Friday, September 7, 2012

The Road, No. 10: Pupuseria Salvadorena [Eating Our Way Down Nolensville Pike]

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Happy birthday to me!
  • Happy birthday to me!
Welcome to The Road, my column in which I'm going to attempt — key word: attempt — to eat at every non-chain restaurant on Nolensville Pike between I-440 and the county line. I'll readily admit that even though I live right off Nolensville — Paragon Mills represent! — and revel in the diversity and quantity of its eateries, I have barely scratched the surface of what the strip has to offer. But now I'm going to rectify that, and hopefully you'll join for what's likely to be a wild ride.

Episode 10: Pupuseria Salvadorena
Address: 340 Welch Road
Phone: 293-0437

Happy birthday to my fellow Virgos, Pupuseria Salvadorena! Today's their fourth anniversary, and I wish them all the work in the world! Not that they really need luck — they've got great pupusas and possibly the best breakfast on Nolensville Pike, so they should be in good shape. And I'd like to say thanks for the roasted/carmalized squash dessert — it's your birthday, you didn't have to get me anything! And yeah, you gave it to everybody who came through today, but it made me feel special. And a little overwhelmed — I'm not much of a sweets guy, and that was pretty intense. I can see why it's reserved for special occasions.

For the unfamiliar, PS is a little hole-in-the-wall crammed in between the Shell Station and Spanky's Sports Bar behind the Walmart at the corner of Harding and Nolensville. It's an unassuming family restaurant that doesn't serve booze and looks a little rough around the edges, but has a 95 for a health score — for those who care about such things — and some of the best home cooking on The Road. The matriarchal kitchen is always humming with activity, and the dining room is always busy with families and friends. It has a wonderful down-home vibe that's easy to feel even if your home may not be, oh, Central America.

Basically, it's the neighborhood diner, which is, basically, why I love my neighborhood. And like any good diner, they have a seriously boss breakfast that's not on the menu but that you can get all day. (Score!) There's only one breakfast option, but it is the option to end all options — eggs, plantains and lusciously spiced frijoles, with a heap of crema, a slice of queso fresco and a couple of thick, fresh, handmade tortillas. It's almost too much food — I can't finish it, frankly — but it will definitely ping every single last flavor receptor in your ever-lovin' mind. It beats I-HOP to a bloody pulp, and goes great with a tall glass of horchata. Look at the picture up there and tell me that's not the best way to wake up!

But if breakfast isn't your deal (you've got issues), then you can't go wrong with the pork/bean/cheese-stuffed handmade tortillas that are the restaurant's namesake and specialty. PS serves the most flavorful, satiisfying chicahr√≥nes on The Road, with a subtle spice that brings warmth and depth to the filling and goes great with their curdito, the vinegar slaw that accompanies each order. The funny thing is — and this is where the home cooking thing really connects for me — the spice in the chichar√≥nes reminds me of my grandfather's corton. If you can make food that reminds me of granddad's corton, well, that means I love you. A lot.

Happy birthday, ladies!

Oh, while I'm here, does anyone know what this dessert is called? I looked all over the Internet but couldn't find it.

Mystery squash!
  • Mystery squash!

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