Quantcast

Worth a Second Look

The Cuisine: Salvadoran
The Place: El Pulgarcito



Carne asada tacos in handmade corn tortillas El Pulgarcito are good, but Salvadoran specialties like pupuses are your best bet.

Carne asada tacos in handmade corn tortillas El Pulgarcito are good, but Salvadoran specialties like pupuses are your best bet.

In Charlotte, Little El Salvador occupies half a city block. Gathered around a single parking lot are Salvadoran stores, bakeries, and restaurants with neon signs advertising the country’s national food—the pupusa.

On a friend's recommendation, we picked a restaurant called El Pulgarcito de America. The interior resembles an old diner, with vinyl booths a little the worse for wear. Our waitress was friendly and attentive, although her command of English was limited. Pictures next to each menu item help resolve potential language barriers.

The restaurant also serves a full Mexican and Honduran menu, but we chose to stick with the Salvadoran specialties. We were not disappointed. Pupusas turn out to be thick, handmade corn tortillas stuffed with beans, cheese, or pork. They are round—about the same size and color as an English muffin. The bean and pork pupusa is superbly tender, while the cheese-filled variety is somewhat bland. Both benefit from the accompanying tomato-based salsa.

Salvadoran food, by and large, is not spicy—the hottest item we tried was the coleslaw, a side dish for most items. A plantain-filled empanada is sweet and tender. The chicken tamale comes wrapped in a banana leaf, with a rich, brothy flavor and melting texture. We did not believe the plain corn tamale could surpass it until we tried it—sweet, almost like corn pudding, with a tangy sour cream sauce that complements it perfectly. Chicharrones (chunks of pork fried at high temperature) are crispy, succulent, and dangerously addictive—although some pieces are excessively fatty. Beverages include a selection of Latin American beers (along with a few domestics) and bebidas naturales made from tropical fruits like tamarind and mango.

While I am intrigued by the other places on the block, I may have to come back to El Pulgarcito a few more times before venturing further.

El Pulgarcito
4816 Central Ave.
704-563-6500
$-$$, L.D. Daily

More »Related Stories

Mountain Cabin Cuisine: Stone Mountain Grill

This restauant offers familiar cuisine in a warm atmosphere

Baku Brings New Flavors to SouthPark

A trendy and traditional take on Japanese cuisine

Old World Meets New at Halcyon

The uptown eatery offers a new chef, a new menu, and a new focus on Old World techniques

Fresh Take: Cantina 1511

The restaurant has a new outlook—and more changes are on the way

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:

Blogs »


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Sow Much Good

Providing fresh produce and farm goods to those in urban deserts, Sow Much Good has reopened

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte (4/16/14): Blue Man Group, Springsteen, & Local Natives

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

The 'Republican Civil War'

A Monday afternoon sampler.

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

NoDa Brewing takes gold in World Beer Cup

Hop, Drop ‘N Roll lays claim to top American IPA

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

The Mint's 61st Annual Room to Bloom

From a book signing with an international designer to an elegant evening outdoors, this fund-raiser is packed opportunities

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Concerts in the Round

South Charlotte will host Concerts in the Round again this summer and the fun kicks off soon

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

Will Springsteen Cover a Local Song Saturday?

Comments


Making Pictures

Photographs from Charlotte and beyond

#OpeningKnight

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

4 Local Plant Sales this Weekend

Get out and make your purchases

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Tillis's 'Big Boy Pants' and the Creeping Tyranny of Toll Roads

A leaked recording of Thom Tillis unveils a silly phrase and the warped mindset of his GOP opponents.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Easter Brunches in Charlotte

Easter is next Sunday, April 20, so make those reservations if you want a special brunch out with family and friends

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

Charlotte Knights' Opening Day Schedule (And Six More Weekend Events)

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Your chance to brew with Olde Mecklenburg and NoDa

Video submissions for collaboration contest are due April 15

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Celebrate Knights Baseball, Fashion Mixers, Party with Brody Jenner, Beach Bash, and More April 10-13

You know the drill… get in where you fit in!

Comments


Making Pictures

Photographs from Charlotte and beyond

Finding A New Mayor In 10 Pictures

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

The Burden of Incumbency

The GOP primary for U.S. Senate looks like it'll result in a runoff—a fitting result in an age when incumbency ain't what it was.

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Let IKEA Redo Your Room

Submit a video to the Home Tour Squad

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

Photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair Talks Women of Vision

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Brunch at Block & Grinder, Kids Eat Free at Nan & Byron's, and Updates from the Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton uptown has some exciting events in the coming weeks, there's a new reason to bring kids to Nan & Byron's, and Block & Grinder will be bringing back Sunday brunch

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

5 Reasons Why Dan Clodfelter Was the Right Choice For Charlotte Mayor

Risk is good sometimes. This was not one of those times.

Comments