mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog with an attempt at daily postings. Kirk is exhausted, researching posts for you to enjoy, as is Ed (from Yuma). Cathy is writing this post for today.
A few weeks ago, we ended up in Escondido and it was lunch time. Driving down Grand Avenue, we knew there were quite a few places we might want to try, but had A Delight of France as a definite backup plan. The Mister noticed this signage and was more or less curious about the “Pizza”…After we got home, I did some research and saw that cc had been here in October of 2013. She had done the research (thanks). It turns out Lynn had been here this year and wrote a post a year after noticing Cuscatlan at the 2014 Escondido Chocolate Festival.
in a nutshell: Pizza place owner is from El Salvador and once he had satisfied himself he could be a success at Italian food, he started bringing in the foods he knew from El Salvador}
(Estadio Cuscatlan is the largest sports stadium in Central America — link)
Turns out this had been an Italian restaurant, the pizza ovens are intact and pizza (as well as a few pasta dishes, sandwiches and salads) are on the menu in addition to Salvadorean food items. In fact, there are only three lunch specials: Pizza, Spaghetti or a small sandwich; none of those choices are Salvadorean…Since I read menus (and most everything) from the bottom up, the beverage “Ensalada” ($2.25) was part of our order, and it was brought out with the proper condiments of a mild, tomato sauce based salsa and curtido, the lightly fermented slaw-like Salvadorean accompaniment for pupusas.
Cabbage, carrots, onions and oregano in a tart lime juice sauce made up the crispy curtido.
The ‘Ensalada” was a fresh fruit cocktail, made with diced fruit (mango, pineapple, apple) and a bit of vanilla flavoring in ice water. Both were amazingly fresh as well as refreshing.All three of us mmm-yoyo writers have had good experiences at Salvadorean restaurants in Central and East San Diego County, as well as in Yuma. The Mister and I have no ‘must have’ items, so ordering the ‘Cuscatlan Combinacion’ ($13.95) seemed the logical choice.
Counterclockwise from the far left: A sweet corn tamale, fried plantains (those were both ‘dessert’), fried pork with battered fried yuca, a banana leaf wrapped pork tamale and two revueltas (bean/cheese/mix) pupusas. The small cups hold a Salvadorean sour cream (a bit sweeter, if you taste sour creams side by side) and finely pureed black beans…more condiments.Above, you can see a cross section of a pupusa and the pork tamale, removed from its banana leaf wrapping. The masa for the pork tamale is very fine; pureed in texture as well as being fluffy and light. Also there are potato pieces within, which made me think the pork was wrapped in mashed potato rather than corn meal (it did not taste like corn masa at all, especially when compared to the sweet corn tamale).
The yuca (cassava) pieces were lightly breaded and fried and the deep fried pork pieces were all meat, like a high end chicharron.
All in all, an excellent meal and taste of Salvadoran food.
Cuscatlan Salvadorian 221 E. Grand Avenue Escondido 92025 (760)291-1225 Open Sun-Thurs 10-9, Fri, Sat 10-10 Website
As in, yoso-silly, yoso-hungry, yoso-full, or best of all; mmm-delici-yoso!!!!! An Ex-Pat Kama’aina and Friends explore food in San Diego and points beyond. Reprinted by permission, for more from Cathy and Kirk, visit http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/.