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Pupusas Take Center Stage at New LES Restaurant

By Lisha Arino | March 9, 2015 1:35pm
 Cabalito, a new eatery on Essex Street in the Lower East Side, will serve pupusas, a staple dish from El Salvador.
Cabalito, a new eatery on Essex Street in the Lower East Side, will serve pupusas, a staple dish from El Salvador.
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LOWER EAST SIDE — A new eatery on Essex Street aims to give New Yorkers a taste of El Salvador when it opens Friday.

Cabalito, located at 13 Essex St., will feature pupusas — corn patties traditionally filled with cheese and other ingredients — according to owner Randy Rodriguez.

“It’s the dish of El Salvador,” said Rodriguez, 25, whose parents hail from the small Central American country. “Pupusas are what you get when you get there.”

Rodriguez said he was still finalizing the menu, but plans to offer five types of freshly made pupusas that cost about $3.50 each.

The fillings include “revueltas” — a pork, beans and cheese mixture — and loroco, a plant with a subtle, earthy flavor that only grows in El Salvador and Guatemala, he said. Cabalito will also offer a pork and cheese pupusa, as well as chicken and ground beef versions, he said.

Each order will come with a crunchy and savory salad called curtido — made with cabbages and carrots fermented in lime and vinegar — as well as a red salsa, he said.

The restaurant, which seats about a dozen people, will also serve small sides like rice and beans, fried plantains and chips and guacamole for about $2 to $3, Rodriguez added.

Cabalito will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

In other restaurant news:

► Holiday Cocktail Lounge, located at 75 St. Marks Place, will reopen Monday night, two years after it closed, the New York Times reported. New management has taken over, according to the newspaper, but it has largely preserved the interior.

► Kenmare Street eatery Asiadog closed last week after deciding not to renew its lease, according to Bowery Boogie.

The restaurant’s owners announced the closing through a laminated letter posted on its gates, Bowery Boogie reported.

“We thank you for your endless support and look forward to bigger (yes, physically bigger) future,” they wrote, before encouraging customers to visit their Brooklyn location on Bergen Street or at the city’s food markets like Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg and Madison Square Eats.

Asiadog, which served Asian-inspired hot dogs, opened in 2010.

Puebla Mexican Food, located at 47 First Ave., will close this weekend after 25 years in business due to a rent increase, EV Grieve reported. The family-run restaurant’s last day is March 15, according to the blog.