The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pupusa in the USA

If you're in the mood for chicken 'n' donuts, there's no better place to sate your hankerin' than Parkside Donuts/Kennedy Fried Chicken. Matter of fact, I ate there just last night!
In classic gossip page fashion I must now ask "with what local highly-regarded author of fiction did the Q dine last night?" or "what El Salvadoran dish did the Q eat while talking to said writer?"

If you answered PUPUSA to both questions, you answered one of them correctly and the other was way, way off the mark (it's like you didn't even understand that I was looking for a person's name). Bottom line, Parkside Donuts 'n' Chicken 'n' Pupusa 'n' Burger 'n' Grits serves the Salvadoran specialty much as you see it here, right down to the cole-slaw like curtido:
How was it? It was certainly the best pupusa this corn-fed midwesterner ever ate. Stop in for one, two, three or more of these tasty fritters, which if I had eaten blindfolded, I would have guessed was some kind of Mexican Fast Food Pancakes, what with its fat tortillas, refried beans, queso and chicharron. It was really satisfying and hearty comfort-food, particularly if your idea of comfort includes the cooking of a warm, nurturing Salvadoran mother-figure. From the Wikster:

Pupusas, also known as Pupisio, were first created centuries ago by the Pipil tribes that dwelt in the territory now known as El Salvador. Cooking implements for their preparation have been excavated in Joya de Cerén, "El Salvador's Pompeii", site of a native village that was buried by ashes from a volcano explosion, and where foodstuffs were preserved as they were being cooked almost two thousand years ago.

I did not know that El Salvador had its own "Pompeii," but somehow I doubt I'll forget it.

There's much more to say...about the food at Parkside Donut, about the terrible murder that took place there a couple years ago, about the history of Kennedy Chicken, the non-franchise that's ubiquitous in NYC's low-rent neighborhoods. Actually, does any neighborhood in NY qualify as low-rent anymore? And did you know that Kennedy Chicken was started by Afghans forty years ago, and that it's really more a concept and a loosely followed recipe than a brand? Read this illuminating article for more info: Chicken Wars.

If you've been in NYC for more than a few years, answer this bonus round question: what was the name of the highly-visible chicken joint at the corner of Flatbush and Fulton?


Anonymous said...

love pupusas...yum, yum, yum!!

Anonymous said...

Kansas Fried Chicken?

Anonymous said...

Hot bird?

fromla2bklyn said...

They have terrible service. Sorry guys! No pupusas for me!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Actually Fromla2bklyn, they don't have "service" in the traditional sense. You just have to go up and tell them your's more like a Chinese take-out joint that happens to have seats kinda place that way. And when I tipped them they looked at me like I was crazy...not that they refused my money, mind you.