The only thing better than a warm, griddle-fried pupusa is a whole basketful of them. That’s why we can’t be more pleased that a new pupuseria has opened up in Old Brooklyn, which brings the total number of regional spots specializing in the Salvadoran mainstay up to four.
Two months ago, Pupuseria Katarina (4848 Broadview Rd., 216-331-6624) opened up about a half mile north of the Broadview-Brookpark intersection, joining three existing west-side joints: La Casa Tazumal, Pupuseria La Bendicion and El Arepazo y Pupuseria. Like the others, this one is super-casual, with a few tables filling up a bright but spare dining room.
The bulk of the concise menu is devoted to pupusas, inch-thick corn pancakes stuffed with various fillings and fried on a griddle. All the classic varieties are here, including straight-up cheese, one with cheese, refried beans and pork, and loroco, a Salvadoran green vegetable. Katarina also offers versions with chicken, jalapeno and one called pupusa loca, which is kind of like the “kitchen sink” variety, employing every ingredient on the menu. All pupusas are $2 each except the loca, which is $5.
Pupusas are always made and fried to order and served with curtido, a cool, bright and crunchy cabbage slaw that is the perfect accompaniment to the warm, doughy corn cakes. Also served on the side is salsa roja, a thin, mild tomato sauce. None of the above items are spicy, but there are bottles of commercial hot sauce on most tables.
The restaurant also offers larger plates like griddle-cooked steak ($12), whole fried fish ($10), and the Salvadoran Breakfast ($7.50), which is loaded with refried beans, fried eggs, cheese and sour cream. On the weekends, the kitchen prepares homemade empanadas.
Pupuseria Katarina is open every day but Monday.