100 Favorite Dishes, No. 73: Pupusas at La Pasadita

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This is the happiest lap you've ever seen.
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Just off of Columbia Avenue on Carroll Road, there's a tiny beer store that always seems to have a few more cars in the lot than a tiny beer should. The reason for that is Ana Ortiz, who's assembled a team of pupusa makers that rival any around for her tiny La Pasadita. Not that there's anything wrong with cheap canned beer and cigarettes, but it's pretty hard to beat cheese and melting pork fresh from the flat top.

At lunch the place is often filled, and on the weekends you have to fight to get to the the tiny counter at the back, but the struggle is worth it. Get two pupusas and make sure you order yours with pork and cheese. Your whole day is about to improve.

The secret (actually there are lots of secrets) is in how Ortiz cooks the pork: first braising it on a small burner until it's soft, and then cooking it on the flat top while slowly breaking it down with a spatula. The result is a mountain of pork reduced to impossible fine shreds, with each thread seared with a little crispness from the grill.

Mix that with melted cheese and warm masa and you'd have a fine enough snack on its own, but add a big pinch of curtido, a lightly fermented cabbage slaw, and your lunch becomes uncommonly good. Ortiz sells so many pupusas her curtido always seems to have a crunch and freshness that other pupuserias lack. Her salsa is a cut above the others too, with plenty of heat and pungent cilantro. All this for $1.75 a piece makes for one of the best budget lunches you'll find in Dallas. Or stop in for an evening snack and forgo the wait. They're open until 11 p.m.

No. 100: Pastrami Egg Rolls at Blind Butcher
No. 99: Chicken-fried Steak at Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 98: Pasta with Uni Butter at Nonna
No. 97: Camarón en Agua Chile at La Palapas
No. 96: The Wings at Lakewood Landing
No. 94: Chicken Kebab at Afrah
No. 93: Trompo Tacos at Bachman Lake
No. 92: Fish and Chips at 20 Feet
No. 91: Canelés at Village Baking Co.
No. 90: Banh Mi from La Me
No. 88: The Burgers at Off-Site Kitchen
No. 87: The White Album at Spoon
No. 86: Ramen at Tei An
No. 85: Tacos at Revolver Taco
No. 84: Stuffed Chicken Wings at Sakhuu
No. 83: Korean Fried Chicken at Bonchon
No. 82: Grilled Branzino at Tei Tei Robata
No. 81: The Toddfather at Cattleack Barbecue
No. 80: The Biryanis at Chennai
No. 79: Shish Tawook at Qariah
No. 78: Arepes at Zaguan
No. 77: Goat Momo at Everest Restaurant
No. 76: Steak Tartar at Gemma
No. 75: Escabeche at Joyce and Gigi's
No. 75: Escabeche at Joyce and Gigi's
No. 74: Spicy Fish in Oil at Royal Sichuan


Location Info

Pupuseria La Pasadita

205 N. Carroll Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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2 comments
G_David
G_David

I've been tipped off to this place, which I drive by every day on my way to work, but have never partaken.  Gotta fix that quick.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

 "but it's pretty hard to beat cheese and melting pork fresh from the flat top"........sounds AMAZING!  The only thing that trumps that is a chopped brisket taco at Buccee's; it's a greasy mess, but SOOOOO good; and worth destroying a pair of shorts for. 

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