La Perlita

Location, location, location--how many times have you heard someone say that?  Whether it was about a piece of real estate or someone thinking about where to locate a business, it's an important bit of truth.  It's also the first thing that pops into my head whenever I've visited one of the restaurants where La Perlita currently exists.  I do think their idea of putting tables out on the sidewalk was a good one.  It's one way of giving people an unmistakable cue that, "we're open for business!".

Recently a local Salemite mentioned that La Perlita, like La Margarita Express, has pupusas.  That's all the encouragement needed,  I wanted to give them a try.  N and I took advantage of our latest "blood date" to head on over to Chemekata to see how they compare.

It was 6:30PM on a Wednesday evening when we entered the restaurant.  We were the only customers and they were happy to see us.  Instead of a menu with pages and pages of choices, like many of the Mexican restaurants I've been to, their menu is a single page, printed on both sides.  I chose the Carne Asada and one pork & cheese pupusa, ala carte.  N decided on a Mole Burrito with one bean & cheese pupusa, ala carte.

After the delivery of our pupusas, I took the side of pickled slaw and spread it over the top.  Mmmm!  Very nice!  And it wasn't just the pork, N said his also had a nice flavor.  He did learn that the sliced chile in the slaw was a hot one, though!  My carne asada had been left on the grill just a tad too long, but I enjoyed the addition of the grilled onions, tomatoes and a squeeze of lime on top.  N had sat quietly eating his Mole Burrito, until I asked for his opinion, "Delicious! Want a bite?".  Oh!  Now those are the flavors that I remember from the mole we used to make--spicy, nutty and chocolaty.

While La Perlita is lacking in the festive environment category, it's obvious by the recent coats of cheerful paint that they are trying.  N and I think the restaurant is worth a visit.  Their service was very attentive and the bargains are hard to pass up.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sun. through Wed.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
635 Chemeketa St. NE
 (503) 371-3968

Go here to read another review on Willamette Live.

1 comment:

Chuck Bradley said...

After failed attempts, both yesterday and the day before, I found them open today. Contrary to what their posted open hours indicate, they are now closed Saturdays and Sundays. When I mentioned this, I was told "We forgot to change the sign." This was not framed as an apology for my inconvenience, rather as a statement of fact. HHMM. Stick with me, it does get better. Following K&N's advice, I ordered two Pupusas with Cheese and Pork from their Salvadoran menu. These tasty temptations I can best describe as a cross between a Pork Quesadilla and flat Tamale. They came with beans and rice and a wonderful pickled Cole slaw for which I will offer, yet another, convoluted description. Try to imagine a cross between Cole slaw and sour kraut. Sorry. Ya just gotta taste these things. The decor was no surprise and the service was good. The carpet could have used a Hoover, but otherwise the place was acceptably clean. This is the second restaurant in a row I've visited with no hot water in the Men's room! (They do not accept American Express)

My thanks to K&M for the tip!