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Pupuseria Cuscatleco FKA Las Planes FKA El Gyro Sabroso
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  • Pupuseria Cuscatleco FKA Las Planes FKA El Gyro Sabroso

    Post #1 - December 15th, 2007, 5:20 pm
    Post #1 - December 15th, 2007, 5:20 pm Post #1 - December 15th, 2007, 5:20 pm
    Last Summer, El Gyro Sabroso, a hispanic hotdog stand and breakfast joint opened on Clark street in the space that was formerly Siete Mares. The food was standard American "grill" food: hotdogs, gyros, burgers, omlettes and pepper egg sandwiches. The food was extremely cheap and mostly OK. Recently, I noticed that El Gyro Sabroso is now also called "Pupuseria Las Planes and American Grill". They still have the American breakfasts and fast food, but have added Salvadoran and Mexican dishes.

    Today, I stopped there with a friend and tried some of the new additions to the menu. We ordered bean pupusas, chicharrones pupusas and an order of plantanitos. The food was all freshly made and very tasty. Our meal was accompanied by a wonderful horchata Salvadoreña, which was much more complex and flavorful than its Mexican cousin. The pupusas were served with a bowl of shredded cabbage salad (curdito) that added a nice cool sweet and sour crunch to the steaming hot corn pies. The plantanitos were served with a flavorful black bean sauce and crema for dipping, that went well with the slightly sweet fried bananas. On the way out, I noticed that one of their gyros cookers now held a cone of carne al pastor, so I had to try a taco. It was a little dry, but the marinade flavor was very good with a hint of sweet pineapple.

    All in all, I really enjoyed the newest incarnation of El Gyro. It is one of those strange cross-cultural establishments that typify Rogers Park, like Big Buns and Pita, the Assyrian fast-food stand down the street. The service was a little slow, but the very pretty young lady who was serving us was absolutely charming. I will definitely return to try their Sopa de Pata and the Mayan corn beverage called Atol de Elotes, which is served along with Salvadoran Tamales de Elotes.

    Pupuseria Y Restaurante Cuscatleco
    7109 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL
    (773) 465-9338
    Last edited by d4v3 on December 5th, 2008, 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - December 15th, 2007, 6:58 pm
    Post #2 - December 15th, 2007, 6:58 pm Post #2 - December 15th, 2007, 6:58 pm
    hey dv43,

    did you notice if they served those salvadoran dessert fritters with crema? soemtimes they are also served filled with beans
  • Post #3 - December 16th, 2007, 12:03 am
    Post #3 - December 16th, 2007, 12:03 am Post #3 - December 16th, 2007, 12:03 am
    zim wrote:did you notice if they served those salvadoran dessert fritters with crema? soemtimes they are also served filled with beans
    No I didn't. They actually don't have a printed Salvadoran menu, just the American menu items posted on a large sign, and some small paper signs advertising other things. We ordered based on my limited familiarity with Salvadoran cuisine, with help from our waitress. Do you mean yucca fritters? The next time I go there I will ask.
  • Post #4 - December 16th, 2007, 6:50 am
    Post #4 - December 16th, 2007, 6:50 am Post #4 - December 16th, 2007, 6:50 am
    d4v3 wrote:
    zim wrote:did you notice if they served those salvadoran dessert fritters with crema? soemtimes they are also served filled with beans
    No I didn't.
    ...
    waitress. Do you mean yucca fritters? The next time I go there I will ask.


    I think they may be made of plantains sometimes? Forgotten what theyre
    called, but theyre good. (You can probably find something about them
    in the Pupuseria El Salvador thread, thats the place Ive gotten them
    before).

    Thanks for this find d4v3, will definitely look it up - I dont know of a good
    Salvadorean place up north, to hear of one in Rogers Park is very cool.

    You didnt happen to notice any budin for dessert, did you? Thats the
    banana-bread pudding that is quite outstanding at PES, Ive never found
    anywhere else to get it (and PES is unfortunately too far away to get
    regularly.. its on, IIRC, 106th street south :-)

    Still, as long as they have good pupusas, that alone makes a trip more
    than worthwhile..

    c8w
  • Post #5 - December 19th, 2007, 8:17 pm
    Post #5 - December 19th, 2007, 8:17 pm Post #5 - December 19th, 2007, 8:17 pm
    d4v3 wrote:Do you mean yucca fritters? The next time I go there I will ask.


