Judging by the parking lot, the hottest place in Chantilly is one of the town’s most unassuming joints. Without the congested lot as a clue, diners might just pass by, thinking the house on John Mosby Highway is a residence. But if you can cram your car into a hotly contested space around the brick-colored house, there are rewards awaiting you.
Cerrito’s Pupuseria is crowded as it should be. Friendly service and home cooking that’s obviously crafted with heart bring in a lunch crowd that’s satiated with dishes like sopa de gallina (hen soup), tamales and tacos. But pupusas are in the name for a reason.
I couldn’t decide on a filling, so I tried the pupusa loca, filled with a little bit of everything. That means cheese woven with pork, squash and loroco (flower buds) and bursting with beans. It was one of the more cheese-heavy pupusas I’ve had–not a bad thing, especially when bits of the quesillo oozed out and crisped on the griddle. Parsing all the different fillings in each bite was an impossibility, but they all satisfied.
The curtido on the side was fresh-tasting, crisp and as spicy as it was zippy. I used its juices to spice up my pupusa rather than the bland red sauce that also accompanied it. But now I understand why that parking lot is full and next time, I probably won’t simply drive by. // 43137 John Mosby Hwy., Chantilly
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