By Denise Ortuno
Lovers of Pupusas can rejoice, with the authentic flavors at El Guanaquito Pupuseria & Mexican Food in Cathedral City.
I first had a Pupusas at a local restaurant where it was used as a base for a take on Eggs Benedict. But those Pupusas were a far and distant cry from the incredibly luscious ones that I had at El Guanaquito Pupuseria & Mexican Food in Cathedral City.
The popular spot opened over a year ago by Chef Reyna Guardado and her husband Oscar Cureno. Guardado, who has worked hard as a chef for over 29 years, is a native of El Salvador, and brings many of her countries recipes to their restaurant. The stand out item is their Pupusas. For those of you who have yet to try this stuffed pillow of tasty goodness, let me give you the lowdown. A Pupusas is a traditional Salvadoran dish made up of filled corn tortillas. The fillings can range from cheeses, meats, loroco herb, refried beans and vegetables (and combinations thereof). They are usually served with salsa and curtido, which is a spicy cabbage slaw that adds a crunchy element to the supple richness of the Pupusas.
I heard about the Pupusas paradise from a friend who assured me that these pockets of goodness were something to behold, and he was right. On my visit, I was greeted by Guardado herself. Her friendly and inviting demeanor paved the way for delightful noshing. Upon being seated, I immediately scanned the menu for the Pupusas, and after some clarification on the selections from Guardado, chose three different ones. I went for the Revuelta (refried beans, pork and cheese), Queso, Loroco Y Jalapeno (cheese, loro herb, and jalapeno) and Queso Y Frijoles (cheese and refried beans).
All three came out hot and fresh, with several different salsas and some curtido. I was itching to dive into the Pupusas, and with a fork full of the pleasure pocket, I was in my favorite state of Yum! The Pupusas were soft, with bronze crispness freckled upon its outer layer. The fillings had an appropriate ratio, and did not overwhelm the vessel, establishing a creamy, cheesy, savory component. I enjoyed all of the homemade salsas, but I was most partial to the green variety which had a substantial amount of heat to it…just the way I like it!
Apart from the Pupusas, I also had to have an order of their Platano Frito Y Crema (fried plantain with sour cream). The plantain was not overly sweet, but rather offered a breathy lite fruitiness, amplified by the caramelization of being fried. The sour cream was the creamiest sour cream that I’ve ever had, and supported the mellow sweetness of the dish. An excellent dessert!
El Guanaquito Pupuseria & Mexican Food offers many other items besides their delicious Pupusas, including Breakfast selections (Huevos Rancheros Omelets and Chilaquiles), Combination Plates (Enchiladas, Chile Rellenos, and Burritos), House Specialties (Molcajete and Bistec Salvadoreno) plus many, many more. The opportunity to turn up the volume on your taste buds is immense.
The undeniable take on El Guanaquito Pupuseria & Mexican Food is their authenticity. From their magical Pupusas, to the Platano Frito Y Crema, to the amiable owners. It was a genuinely delectable experience that I look forward to repeating!
El Guanaquito Pupuseria & Mexican Food is located at 68-525 Ramon Road, Cathedral City, 92234 www.elguanaquitopupuseriamexicanrestaurant.com