Cerrito’s Pupuseria: A Quick Bite (4½ Stars)

Cerritos Pupuseria

Just a non-desrcript build on the side of the road

I drive by this place frequently, every time thinking I should give it a shot. I finally got around to it and am kicking myself for not doing so sooner.

This place is small, no more than 4 or 5 tables. Folks looked at me like I was lost. No, truly, I want to eat here! At first I was disheartened by the menu, which is populated with typical Mexican/Salvadoran fare that you’ll see in any number of places through out DC, none of which is particularly adventurous. Then I noticed the white board. That’s where the real food is listed.

Taco, Tamale and Pupusa

Taco, Tamale and Pupusa

I ordered a pork pupusa, beef tongue taco and a chicken tamale. This is, by far, the best pupusa I have ever had: lightly crispy on the outside while the contents had a creamy consistency. The flavors worked well with the slaw and salsa to make the sum of the whole greater than the parts. This alone was worth the trip.

When I mention tongue tacos to most people, they recoil in horror. They should not. There’s nothing funky in the taste like, say, liver. It’s just a lean piece of beef. And this taco is an excellent example of what can be done. With the pico de gallo and a squeeze of lime, I was in heaven. Yet again, this alone was worth the trip.

As for the tamale, I admit to some trepidation. It is really hard to find a well made tamale. Cerrito’s does theirs well. The filing was more than just the single note of chicken, it included chunks of potato and green beans. One was just enough, any more and I would have been filled to bursting.

I will definitely make a return visit, and so should you. They are on Rt. 50, about 4 miles west of the intersection with Rt. 28.

Cerrito’s Pupuseria
43137 John Mosby Hwy
Chantilly, VA 20152
(703) 327-0052

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Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 11:23 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Haha I am literally the first comment to this great post?!

  2. Alas, it’s rather lonely in here. Have you eaten at Cerrito’s?

    • I wish it were lonely there!

      I go there at lunchtime during the week. the place is always packed with latino day workers. It take me 40 minutes just to get my food. but worth the wait (don’t tell my boss that!)

      • It helps that I’m out there at odd hours. It’s a good sign for an ethnic restaurant when a majority of the clientele is that ethnicity.

  3. Me and my partner(jennifer vogely) in crime come to this place quite often. Obsessive may quite summerize how we feel about this place.

    I’m all about pupusas and try to visit the best spots in the area. The chosita in Leesburg,is the closet competition to this place. But Cerritos( 50 is what we call it, because its off 50). The cheese Papusas are on some level not known to me and they are sooo good. Unlike other Papusas, the cheese is not stringy like, its a nice awesome gooey/yummy kind. The pork ones are just as good and are bigger than most Pupusas.
    The best way to eat these Papusas are to order 3 at either these combinations. 2 mixed( cheese and pork) 1 cheese. Or 2 mixed 1 cheese.
    A big bonus for hotsauce lovers, is the haberno sauce they have. Its the best bottled hot sauce. It goes with just about everything and has a bigggg kick.

    The soupa de polla is good too. For 10 bucks you get a giant bowl of soup, 3 pieces of grilled chicken and 2 tortillas.I’m a fan of the yuca in the soup. The beef soup is just as good.

    The tacos and tamales not a fan of because they don’t have any flavor. This is coming from a Mexican(me) and I’m used to legit, homeade, curl your toe type of tacos and tamales.The platters are juicy but they skimp you on the shrimp so be weary.

    Overall this hole in the wall is slamming( very good). On the weekends its extremely busy and they like to sit you next to randoms if you like. I just go with the flow and eat with a complete stranger. Its food, who cares who you sit with as long as you give me Papusas and a chicken soup when I’m hungover and that’s enough to please me.

    This is nothing but real talk, I recommened this place to just about all my friends and its a winner.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I need to head back here, it’s been a while. I’ll trying the chicken soup this time.


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