    I think they are called empanadas de leche. in some places the empanadas are listed in the appetizer section but would make a very good dessert. they are fritters made of mashed plantains, fried till very dark and sweet, encasing milk custard, then rolled/sprinkled with sugar. I've also had them with black bean instead of milk custard, but the milk ones are definitely my favorite.

    they have them at rinconcito hispano in des plaines, and used to have them at izalco
  • Post #6 - December 21st, 2007, 12:16 am
    Post #6 - December 21st, 2007, 12:16 am Post #6 - December 21st, 2007, 12:16 am
    zim wrote:
    d4v3 wrote:Do you mean yucca fritters? The next time I go there I will ask.


    I think they are called empanadas de leche. in some places the empanadas are listed in the appetizer section but would make a very good dessert. they are fritters made of mashed plantains, fried till very dark and sweet, encasing milk custard, then rolled/sprinkled with sugar. I've also had them with black bean instead of milk custard, but the milk ones are definitely my favorite.

    they have them at rinconcito hispano in des plaines, and used to have them at izalco


    Ooh. Rinconcito has them too? Thanks! Ive only ever had them at Pupuseria
    El Salvador (which does a *great* job with them).. pretty much the only
    thing Ive had at Rinconcito is pupusas (they have a big Mexican menu
    too).

    They *are* called empanadas de leche, and Ive only ever had the mashed
    plaintains ones, with milk in them (ie never tried the black bean). I think,
    also, that they sometimes put some of the warm carnation milk (I thinik) over
    the empanada? At least thats how I had i served to me on a couple of
    occaions, and it was very good. (Hmm. Maybe what I had was called
    empanada de leche con crema? Maybe that explains it)

    That, and the budin, make for a couple of pretty awesome desserts.
    Time for a run to this new RP spot (or else Rinconcito... I really
    wish PES was closer).

    c8w
  • Post #7 - December 21st, 2007, 12:39 am
    Post #7 - December 21st, 2007, 12:39 am Post #7 - December 21st, 2007, 12:39 am
    There's a picture of empanadas de leche in this thread on Pupuseria El Salvador. They also (sometimes) have empanadas de frijoles. In that same thread, Cathy2 reports a source in Waukegan.
  • Post #8 - February 10th, 2008, 2:54 pm
    Post #8 - February 10th, 2008, 2:54 pm Post #8 - February 10th, 2008, 2:54 pm
    I was at Las Planes the other day, and again had some better than decent pupusas. I saw that they now have Empanadas de Leche on the menu, although they were listed improperly (I didn't try one). Actually, it was the first time they even had a menu. In addition to the pupusas I mentioned upthread, they had pupusas de lorocco (which were very good) and one made with Jalapenos they called "mexicana". The menu also listed meat pies, stews,soups, tamales and a Salvadoran corn drink, none of which I tried. However, I did have some more of the tasty Salvadoran Horchata, which I was told is made from pumpkin and other squash seeds. I suspect Las Planes is not the best Salvadoran restaurant in the city, but it is great to have in the 'hood. Plus, they serve fairly cheap and OK American breakfasts, fast-food burgers and gyros.
  • Post #9 - March 3rd, 2008, 7:12 am
    Post #9 - March 3rd, 2008, 7:12 am Post #9 - March 3rd, 2008, 7:12 am
    Tried this place and the pupusas are indeed pretty tasty, with the cheese ones being a bit better than the loroco. They are made from scratch, so be prepared for a wait. Curtido was better than most in town, much more pickled.
  • Post #10 - March 4th, 2008, 6:59 pm
    Post #10 - March 4th, 2008, 6:59 pm Post #10 - March 4th, 2008, 6:59 pm
    Spurred on by d4v3's recommendation, I went to Las Planes for lunch the other day along with the always handsome, witty, engaging and hungry G Wiv. I came away very impressed with the papusas as well as some of the other things I tried. As cilantro mentioned, the papusas are made to order by the charming papusa lady. She does a great job and makes some beautiful, well filled papusas.

    Pupuseria Las Planes Papusa Lady
    Image

    Evidently, there had been quite a rush over the weekend and they were out of horchata and the corn drink, so I settled on a Pepsi (no Coke). We started off with a few papusas. The picture below is Gary's plate of a loroco and a mexicana papusa.

    Pupuseria Las Planes Loroco and Mexicana Papusas
    Image

    Here is a interior detail shot of the inside of my Papusa Mexicana

    Pupuseria Las Planes Mexicana Papusa
    Image

    We also had a few other things including both hen and corn tamales as well as an order of empanadas de leche. The hen tamale was made with dark hen meat W/bones and potatoes, while the corn tamale was very simple, made with just slightly sweetened masa, but somehow lighter than typical Mexican tamales.

