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Friday, February 12, 2010

Pre-Nap Pupusas: Your SFoodie Lunch Planner

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 7:00 AM

Pupusas & Casamiento
  • Pupusas & Casamiento
Fri., Feb. 12, 2010

There isn't a more pleasant place in San Francisco to eat pupusas than Balompie Cafe #3, a sunny cafe in the Outer Mission decorated sparsely in soccer memorabilia. There's often a man or two sitting at the bar, sipping at a civilized glass of red over their lunch hour, and others gathered along the banquettes, swapping anecdotes, laughing uproariously. The pupusas come out fat, evenly shaped, and practically sloshing with molten cheese, which flows out the moment you cut into the round and pools on the plate. Balompie isn't afraid to tweak the pupusa with ingredients like spinach or prosciutto (there's even a "gringo" pupusa filled with cheese and hamburger), but the classic chicharron y queso is still the one to order because, well, it's fried pork, isn't it? You can order the pupusas solo, or in a combo plate with a small mound of casamiento, rice stir-fried with a dollop of refried beans, aka a nap on a platter.

And bringing it all together, perhaps the real star of the meal, is the

bitingly sharp slaw called curtido, flecked with oregano and julienne

carrots. For some of us, the disappearance of the last shred of cabbage

― and it always disappears too fast ― is the sign that we should put

down the fork and walk away from the fried pork.

Balompie Cafe #3 3801 Mission (at Richland), 647-4000

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Jonathan Kauffman

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