can hide out in my trick parking spot and take a nap if I want.
I like to get the Chile Relleno ($7.70) stuffed with meat. I still haven’t determined exactly what kind of meat it is but it’s definitely some cut of beef, and stewed to tender perfection. It’s served with rice, refried beans and two or three pupusas, depending on how they’re feeling(?).
Usually the refried beans are just too salty for my taste. So today I asked for frijoles de la olla (literally, beans of the pot). That’s the whole beans before they smash them up. (Most Mexican restaurants have these if you ask.) Unfortunately, they didn’t have any.
Today, however, the beans weren’t salty at all — the sauce on the relleno was! Still, it was really good, plus I hadn’t had one in awhile.
Whenever I go here I also order Bistec de Rez ($7.70) para llevar (to go). It travels well and is actually really good cold. Unfortunately, I ate it all before I took a picture. Next time.
Bistec de Rez is found in virtually all latino restaurants under various names, such as Bistec a la Mexicana, Bistec Ranchero, etc. It’s usually grilled flank steak (I think), with onion, tomato and bell pepper in a ranchero sauce. Theirs is really good although I’ve failed every time to get them to make it picante (spicy) enough. Still, it’s really good.
Along with the meal I got a giant Aguas Frescas (literally, fresh waters). Although they start with a mix, they add a bunch of crushed fruit to it. Today they had what she called Piña y Mango (pineapple and mango) but here they actually make it with apple in it as well. It’s got all kinds of really good pulp in it and takes a bit of sucking skill to get it up the straw.
They didn’t have one of my favorite aguas frescas that they make there sometimes: Melon (cantaloupe). They don’t make my all-time favorite aguas frescas here: Sandia (watermelon) and Piña y Pepino (pineapple and cucumber). I know pineapple and cucumber seems an unlikely if not bizarre pairing, but it’s incredibly delicious. It’s so weird: You can actually taste both the pineapple and the cucumber. Very strange but very refreshing. If you ever get a chance to try it, do so.
I really like the food and the folks here. They tolerate me and my incredibly bad Spanish, which I appreciate. And today there was actually another white guy in there, the first I’d ever seen in there.
(By the way: Jason once visited a Spanish restaurant and wrote that he and his compañero “were the only white guys in there.” Well, I don’t know if his parents or his sister never told him, or the fact that his folks owned a Chinese restaurant never tipped him off, but Jason is definitely not a … oh, never mind. Don’t tell him. It’s probably too late anyway, him being a Gator and all.)
And so we roll.
Pupuseria Salvadoreña, 1612 S. 8th St., Rogers, AR 479.636.1214
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.