I’ve been to the Red Hook Ball Fields on more than one occasion and each time I’ve had a pupusa or two. While the stuffed disks of masa de maíz make for a tasty snack, I’ve never been all that impressed. That said, I’ve always been amazed to see two pupusa vendors in such close proximity to each other, since there’s only a handful of Salvadoran restaurants in New York City. And truth be told, I’ve never been all that jazzed by pupusas I’ve eaten in a restaurant. So when a Salvadoran acquaintance told me she’d found the best pupusas in the city at a humble spot called Viña del Mar II, I decided to give the cheesy corn cakes another whirl.
Viña Del Mar’s pupusas are indeed the best I’ve ever had. For one thing, they’re huge and stuffed to the point of bursting. Just look at all that quesillo cheese oozing out. And they look as good as they taste. The masa in other pupusas is usually quite crispy—here it’s soft and sort of creamy, even though the cheese that has oozed out has turned brown and crispy. At $1.75 for a revueltas pupusa—which is filled with cheese, chicharrón, and beans—you can’t beat the price.
Here’s one more shot of pupusa porn. That same $1.75 buys a pupusa filled with the Salvadoran herb loroco, reputed to be a natural aphrodisiac rich in vitamins and minerals.
Viña Del Mar
89-14 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica NY 11435 (map) 718-291-1114