Seventh Heaven: Dining Along the 7 Train
by Julie Besonen, 02/26/2013
Pastelito de Carne. Photo: Alexander Thompson
7 Train Stop: Woodside/61st St.
64-05 Roosevelt Ave., 718-533-8373, Woodside, Queens
Izalco—or "la casa de las pupusas"—is Queens' main venue for Salvadoran food, which is not as spicy as Mexican and tends to feature deep-fried corn tortillas, tamales, tacos and enchiladas. Irish bars dominated this area of Woodside for decades, but the growing Latin American population has led to a peaceful transition. A café quirkily embellished with thrift-shop art, a mounted deer head and toy trucks and buses, Izalco has been at this location for almost 17 years. True to its roots, it's a hospitable place that serves signature pupusas—griddled corn cakes variously stuffed with cheese, pork cracklings or beans, or a mixture of all three—along with curtido (vinegary cabbage salad) and mild salsa. There's also well-prepared seafood, horchata and deep-fried sweet plantains filled with cream.