A freestanding shack on a relatively desolate stretch of E 14th street, this spot has clearly been through multiple incarnations – as far as I could tell, it has been at different times a hot dog stand, a Chinese take-out place, and most recently, a Southern-style BBQ place, before settling on its current identity as a hybrid Mexican/Southern grill. Smoke billows from the giant grills in the parking lot, and 8”X11” sheets papering the counter and windows beckon – “Ribs, fries and sweet potato pie” “Pupusas sabado y domingo”. Who could resist? We ordered the rib and fry combo (alas, there was no sweet potato pie to be had, and there were no substitutions), and a few pupusas.
As we settled in, the rhythmic slap-slap-slap of pupusa-making in the background, I noticed the cash register, flanked by a lucky bamboo plant on one side and a lucky ceramic cat on the other. My pupusas (one revuelta, with bean, cheese and chicharrones, can’t remember the other) came on a plastic Chinese patterned plate, along with an excellent curtido, and an insipid pink salsa. The pupusas themselves were delicious, especially the revuelto, with its luxurious bits of pork.
The rib were smoky but too dry, with a mediocre jarred sauce on the side. We suspect they may have a better hand with the grilled chicken, and will stick to the Latin side of the menu next time.
Carniceria La Guadalupana
16661 E 14th St, San Leandro, CA 94578