12 September, 2019, 23:18

Selena’s brings Salvadorian food to former Desert Island Eatery space

The restaurant's menu features a variety dishes from El Salvador

Long time farmers market El Salvador food truck Selena’s Salvadorian Food quietly opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant at 2513 N. Campbell Ave., which previously housed Desert Island Eatery.

Inside the restaurant, owner Luis Gonzalez greets customers and handles front-of-the-house operations. Tables feature miniature El Salvador flags, while full size flags hang on the wall alongside rural village paintings.

The restaurant, appropriately named Selena’s Salvadorian Restaurant, features a variety of pupusas from which the food truck developed a following.

A pupusa is a corn flatbread about the thickness of your finger. In El Salvador, they are stuffed with ingredients such as cheese, loroco buds, beans, and chicharrón (pork). They are topped with a lightly fermented slaw (curtido) and a spicy tomato salsa.

The restaurant’s menu features a variety of other dishes from El Salvador as well, such as tamales, caldo de res, yuca con chicharrón, panes rellenosplatanano fritos, and pastelitos.

Interior at Selena's Salvadorian Restaurant

Interior at Selena’s Salvadorian Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Selena’s Salvadorian Restaurant Menu Highlights

  • Regular Pupusa ($3.75 regular, $6.99 grande) – refried pinto beans, mozzarella cheese mix, chicharrones
  • Vegan Pupusa ($3.75 regular, $6.99 grande) – refried pinto beans, spinach mix
  • Pupusa Deluxe ($7.50 grande) – refried pinto beans, mozzarella cheese mix, spinach mix, chicharrones, chipotle chicken
  • Vegan Tamale ($3) – stuffed with spinach spring mix, diced potatoes, diced carrots, refried pinto beans; wrapped in plantain leaves
  • Caldo de Res ($9.99) – beef broth, beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, yuca, green beans, squash, corn; served with two corn tortillas
  • Yuca con Chicharrón ($4.99) – topped with curtido and salsa
  • Panes Rellenos ($6.99) – toasted bolillo roll stuffed with chicken marinated in chile guajillo, chile morita, tomatoes, onion, sesame seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, thyme, cinnamon, garlic; with mayo, mustard, cucumbers, radish, tomatoes, curtido
  • Plantanos Fritos ($8.99) – fried sweet plantains with Salvadorian crema, refried pinto beans, scrambled eggs, chorizo, tomato, bell peppers, onion
  • Pastelitos Salvadorenos ($4.99 for 3, $7.99 for 5) – crispy empanadas stuffed with ground beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, red bell pepper, garlic
  • El Poco Loco ($7.99) – chicken bowl layered with brown rice, potatoes, carrots, grilled green chili, curtido

The menu also features assorted soft drinks, teas, and seasonal aguas frescas. The current Ensalada agua fresca features cashew fruit, mango, pineapple, green apple, red apple, and watercress.

Operating hours at the restaurant are 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sundays, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturdays. The stand is open at the Rillito Park Farmers Market from 8 a.m. – noon on Sundays.

Owner Luis Gonzalez at Selena's Salvadorian Restaurant

Owner Luis Gonzalez at Selena’s Salvadorian Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Selena’s Salvadorian Restaurant is located at 2513 N. Campbell Ave. Keep up with Selena’s Salvadorian Restaurant on Facebook.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.

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