Found! Pupusas at Tamalex

El Gallo Pinto and its Nicaraguan delicacies had been on my mind. It was over 2 years ago that I visited the spot on 7th and Federal and learned the scoop, a Mexican grocery store with Mexican and Nicaraguan food served out the back. It seems that soon after my visit, ownership changed and instead of Nicaraguan and Mexican food, they now do Honduran and Mexican food and call themselves Tamalex. The signage outside still reflects the old name. As Honduras and Nicaragua are neighbors, and the layout looked unchanged, I was optimistic I would still enjoy the impending meal.

I loved the giant cup of fresh watermelon juice at El Gallo Pinto, and was happy I could get it again.  A pleasant upgrade, Tamalex bestowed a bowl of tortilla chips with a spicy, creamy avocado guacamole-salsa dip. Steven Starr would charge $8 for this.

On the Honduran side of the menu, you will find pupusas. This is a big deal, because they are not easy to find in Philly. The only other place I have seen them so far is at El Sabroso in Upper Darby. For $7 I got 3 very large pupusas revueltas-stuffed with pork, beans, cheese. Spicy cabbage slaw and a red sauce came with it. An order of these guys alone is a great lunch. I’ll admit El Sabroso’s are slightly better, probably because they are cooked in more oil.

Tamalex introduced me to the pambazo- a Mexican sandwich made with Mexican white bread of the same name. Mine was a hefty handful; red sauce soaked bread with chorizo and potato, cheese, and lettuce. I had the option of adding another layer of meat,  to which I added steak, naturally.  Quite a grande sandwich for $7. The chorizo-potato mush that made up the bottom layer was my favorite part; the steak was only so-so. Things got pretty sloppy as the bread degraded, a fork was necessary.

I took a picture of the menu since it does not appear one is available online and there is no website. You can, however, check out their Facebook page. There are a lot of options here- tacos, sopes, seafood, tamales. Whether you want Mexican or dishes from a place a little more south, Tamalex is there for you.  As the menu says, “no somos los unicos, pero si los mejores.”

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Pupusas in Philly
  • Big, affordable menu

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I don’t like Central American cowboys staring at me while I eat

Tamalex, 1163 S 7th St (btw Federal and Annin St), 267 886-9803



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