poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

El Patio… Loco*

2 Comments

Aren't laminated menus so homey and old-school?

Aren't laminated menus so homey and old-school?

Have you ever had a pupusa?  My pupusa cherry was popped last month after a visit to El Patio Salvadoran restaurant in the Mission (SF).  What is a pupusa, exactly?  It’s like a flour pancake filled with stuff, such as cheese and/or meat, and grilled.  More importantly, it is delicious.

Two pork and cheese pupusas topped with salsa, served with beans and rice.

Two pork and cheese pupusas topped with salsa, served with beans and rice.

El Patio Restaurant is a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant with a family-run feel and very affordable dishes.  I liked that the decor was mix of kitsch (glossy red hearts — it was the day after Valentines day) and traditional Mayan paintings and sculptures.

Giant Mayan sculptures are part of the decor at El Patio. (Pretty lady not a permanent part of the display.)

Giant Mayan sculptures are part of the decor at El Patio. (Pretty lady not a permanent part of the display.)

Fake, super brightly colored flowers: also part of the decor.

Super brightly colored flowers (fake and real): also part of the decor.

I was feeling adventurous, especially with MA, my friend and guide-to-all-things-Latino, at my side.  Thus, I not only ordered 2 pork and cheese pupusas, but also the atol de elote, which is listed as a soup but which MA informed me is usually served as a drink.  A really, really thick drink that is ingested with a spoon.  I loved it — it was creamy and thick like corn chowder, but also sweet with a hint of cinnamon like horchata.  It was the perfect thing for a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon.

Don't let the boring looks fool you... this atol de was soooo delicious.

Don't let the boring looks fool you... this atol de elote was soooo delicious.

Of course, I couldn’t resist the offer to try some of MA and AJ’s fried plantains.  YUM.

Fried plantains, served with beans and crema.

Fried plantains, served with beans and crema.

*This post is dedicated to the original El Patio of my heart — El Patio Loco in Chapel Hill, NC which is sadly no longer in business.  When my friends told me the news last year, I was so stunned that I might have taken a moment of silence.  Even though El Patio Loco called itself a Mexican restaurant, they didn’t just serve tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.  They also served (and introduced me to) fried plantains and fried yucca.  Their real fruit juice margaritas and amazing, home-cooked style lunch specials made El Patio Loco one of the only reasons I actually miss Chapel Hill.  And it makes me sad to know that it’s no longer there.  RIP, El Patio Loco.

Author: Jen

Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

2 thoughts on “El Patio… Loco*

  1. wow this is making me so hungry all over again!!

    btw, the pupusa is made with corn usually. i need more plantains in my life!

  2. Let’s have a moment of silence for El Patio Loco.

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