Guanacos Café Serves Pupusas in Paradise

Guanacos Café & Pupuseria serves up savory cornmeal pancakes filled with meat, cheese, and vegetables.

Photograph by HATSUE

Guanacos Café & Pupuseria serves up traditional dishes from El Salvador, including tamales, carne asada, and pescado frito. However, as the name suggests, this is pupusa territory. Never had one? Imagine a savory, cornmeal pancake filled with cheese, meat, and vegetables.

Guanacos Café offers six varieties: queso (cheese), chicharron con queso (pork and cheese), frijol con queso (bean and cheese), mixta (pork, beans, and cheese), queso con loroco (cheese and loroco flower buds), and ayote con queso (zucchini and cheese). The cheese in each pupusa melts into the tortilla as it cooks, and each nibble ends in long, melty strings. The queso showcases this beautifully while the beans in the frijol con queso add a little extra texture. The pork in the chicharron con queso infuses the entire flatbread with a pop of deep savory flavor, and the same succulent meat can be found in the cheese and bean harmony of the mixta. It’s easy to mistake the artichokes in the queso con loroco for flowers, but not by how they taste. Their mellow blend makes an excellent base for the café’s house-made hot sauce. The finely grated zucchini holds its own in the ayote con queso, and while the squash’s texture disappears into the tortilla, the bright, fresh bite remains.

A glass of horchata de morro (morro, peanut, and spices) makes a sweet, creamy counterpoint to this rich meal. The milky drink also puts out any fire the hot sauce leaves behind.

Guanacos Café & Pupuseria, 500 Kolb Dr., Suite 4A, Fairfield, (513) 816-7680

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