    Pupuseria Las Planes Hen Tamale
    Image

    Pupuseria Las Planes Corn Tamale
    Image

    Pupuseria Las Planes Empanadas de Leche
    Image

    The empanadas de leche were very interesting. They were a little on the heavy side after the meal we had eaten, but the maduro outside was a nice match with the condensed milk filling. I've had a similar dish in Mexico filled with beans (and not sugar coated).

    Did I mention that we were pretty filled up? Well, just when I thought we were done with lunch, the order of yuca con chicharrones came to the table. I really liked this dish, but could only take a couple of nibbles. Yuca con chicharrones is probably the biggest plate of food on the entire menu and next time is something I would order as a complete meal without most of the other stuff I had already eaten.

    Pupuseria Las Planes Yuca con Chicharrones
    Image

    This is a place that I am going to put into my regular rotation. thanks d4v3 for finding it and posting about it.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #11 - March 8th, 2008, 6:06 pm
    Post #11 - March 8th, 2008, 6:06 pm Post #11 - March 8th, 2008, 6:06 pm
    stevez wrote:This is a place that I am going to put into my regular rotation. thanks d4v3 for finding it and posting about it.

    Yes, thanks d4v3, really liked the pupusas, in particular the jalapeno filled Mexican, and the Yuca con Chicharron was a symphony in crisp.

    Steve's excellent, as always, pictures tell the story, but I can't resist posting one of the Yuca con Chicharron.

    Yuca con Chicharron
    Image

    After lunch at Pupuseria Las Planes I'd suggest a shopping trip at the well stocked, including a taqueria with roast chicken for take-home, Chapala a couple of doors North.

    Image

    Romanian Kosher Sausage is but one block North and very much worth a visit.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Chapala
    7117 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL

    Romanian Kosher Sausage Company
    7200 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60626
    773-761-4141
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - May 22nd, 2008, 10:56 pm
    Post #12 - May 22nd, 2008, 10:56 pm Post #12 - May 22nd, 2008, 10:56 pm
    I just stopped in here for lunch today thanks to LTH- really tasty and a great value, too.

    I ordered 3 pupusas: one with chicken, one with beans and cheese and one with just plain cheese. The chicken was very good, a shredded and tender filling that was very flavorful- was my favorite of the bunch. The beans and cheese one was more beans than cheese, and while pretty good was my least favorite. The big plus to the cheese-only one was that some of the cheese had made its way onto the griddle and got all browned and crunchy. To give a sense of scale they're about 5"- 6" round, and came in at 2 bucks each.

    Everyone working there was friendly, and the woman pictured above making the pupusas tossed me a smile every now and then as I waited for my order to finish cooking (I was carrying out). I only wish I'd managed a carry-out menu for the other folks in the office.
  • Post #13 - May 23rd, 2008, 12:51 pm
    Post #13 - May 23rd, 2008, 12:51 pm Post #13 - May 23rd, 2008, 12:51 pm
    I had a friend in from the East Coast a week or so ago. I'd forgotten that he said he could have his employer pick up the meal "as long as it isn't too much." After trying to go to Deta's (she had a power outage that night) and then La Cucina di Donatella (closed on Tuesdays) we ended up at Los Planes. He'd never had a pupusa before - in fact, had never even heard of them. Needless to say, it was a good meal, with plenty of food (we brought our own wine, which Los Planes isn't really set up for, but they were very accommodating). And he paid for the meal. But he decided not to submit it to his employer. He said they wouldn't understand him submitting a dinner receipt for under $15 even if it was only for him - even though it fed three of us well.
  • Post #14 - July 6th, 2008, 8:14 am
    Post #14 - July 6th, 2008, 8:14 am Post #14 - July 6th, 2008, 8:14 am
    Las Planes has become a regular staple for me. Recently, they did away with much of their American fast food menu (with the exception of hamburgers and chicken sandwiches). In fact, they turned the American menu signs around backwards. They now concentrate on Salvadoran and Mexican cuisines, including some interesting daily specials. On the Mexican side of the menu, the sopes are noteworthy. Like the pupusas, they are handmade to order and very tasty. I will try to scan the carry-out menu later and post a link to it here.
  • Post #15 - September 7th, 2008, 7:53 am
    Post #15 - September 7th, 2008, 7:53 am Post #15 - September 7th, 2008, 7:53 am
    Pupuseria Las Planes is closed. There is a sign in the window which says "Coming Soon...Pupuseria Cuscatleco #2". Hopefully the new incarnation will be as good as the establishment it is replacing. I have never been to Cuscatleco #1 on Lawrence.

