Out to Lunch: Guanaco's Tacos Pupuseria


OK, we know “pupusa” is a funny word. And, speaking as the kid who always snickered during health class—and sometimes personal finance class—I will try to get through this whole report without falling off my chair and disturbing people who are actually trying to finish their lunch in peace.

The pupusa is a stuffed, griddled flatbread made of masa, a Salvadoran staple. Guanaco’s Tacos Pupuseria specializes in them.

Don’t bother with the rest of the menu, because the pupusas are dynamite. They’re $2.35 each, and two pupusas will fill you up. You can select from a number of fillings, and your pupusa is filled and fried on the spot, until the exterior is slightly crispy and the interior oozing with cheese, loroco (a flower bud that tastes like a cross between a sweet pepper and Swiss chard) and jalapeños—which happens to be my favorite combination.

Or go for finely ground pork with refried beans. I haven’t come across a pupusa filling I didn’t like. The pupusas themselves aren’t spicy, but every order comes with a cup of curtido—spicy, vinegary cabbage slaw—and squeeze bottles of red and green salsa.

Now, remember when I said not to bother with the rest of the menu? I take it back. Try the taco Guanaco ($2.99), which is not a taco. It’s not a pupusa, either. It’s a Bratwurst-and-mozzarella burrito. I am not saying a word, except: Get it with sautéed onions and eat it there, because it’s extremely juicy.

Guanaco’s has two locations: one in the back of the Alley Building on Broadway, a few paces off the street; and the original at the corner of 41st and Brooklyn in the University District. If a guy falls off his chair laughing when you order your pupusa, that’s me.

Bottom line: Premium pupusas at picayune prices.


Guanaco’s Tacos Pupuseria
[ University District ]
4106 Brooklyn Ave. NE, Suite 102A

[ capitol hill ]
219 Broadway E, Suite 14
Lunch and dinner daily