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Bite of the Week: Bean and Cheese Pupusa at Pupusas Sandrita

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$6. Available at Soda City Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.). Main Street. sodacitysc.com.

One constant through the many years that Soda City has been on Main Street is the incredible amount of Latin food that you can find there each Saturday morning and early afternoon. There’s no way items like arepas were part of Columbia’s everyday eating vocabulary before the market, but now they’re a staple, popping up at mobile vendors throughout town, and at three or four stands during pretty much every Soda City.

Arepas and the many amazing taco options aren’t the only Latin staples at Soda City though. An unsung hero that’s held down the 1400 block for years now, Pupusas Sandrita, cranks out dozens of its namesake dishes a week. The national meal of El Salvador, pupusas are a cornmeal griddle cake that’s stuffed with any savory item you can imagine before being flattened into a pancake and grilled until perfectly crispy on both sides. Pupusas are almost always served with curtido, a pickled cabbage relish that’s bright, tart, and spicy all at once to help balance the super savory griddle cake.

Pupusa Sandrita offers pupusas that you can customize with everything from cheese to pork to veggies. You can even put their entire menu into your creation, creating an absolutely monster pupusa that will easily feed two or three people.

The simple bean and cheese is my go-to, though. The combination of soft, creamy beans and cheese in between the crispy, savory layers of the pupusa dough is just phenomenal. The tart curtido adds just the right amount of brightness and crunch to make each bite as exciting as the last. Pupusa Sandrita also offers a punchy hot sauce to help add even more dimension. Put it all together, and it’s a perfect street food that satisfies each and every time.

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