>> El Paso Centroamericano | Eat the World NYC

19 June 2019

El Paso Centroamericano


My first experience with quesadilla salvadoreña came almost 15 years ago shortly after crossing the border with Honduras and sitting down for a coffee after a grueling overnight international bus trip. In the charming city of San Miguel, under the watchful eye of the nearby volcano with the same name, I pointed to the last piece left under a fly screen. After my order at around ten in the morning, they had already sold the lot.

I was too tired to inquire what I was ordering, it had just been far too long since I had previously eaten and still hours away from being able to unload my backpack in the guesthouse I would be staying. By the look of it not a lot of hope was inspired, but that quesadilla ended up giving me life and has to this day been an automatic order whenever I see it on the counter at a Salvadoran restaurant.

Much different than its more famous namesake to the north, quesadilla salvadoreña ($2, above and below) is actually bread and more often is thicker than the version served here. It usually appears more like a small loaf, but what makes it quesadilla is the prominent use of cheese, specifically finely grated queso fresco. Made slightly sweet by sugar and cream, its natural place in life is to be served alongside a cup of coffee.

On that trip, I found many different versions and varieties, quesadilla changes from north to south and east to west in the small nation. Each family or bakery or coffee shop will have their own recipe. Most have the thicker consistency of pound cake, sometimes with burnt edges like the thin cake here.

If you have room for more, try another Salvadoran antojito that differs from the Mexican version, the enchilada (below). A puffed up and fried tortilla is topped with meats, cheese, and pickled cabbage. Sometimes you see this with an egg on top as well, but they did not serve it that way here.

This visit coincided with the first match of the Women's World Cup, which some of the other patrons were getting into. This made it an easy decision to order a few bottles of Pilsener, El Salvador's nicest export beer. Pupusas are also popular here of course, most other customers who came in ordered plates of them in both corn and rice versions.

Next time you are uptown and need a Salvadoran fix, this is your spot.

Mi Paso Centro Americano Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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