What’s better than a pupusa? How about more pupusa? At Tipicos Gloria in Herndon, “more” is a virtue at practically every level. The menu seems unlimited: dream a dish, whether it’s Mexican, Salvadoran or even Korean barbecue, and the restaurant probably has it. But with my family visiting, it was time to share a pupusa.
I know what you’re thinking. A single pupusa won’t get you far with a group of three. But Tipicos Gloria has secrets not written on the menu. At the counter, a display of pizza pans suggests that there are pies emerging from the oven, but the silver discs, starting at 10 inches and going up to the size of a large pizza, are intended for pupusas.
My family ordered the smallest for $4.49. The corn cake looked, not surprisingly, almost as much like a pizza with a top layer of dough as it did an overgrown pupusa. It oozed with stretchy, salty cheese woven with shreds of zucchini. Crispy browned bits of the queso collected at the edges. The bright-orange curtido (cabbage slaw) cut through the fatty flavors just enough to wake up each bite from its status as mere comfort. In summary, it was a great pupusa, and there was a lot of it. I now aspire to get a group together to try the largest one sometime, filled with loroco, pork and beans.
But there’s so much more to Tipicos Gloria than stunt food. I enjoyed my pollo con tajadas, a dish of fried chicken and plantains piled with cabbage and fresh cheese beneath of a wave of Russian dressing. Incongruous combo? Sure, but it somehow works.
My sister-in-law ordered a sandwich filled with cheese-covered bulgogi, but the Korean barbecue dish that stood out was a spicy pork taco. The gochujang-enhanced meat played perfectly with the soft corn tortillas, onion and cilantro. My brother added avocado to his order, which cooled the heat of the pork nicely. All in all, it was a meal far from the typical that the restaurant’s name suggests. // 470 Elden St., Herndon
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