North Main Street, about a quarter of a mile north of the Main Street Station Hotel and Casino, is not an area where most gringos often tread….especially after dark.
Truth be told, we’re not sure anyone travels this forlorn strip of road — populated as it is by a few flea bag motels, and used auto parts shops. The only time we usually get up this way is when someone we know dies, and we’re forced to find a parking spot somewhere in the vicinity of the Palm Mortuary.
But every so often, we get a hankerin’ for some Salvadorean (or is it Salvadoran?) pupusas — those stuffed, cornmeal pancakes — and when we do, the Salvadoreno — right in the middle of this desolate stretch of street — is where we head.
It’s a big, open friendly place, where there’s always a soccer match on the telly, and lots of Salvadoran (or is it Salvadorian?) families chowing down on the food of their homeland.
When we walk in, it’s usually like one of those western movie scenes where a gringo walks into the cantina and the whole place comes to a halt while everyone thinks to themselves: “What’s HE doing in here?”
Regardless, the proprietress couldn’t be friendlier, and the pupusas couldn’t be more pulchritudinous — thick, meaty cornmeal stuffed with cheese, chicken, beans, jalapenos or pork (or a combo thereof). We’re also partial to their slightly sweet and tangy curtido (coleslaw), and that thick-but-still-a-little-runny Salvadorian (or is it Salvadorean?) crema — a whiter and tangier sour cream than you get in Mexico. ELV ain’t no expert, but he knows that many a difference exists between the sour creams of many a Central American country.
We like the El Salvador* (or is it Salvadorian?) variety for just those reasons, and find ourselves addictive-ly dipping our eggs and pupusas in it. We even find it makes the re-fried beans more palatable. In fact, it makes those frijoles tastier here than in any mediocre Mexican joint we can think of. It almost makes us like the little, soupy re-fried critters….but not quite.
The above lunch for one, with a couple of huge glasses of tamarindo, came to $20 – $16+$4 tip, and is worth every penny for this handmade, Central American succulent sustenance.
720 North Main Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101-1914
* Isn’t saying “the El Salvador” like saying the The Salvador? Just as referring to the Los Angeles Angels is like saying: the The Angels Angels? Of such things does ELV lie awake at night and ponder.