Oct 1, 200912:00 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Pupuseria La Macarena

Photo courtesy of Jay Forman

The Riverbend neighborhood has a pretty impressive collection of restaurants, spanning the price spectrum from fine dining to cheap college eats and spanning nationalities from Thailand to Main Street, USA. Part of this assortment is Pupuseria La Macarena, a family-owned Honduran joint whose bright, cheerful colors pop out on Hampson Street like a blue-and-gold macaw.

The specialties here are pupusas, flat round disks of cornmeal studded with tangy cheese and beans. They resonate on the comfort food level, and their earthy taste and fresh preparation are a huge part of their appeal. Traditional fillings include cheese, pork and beans, but they can be accessorized with a number off other additions, such as shrimp. If you can’t decide, try a sampler, which includes three pupusas rounded out with ramekins of vinegary cabbage slaw called “curtido,” sour cream, black beans and salsa, plus a couple of terrific chunks of fried sweet plantain.

Lunch offers plenty of combination platters, allowing you to try a number of different offerings. Prices are pretty reasonable but not as cheap as some other of the new taquerias around town. The alcohol policy is BYOB, but a couple of surprisingly complex tropical tea options are available. Try the tamarind, whose sweet-and-sour flavor goes well with the food. Free delivery is available after 5 p.m. Seating is limited, and bring some cash –– La Macarena does not accept plastic.

Pupuseria La Macarena
8120 Hampson St.
862-5242
 

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived here his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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