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
Go here to read another review on Willamette Live.