Tracking the great Pupusa: Border Grill Salsa Roja

Exploring on foot is an adventure; the slower you travel, the more detail you see and the more interaction you have with your fellow travelers. Our hotel sits beside a large vacant lot, across from a business park, and near a strip mall that features a nail shop, a quick cash store, and a liquor mart. This morning walking from the hotel to the bus stop on my quest for the Grand Pupusa, I saw a small culture clash.

A pedestrian, who was walking slowly (and a bit unsteadily) from the Liquor Mart to his parked car via a Starbucks drive-thru lane, received a punitive honk from a lady driving a white Scion. The walker wheeled around, threw up his arms and yelled, “I’m the pedestrian here. Whadda ya want me to do?”

She rolled down her window and shouted, ” If you’re the pedestrian, I want you to walk on the sidewalk!” They exchanged angry words and rude gestures but were saved from a scuffle by an amplified voice, “May I have your order, please. ” So, order was indeed restored and my bus came.

I found La Flor De Michoacan, my pupusa destination, in an East Sacramento mall tucked in amongst an Indian grocery, a Mexican grocery, a Halal meat market, a 99¢ store, a Thrifty Shop, and Jack’s Do-nut Wheel.


I thought she had great style--loved the Hello Kitty purse. Bill Cunningham would surely have taken her picture.

I thought she had great style–loved the Hello Kitty purse. Bill Cunningham of  the New York Times would surely have taken her picture.

Wish I could have gotten a picture of her beautiful smile but I was too shy to ask.

Wish I would have gotten a picture of her beautiful smile, but I hesitated to ask.

A chorizo Pupusa with pickled cabbage and salsa roja.

A chorizo Pupusa with pickled cabbage and salsa roja.

Border Grill Salsa Roja

1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
1 dried Anaheim chile, stemmed and seeded
1 dried chipotle chile, stemmed and seeded
1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds

Tear the chiles into large pieces and toast them in a large dry skillet over medium heat until they change color a bit, about 2 minutes. Add the spices and continue to toast for 2 to 3 minutes until everything is fragrant. Remove from heat and add about 1 cup of hot water to just cover the chiles. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Blend the chile mixture, strain through sieve.

5 Roma tomatoes, unpeeled
1 sliced onion
2 T. butter
4 cloves garlic
2 Serranos, seeded

1 tablespoon sugar
Juice of one lime

Roast tomatoes under broiler or on the grill until their skins blacken. Sauté onion and garlic in butter until soft. Place onions, garlic, tomatoes, serranos and salt in blender and puree well. Strain into pan, bring to boil, turn down and simmer 15 minutes.

Add sugar and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. 


This entry worked pretty well. I learned how to insert a header image that changes with each post, still having trouble resizing photos (aspect ratio may as well be a Japanese phrase), inserting links, and creating a zippy theme. Maybe next time. 

This entry was posted in Recipes, Restaurants, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tracking the great Pupusa: Border Grill Salsa Roja

  1. Jenni says:

    Welcome back, Marla. Missed you and loved this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.