    Pupuseria Los Planes
    7109 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL

    Pupuseria y Restaurante Cuscatleco
    3125 W. Lawrence Ave.
    Chicago
    Tel: (773) 539-0977
  • Post #16 - September 10th, 2008, 5:51 pm
    Post #16 - September 10th, 2008, 5:51 pm Post #16 - September 10th, 2008, 5:51 pm
    d4v3 wrote:Pupuseria Las Planes is closed.


    That's sad news. They deserved a better fate.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - September 18th, 2008, 8:35 am
    Post #17 - September 18th, 2008, 8:35 am Post #17 - September 18th, 2008, 8:35 am
    d4v3 wrote:Pupuseria Las Planes is closed. There is a sign in the window which says "Coming Soon...Pupuseria Cuscatleco #2". Hopefully the new incarnation will be as good as the establishment it is replacing. I have never been to Cuscatleco #1 on Lawrence.

    This statement was not entirely correct. It appears that Las Planes is currently open while they are remodeling. The anticipated name change may actually be due to a new partnership with Pupuseria Cuscatleco rather than signal the failure of Las Planes. I will stop in there later to get the story behind the new name.
  • Post #18 - November 2nd, 2008, 9:59 pm
    Post #18 - November 2nd, 2008, 9:59 pm Post #18 - November 2nd, 2008, 9:59 pm
    As mentioned in the "Openings" thread some time ago, this place is now called Pupuseria Cuscatleco. (The thread title should be changed to reflect this.) The food is still quite tasty; at least the pupusas, which is all I tried. In fact, it may be just my imagination but I think they are using a different cheese -- one which I prefer. The curtido is now worse, however.

    I was sad to see that none of the employees/owners of the previous incarnation seem to be around anymore. Not that the new staff isn't perfectly friendly, I just really liked the folks who worked there before.

    Anyway, a reminder to check out this place lest it change its name again to something like Subway.
  • Post #19 - December 5th, 2008, 4:49 pm
    Post #19 - December 5th, 2008, 4:49 pm Post #19 - December 5th, 2008, 4:49 pm
    I have eaten here several times since the change of management. The pupusas are still hand-made to order, and in my opinion, are actually better than before. I will agree, however, that the curdito is not as good. It is still passable, but not nearly as tangy and fresh as it was under the former moniker. The empanadas de leche, on the other hand, are very tasty. This place is definitely still worth patronizing.

    ps. I changed the thread title.
  • Post #20 - April 6th, 2009, 8:06 am
    Post #20 - April 6th, 2009, 8:06 am Post #20 - April 6th, 2009, 8:06 am
    Had my first meal here today last night. Not the greatest Pupusas I have ever had (I only sampled the loroco and queso/frijoles versions), regardless, they were clearly freshly prepared and ridiculously priced at $2.00 a pop. Perhaps it wasn't the pupusas that were a let down as much as the curtido and salsas - all of which could have used some more kick.

    The real standout, however, were the platanos rellenitos(?) which were sweet, sugared, plantains stuffed with sweet beans. Oh man, these were a knockout - my Korean girlfriend said the sweet bean paste reminded her of Korean sweets, but I think these are in a completely different ballpark. I was too stuffed to finish them at the restaurant so I took them home planning to have them for breakfast with coffee. After watching TV with the takeout box in front of me for 5 minutes, I caved and devoured the rest. Damn good stuff. The girlfriend was super pissed I didn't save her any for breakfast.

    Anyways, a few missteps aside (I will bring my own hot sauce next time) this place is a little treasure for Rogers Park, and I will be back quite frequently....

    M
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #21 - March 8th, 2010, 12:35 pm
    Post #21 - March 8th, 2010, 12:35 pm Post #21 - March 8th, 2010, 12:35 pm
    This has now morphed into Cafeteria y Pupuseria Frida. We spoke to the new owner when we went in for lunch yesterday. He was using money from the sale of his family's restaurant to start Frida. He wanted to do a restaurant with Mexican food, but realized that there no other options for pupusas in Rogers Park and decided to keep that part of the menu. The staff is the same from Pupuseria Cuscatleco. (I seem to think the two women who were making the pupusas were the same from Las Planes.) If the owner is not there, be prepared to dust off your Spanish.

    We've only been a couple of times previously for pupusas. That's what we stuck with yesterday. Mr. X and I split a zucchini, loroco, chorizo and a chicharron and beans. (All with cheese.) I was torn between the zucchini and the chorizo as my favorite. The curtido was just fair, although we polished off the pickled veggies handily. Our bill for four pupusas, horchata and a mexican hot chocolate was $13. At the door when we were leaving, I grabbed a coupon for $1.49 pupusas, carry-out only. That is quite the deal.
    -Mary

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