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Restaurants & Bars 4

El Tazumel--Pupusas Deliciosas & chowpup flirtation

kfk | Jul 11, 200511:43 AM

My family also ventured to El Tazumel on rworange's recommendation. In towo were our 9 mo. old chowpups for their first dinner out (early bedtime has kept us eating in). The very friendly waitress greeted us with "you made it" as we entered: my husband had called for directions in advance. After making a spectacle of ourselves trying to find a table to accomodate 2 carseats that wasn't under the speaker (pumping really loud spanish and then english rap music), we were given menus. The restaurant was about 1/3 full at 5:15, by 6:30 when we left it was almost completely full. I wasn't able to fully study the menu, but it had the extensive assortment detailed by rworange.

We ordered a large ensalada, a chicken salvadorean tamal, 2 pupusas con queso y lorocco, bistec salvadoreno and coctel de camarones. B enjoyed the chips and salsa while I fed boys mashed carrots in their carseats. Then I spied high chairs in the corner, and had B nab us 2. This was the only service glitch we experienced: It was strange that they weren't offered to us when we were seated.

The ensalada came first. Initially I found it too sweet (like a bright yellow fruit punch), but it grew on me. As I got the boys in the chairs, the food arrived, filling the table. I only got bites of the tamal (steaming hot, fluffy masa, chicken filling had garbanzos and unpitted tiny green olives) and the bistec (thin, rather tender steak in a tomatoey sauce). B preferred the tamal, he found the bistec tasty enough but didn't like the rice and beans. It did come with 2 amazing homemade corn tortillas, however. The pupusas were amazing! Grill marks on the outside, lots of hot melty cheese and tiny dices of lorocco inside. I admit that I didn't use either the salsa rojo or the curtido--I had too much to juggle trying to feed boys, keep them from grabbing what was on the very full table and feeding myself. My coctel came in a large goblet, with lime wedges and saltines on the side (and hot sauce and ketchup). The bottom layer was a very fresh very mild salsa (tomatoes, onions, cilantro), then about 6 perfectly cooked med-lg. shrimp, topped with diced avocado. Again, my juggling act prevented proper assemblage of this dish, I just ate from the top down. It was wonderful, very light and fresh tasting, an excellent counterpoint to the rich cheesy pupusas.

The chowpups did awesome. The young waitress asked to pick each one up out of their highchairs and then she proceeded to show them to the ladies patting out pupusas in the kitchen. Z is a super flirt, and made many lady friends in addition to the lovely waitress. J only had eyes for the waitress.

The pups are just starting to eat bits of non-baby mash. So in addition to their snacks from home (carrots, cheese, apple/apricot sauce), they gobbled up bits of the homemade tortilla and then bits of warm pupusa. The avo on my coctel also was eaten with relish.

As we left the waitress asked how we found out about the restaurant. I did a very weak job explaining chowhound to her. We were the only anglos in the place but the service was very welcoming and the boys, as usual, provided a smooth entre. We will definitely return, the only real downside for me was the loud music!

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