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The Dish: pupusas revueltas
The Location: El Tamarindo, 1785 Florida Ave. NW, (202) 328-3660
The Price: $1.50 each
The Skinny: El Tamarindo doesn’t serve the best Salvadorian or Mexican grub in town, but it does serve the best pork-and-cheese pupusa I’ve yet eaten. The surface is mottled with oily blisters—and that’s a good thing, as the spots of carmelization only intensify the salty, melting filling. And that center is the star of the show. The masa serves mainly as a thin jacket around the pork and mozzarella (!) cheese, providing corn flavor and just enough architecture without weighing the works down. This ratio means that El Tam’s pork-and-cheese pupusas are fairly good cold, as well—a rare feat for the discs, which often become rubbery and flavorless as they cool. An ample cup of chilled, vinegary slaw is provided to cut through the fat. (Disagree if you will about the pupusa, but I dare you to find a crisper, better seasoned slaw.) At less than 2 bucks a pop, and accompanied by gratis chips and salsa, these greasy, a la carte treats are an almost unheard-of value. And you can get them at 2 a.m.