Delicias Brianna Chicago | Tiny Lincoln Square restaurant offers taste of El Salvador, Guatemala

September 28, 2012 (CHICAGO)

"That's the most typical food in Salvador. It's like you cannot get breakfast if you don't have a pupusa. You cannot have lunch, if you don't have a pupusa," said co-owner Hugo Gutierrez. Delicias Brianna focuses on the flavors from El Salvador and Guatemala.

Salvadorian pupusas take years of experience, shaping, patting and forming dough to make delicious, disc-shaped meals.

When presented to the table, they look like slightly overweight tortillas that have been griddled on either side. But cut into one of them, and you quickly realize they are all stuffed with something savory.

They begin, as all pupusas do, with corn masa, or dough. They first have to be pounded out by hand, to make room for the fillings, which you get to choose.

"We put the cheese, we put the beans and then we put the pork. Those three ingredients we put to make the typical pupusa," Gutierrez said.

Then the masa is formed around the filling, pinched off to remove any excess, and methodically pounded and formed by hands that have years of experience. This is not work that can be mechanized or sped-up. On the side, two sauces and some crunchy cabbage are offered as typical accompaniments.

"We have like a little coleslaw - we call cortido - and then we put red sauce, it's not hot, and then we have the jalapeno," he said.

More recently, Gutierrez and his family have come up with a super-sized version they call the loco, or crazy pupusa.

"We can put cheese, beans, pork, jalapeno and chicken. That's the famous one right now," he said.

After it's carefully enclosed, then patted and flattened-out on the counter, it hits the griddle for a few minutes per side. When it hits the table, it's the size of a frisbee; more than enough for two to share. Gutierrez says his country's famous dish is definitely worth a try.

"Because that's something you're gonna love and you're not gonna forget about it," said Gutierrez.

Delicias Brianna
4911 N. Western Ave.
(773) 334-5554

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