Cafeteria Y Pupuseria Mister (Berea)
Published May 12 2017
Hours of Operation: M-Su 8A-8P
Location: 1129 Cedar Lane Rd.
Menu items consumed: Frijol con Queso Pupusa, Carne and Pollo Empanadas, Port Royal Export
This is another place that has 3 or 4 different names depending on what source you trust (ya know, the interweb via Google searching, the building sign, the street sign, the Book of Faces page...whatevs). And, yeah, so I also definitely didn’t even know this was a restaurant initially. Is it because I’m rusty enough on my Spanish to read the signs correctly? Perhaps. Is it because it’s on a side of town I don’t often visit? That didn’t help. Is it because I subconsciously didn’t really WANT another restaurant to ADD to the list (ya know it can be overwhelming sometimes to eat at ALL THESE different restaurants?! Oh, well, like I tell my wife, SOMEONE’s gotta do it)? Most likely. However when a friend of mine (who has been on quite a few restaurant escapades with me to this point) told me he REALLY wanted to go here because he heard they had great pupusas (and where in the Radius could you really find that to be unequivocally true?) so we made it happen.
When we arrived this Salvadorian joint was one of those places, like multiple Mexican restaurants I’ve previously visited in the area, that was a marriage between a quick stop/convenience store-like version of a grocery store mixed with a restaurant (when you order a beer you will even find yourself going to the cooler to pick whichever bottle you choose…nice). After the initial thought of how character-filled the joint was with the aforementioned layout I went to the table to join my one friend who had already arrived. It didn’t take long for me to realize that as I tried to talk I couldn’t help but find myself having to BOREDLINE SCREAM to be heard over the television. Later in the meal there were times when both my friends, sitting across the table, were speaking and I just quit trying to hear them (I’m not yet 30 and, despite early-onset-deafness thanks to listening to music consistently WUH-HAY too loudly, I still shouldn’t have to struggle-bus it this much to hear a conversation at OUR OWN TABLE…just saying – then again that is ONE way to eliminate creepers from eavesdropping onto OTHER people’s conversations…way to be proactive in this regard, Mister). The service was very kind and pleasant while we were seated and, while the food took a WHILE to be prepared, our server was never rude…this is the type of setting where there isn’t a whole lot more for the server TO do as we all had beers that didn’t need refilling; we barely drank much of our waters (since we got the beers), and this is Salvadorian – not Mexican – so it’s not like we had the chips-salsa combination for the server to replenish. There was a point where I was a bit irritated by the service…but we will get to that.
When our pupusas came to the table (FINALLY) it was the first time I’ve ever had one…and it was FRIGGIN’ AWESOME! The inside was hot with the exterior a perfectly grilled tortilla-like creation that was thick, fresh, and deliciously tasty. The beans were exactly what they should have been (soft and delectable) and the salsa and other sauce they put on the table were a GREAT combo to add a little extra bit of flavor that made the pupusas over-the-top-good. The empanadas I had were also GREAT. They were fried to perfection, fluffy but dense to the point they were filling but in no way the greasy-type of fried where you can be left feeling like you need to purge yourself; instead it was the type that sneak-attacks and makes you want to later yack because of just how full you are (have fun and eat slowly…as you HEED THIS FILLING WARNING!). The food as a whole was flatly delicious.
The only issue during our visit was the fact that Pupusas here are supposed to come in 2s (per the menu); good for my friends that theirs did. However mine simply did not. I mentioned this to the lady at the counter as we paid and she proceeded to, speaking loudly to the cook ACROSS THE RESTAURANT, ask said cook if she put 2 on the plate…the lady responded with a yes – meaning the lady at the counter then TOLD ME SHE PUT 2 ON IT!!! Nothing like Grade-A customer service in telling me that I AM WRONG! Hi, have I introduced myself? Sorry if I didn’t, but I’m the guy who CONSUMED THE SINGULAR PUPUSA!!! Thanks for playing.
All-in-all the food was delicious, the setting here was consistent with the type of joint it is (except for the RIDICULOUSLY BLARING television) as a market/restaurant, and the service gave me what I needed…ya know, up until the point that I was called a liar and, therefore, it didn’t. Other than that minor detail (uh…yah) it was very good.