Another week of pet-sitting opened up the weekday dining out opportunities… La Casita: Pupuseria & Market in Silver Spring, MD (8214 Piney Branch Rd). Little did we know that same day, the Washington Post reviewed them. We both ended up skipping lunch that day (his exhaustion and I played volleyball), so needless to say, we were starving and our eyes were big! We ordered two rounds, the first round was better than the second.
Chorizo asado: It is like a pork pork sausage. It had a thin casing with ground pork inside. It had a little peppery kick, but not too much. It was not hot/spicey at all. It was on the drier side and I did not like it. He enjoyed it. It was served with salsa. ($2.25)Pastels de Carne: Are a type of antojitos meaning street food. There were deep fried pockets filled with meat and a few vegetables. He described it as deep fried pot roast, to which I can not disagree. (Don’t be insulted) There were small chunks of beef with diced potato and carrot. We both enjoyed these. It was crisp. It was not overly greasy as you would imagine with most fried foods. ($3.75)
Pupusas: A staple to El Salvador and an amazing, simple concept. Think of it as the Salvadoran version of America’s grilled cheese. We ordered three different kinds. In the first round, frijol con queso (refried beans and cheese) and queso (cheese) pupusa. We ate our other foods first and saved these for last, big mistake. We learned on our second round of pupusa ordering, they need to be hot. Pupusas are hand-made and with Salvadoran cheese (cuajada). It is a soft cheese that gets very creamy and stringy when it melts. Our pupusas that sat a little bit, were not as stringy. Much better when they were still hot. Our second round, were the revueltas (pork and cheese). I am not sure whether they messed up our order or ran out of pork, because they tasted very similar to the cheese only ones. We did not get any pork flavor and couldn’t see it either, but we still loved them. The dough was very light and airy. Pupusas are served with fresh cabbage curtido & tomato salsa. I thought the cabbage added nice texture and salsa had a little kick, but nothing unbearable. The cabbage seemed fresh and extra crunchy. All in all, these were delicious and for my first experience, I thought they were fabulous. I will be searching out more pupusas soon! ($2.12 per pupusa)
Second round: (our eyes were still big, but stomachs getting smaller) This was not as good of an ordering as the first round.
Taco LC: I had to try the taco. It was steak, avocado, cheese and a little bit of the chimol (which is like a salsa) on a corn tortilla. I did not like the tortilla, it was too thick and dry. Seemed to take away from the flavors inside. But the steak, they hit it out of the park on that one. It was tender and super flavorful! The chimol is not spicy. ($2.75)
Yuca Chicharron: We had another antojito, which we expected to be similar to the first one (I don’t know why). But it was completely different. They asked us fried or steamed. We chose fried. This was fried yucca and pork. The pork was terrible. It was dry and tasted like it had been sitting under heat lamps all day. Maybe it would have been better if we went the steamed route? But, I assume they were referring to the yucca anyway.The yucca was ok. It was large pieces deep fried with a thin extra crispy breading. We were not expecting the dish to be like this so it is possible some of our dislike was due to being surprised and disappointed it wasn’t what we thought it was. It came served with a yellow sauce which tasted like honey mustard mayo. ($4.50)
Tamales pollo: We felt like we had to try the tamale (with chicken). We each took a bit and did not like it. I have yet to have tamales, but if they all taste like this, I will pass. It was soft and mostly like a corn taste, but not sweet like corn. I think we each only took a bite and said, no. ($1.95)
Lessons learned: Pupusas are amazing and cheap. They should be hot when you eat them.
Since everything is made to order, it does take a little bit of time to get your food. It is not a quick stop and go, but you can order ahead and have it waiting. Parking is also very limited. We parked across the street (may have not been legal), but we had no problems (It was also after 7:00pm).