Los Gatos Comida Salvadoreña

Oh man, so I was in the field for a couple days last week, this time in central Oregon. My intrepid coworker and I were feeling a bit peckish, and still had at least 4 hours to go before we hit Prairie City (oxymoron that it is). We stopped in Madras, the last “urban” area we’d see for awhile on Highway 26, nearly screeching to a halt upon finding a pupusería on the main drag.

Tammy ordered up a horchata to sip while we waited. I’m normally a pretty adventurous person, but I just can’t wrap my mind around horchata. I dunno. It sounds like a tahini milkshake. I had a Diet Pepsi for the caffeine.

I ordered up some pupusas and platanos con frijoles y crema, Tammy ordered tamales de pollo. We were overjoyed when our plates of hot and cheesy arrived dressed with a crunchy slaw.

The pupusas revueltas were filled with frijoles and melted cotija – dense and chewy – yet they bore an airy quality that begged you to devour the whole damn platter. The tortillas were made of rice flour (de arroz is the typical Salvadoran way), which gave the whole dish a bit of lift.

The tamales came wrapped in banana leaves, a steamy pillow of tender masa and shredded chicken. The house-made salsa roja cooled off an impatient bite to just below palate-scarring napalm.

“I want to eat nothing but this for the rest of my life,” cooed an ecstatic Tammy upon tasting the unctuous sweetness of fried platanos swabbed through cool crema and earthy frijoles refritos. Luscious and umami, hot and creamy delft all in one bite.

Los Gatos Comida Salvadoreña
129 S 5th Street
Madras, OR

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