Iâ€™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 SalvadoreÃ±a inÂ Rogers, Arkansas.
Greetings from Rogers, Arkansas
N 36Â° 19.048â€™Â W 094Â° 07.695â€™Â Elev. 1355 ft.
I love pupusas. But what are they? Well, best I can figure theyâ€™re a cross between a tortilla and a hoe cake that I guess only Salvadorans make. Often theyâ€™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 SalvadoreÃ±a when I was picking-up at Tysonâ€™s, the evil corporate chicken pluckers and packers; itâ€™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 itâ€™s actually easier to park (in the Merchant of Death parking lot) at the #1, I like to go to this one. Itâ€™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 havenâ€™t determined exactly what kind of meat it is but itâ€™s definitely some cut of beef, and stewed to tender perfection. Itâ€™s served with rice, refried beans and two or three pupusas, depending on how theyâ€™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). Thatâ€™s the whole beans before they smash them up. (Most Mexican restaurants have these if you ask.) Unfortunately, they didnâ€™t have any.
Today, however, the beans werenâ€™t salty at all â€” the sauce on the relleno was! Still, it was really good, plus I hadnâ€™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. Itâ€™s usually grilled flank steak (I think), with onion, tomato and bell pepper in a ranchero sauce. Theirs is really good although Iâ€™ve failed every time to get them to make it picante (spicy) enough. Still, itâ€™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 PiÃ±a y Mango (pineapple and mango) but here they actually make it with apple in it as well. Itâ€™s got all kinds of really good pulp in it and takes a bit of sucking skill to get it up the straw.
They didnâ€™t have one of my favorite aguas frescas that they make there sometimes: Melon (cantaloupe). They donâ€™t make my all-time favorite aguas frescas here: Sandia (watermelon) and PiÃ±a y Pepino (pineapple and cucumber). I know pineapple and cucumber seems an unlikely if not bizarre pairing, but itâ€™s incredibly delicious. Itâ€™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 Iâ€™d ever seen in there.
(By the way: Jason once visited a Spanish restaurant and wrote that he and his compaÃ±ero â€œwere the only white guys in there.â€ Well, I donâ€™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. Donâ€™t tell him. Itâ€™s probably too late anyway, him being a Gator and all.)
And so we roll.
Pupuseria SalvadoreÃ±a, 1612 S. 8th St., Rogers, ARÂ Â 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.