All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
Buttonwillow. How can you NOT stop in Buttonwillow? It is about 2 hours north of Los Angeles off the I-5. I stopped there on a drive to San Francisco with my parents. We were looking for somewhere to eat & the signs on the freeway indicated there was an Indian restaurant & a Taqueria – so it seemed we would have access to something other than fast food & Denny’s. The taqueria in question was Tita’s Pupuseria. There was some pretty decent signage leading us to it so I was surprised to discover it is really a food truck – as you can see HERE. I love food trucks – so that didn’t throw me. What did throw me was an apparent lack of anything meatless – except for a rather exotic-sounding “squash & cheese pupusa.”
Now – I have lived in LA for 28 years and I am not proud of the fact that I speak only Mexican restaurant menu Spanish. I have the words for coffee, sugar & milk down, too. And beer. That’s about it. This food truck taught me I knew less Spanish than I thought – even of the food related category. Pupusa. WTF is a pupusa? I don’t like the sound of the word “pupusa.” It makes me envision a chubby vulva. I cannot explain why.
Speaking of vulvas, and I often do, if you are unaware of the erotifying vaginal scent – “Vulva – Original” – you need to correct that – immediately! Look HERE – and be sure to watch the video at the top of the page. HILARITY – I assure you! And – know that I put my money where my mouth is (and that just sounds super gay – given what I am discussing) and I acquired some VULVA. See?
This is a real crowd pleaser. It is very satisfying to have the actual stuff to pull out after making party guests watch the ad. To date – only one guy that I can remember seemed to think Vulva swelled at all like an “orjanic” woman. I think it smells like vaguely rancid cooking oil or an old bike chain. Others have their opinions. Nobody appeared “erotified” after smelling it, though. So – if this ad struck a chord with you – I recommend you stick to sniffing the seats on bicycles & save your $50.
Anyway – back to pupusas. Somehow, some way – after 28 years in LA – I have no fucking idea what a pupusa is. The only thing I could guess – and it’s what I always thought when I drove by “pupuserias” – because they obviously were not peddling chubby vulvas in there – was that it had to do with octopus. I’d drive by & think, “Those Spanish speaking folks sure love to eat their cephalopods.” OK. I thought, “Those Hispanics sure eat a lot of octopus.” And I don’t know why I thought it was octopus. Maybe Octopussy was some subliminal influence – given my first definition of pupusa. Then I looked up the word for octopus in Spanish – and found that it is “el pulpo.” So – that’s what I am going with now. I feel I must have seen octopus on the menu at – like – El 7 Mares some time in the late eighties & just walked away thinking pupusa meant octopus. Pupusa – el pulpo? Who can be expected to keep it straight? They just have a different word for everything in Spanish – don’t they? So difficult.
As an aside – check out this cutie octopus hiding under & then running with his little coconut house. Using tools & planning for the future are signs of advanced intelligence. Conversely – believing anything Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan say – is a sign of the opposite.
Yeah, yeah. Cheap shot. Moving on.
To make a long story short – I couldn’t bring myself to order the pupusa – whether it turned out to be octopus or a big twat stuffed with squash & cheese. Funny that I was so uptight about it since what I really wanted was a fish taco. Oh – so many vagina jokes! I’m the next Don Rickles.
So – my parents and I pulled back out on the road & spotted another food truck, nestled in the corner of the Arco parking lot. We decided to see if they might have a seafood option on the menu.
Here is Elsy’s Antojitos:
And guess what? They had tacos de pescado – which I KNEW meant seafood tacos! That’s my stepdad ordering us food. We each got two tacos & a huge, ICE COLD Mexican Coke and I think it all cost about $15. Nice!
While we waited for the food – and it took a surprisingly long time (which was the result of it all being made to order – a GOOD thing) – I had an epiphany & realized I could end the whole pupusa mystery by just Googling it. Duh. From the Elsy’s site:
Pupusas are basically corn tortillas stuffed with any combination of pork, cheese, beans, and a few other ingredients. They’re cooked for 8-12 minutes over a griddle by our skilled pupusa artesans.
Skilled pupusa artisans? Is that Spanish for lesbian?
Oh – the hits! They just keep coming.
And I’m leaving that joke alone.
So – we ordered a cheese one of these pupusas. I will say up front – it is more like a thick stuffed pita than corn tortilla – or a really doughy quesadilla. See HERE.
It was kinda greasy & not my thing – but I can also report – absolutely nothing like a chubby vulva. BUT – the seafood tacos were EXCEPTIONAL! They came with a grilled serrano pepper which was also yummy.
They were red hot & fresh & spicy & just about perfect. Sitting outside at picnic tables on a perfect late summer day – all three of us enjoyed our meal at Elsy’s tremendously!
So – if you ever find yourself in Buttonwillow – blow off that Indian place. Hit Elsy’s. Or try the joynt across the street & order the squash & cheese pupusas. I’m curious about those!!!! Does that make me “bi-curious?”
No. I’m not. But I am also not – it appears – above churlish, immature vagina references. So sue me. 🙂