Pupusas, etc. (Jireh Pupuseria y Restaurante)
Jireh Pupuseria y Restaurante, 687 South Clinton Ave, Trenton (609) 656-2333
Editor’s Pick for Best Pupusa Selection
Located just east of the Roebling Market, on the SE corner of Dye and S. Clinton, Jireh is one of many Guatemalan restaurants that have opened in Trenton in recent years. Latinos are the fastest growing segment of Trenton’s population (the ‘Burg, formerly Italian, is now mostly Hispanic, as is much of South Trenton), and by far the most dynamic segment of the city’s evolving restaurant scene. Most, including Jireh, serve an almost exclusively Hispanic clientele. The wait staff speak no English (though the owner, who works in front of the grill, does).
Jireh’s clientele (as with most of Trenton’s Hispanic restaurants) is mostly working men. Because of the immigration system in the United States, many Hispanic men are in this country temporarily, without their families. The restaurant exists to provide a “home cooked” meal.
What sets Jireh apart is that it recently added an extensive line of Pupusas to its menu. Pupusas are stuffed, grilled, home-made tortillas. They originated in El Salvador, but are popular in Guatemala, and increasingly found in Trenton restauarants. They are fantastic. My first exposure to them was at Tacqueria El Mariachi, which is still my favorite Hispanic restaurant in town. But they only make 3 varieties of pupusa. Jireh makes eight:
- Cheese and Loroco
- White Cheese
- Cheese and Beans
- Beans and Pork
- Fried Cassava
For a meal, big eaters will want to order 3 (they’re generally $1.75-2.00 each, except for the Cassava, which for some reason is $4.95). The pupusas are very good, and come, as they should, with curtido, a pickled cabbage relish, which tastes like sauerkraut and salsa rojo, which seems homemade and is quite tasty.
Jireh serves an extensive range of Guatemalan cuisine in addition to Pupusas, which is better than average. Portions are ample, and prices reasonable.