Tag: El Salvador

13: Salvadorian Food and Israeli Soccer

This post was supposed to discuss music from El Salvador but things didn’t turn out this way. My “adventure” ended with no music but a good laugh. I thought I’d share it here.

Yesterday, I went to a restaurant in San Francisco that offers Salvadorian food. The Balompie Cafe is a simple, small, family-owned Salvadorian food restaurant. Made me feel almost like I was having lunch at somebody’s home in an El Salvador village.

Balompie Cafe, San Francisco
Balompie Cafe, San Francisco

Inside the restaurant, they were playing some music on the speakers and I thought maybe that was Salvadorian music. But upon inspection, I found out it was just general Latin music that you could select from a wall-mounted, modern, digital jukebox, like this:

digital jukebox

And the music selection in it was pretty uninteresting. So much for the music part 🙁

But while we’re at it, I will share something else that made me smile. If you look closely at the restaurant name in the restaurant sign in the picture above, you can see what is the second most important thing for them (after food). Yes, soccer. And indeed this is very noticeable inside the restaurant. They have a wall-mounted TV that plays… you guessed it, soccer games. But the more interesting part is the walls. They have a beautiful collection of scarves from famous soccer clubs hanging on the walls. There are scarves from all over the world: Bayern Munchen, Boca Juniors, Tottenham. All the big names. Very nice collection. And mind you, it’s very hard to find much interest in soccer in the US. Indeed you have to go to the Latin communities and places to get high on a good dose of soccer. That was a very refreshing experience which reminded me of the good old days back in Israel.

Anyway, I was enjoying checking out all the scarves when something caught my eye. I took a picture of it:

Balompie Cafe 09-06-15

There, right above the TV, in red. Do you recognize the scarf? Well, it’s probably hard for most of you as it is not in Latin alphabet. It’s in Hebrew. But even those who read Hebrew will notice a problem with it. A very funny one 🙂 I will leave it to you to call out what the issue is. I had a blast when I saw it and when I spoke about it to the restaurant staff everybody had a good laugh, including all the patrons.

Oh and the food? Well El Salvador sounds rather exotic but the food actually reminded me a lot of Israel, believe it or not. It had different names but tasted the same. Pupusas is pita bread, only made of corn, pollo guisado is what we call בשר מכובס ברוטב  (laundered meat in sauce) in Israel and the empanadas look and taste like Kibbeh. So all in all, I felt a bit like back home right in San Francisco.