Mission Pupuseria owner fends off violent customer with furious table-flipping skills

Photo: Saeed R. via Yelp
By Joe Kukura - Published on December 01, 2020.

Don’t be fooled by that mild-mannered looking redheaded baker holding court outside Panchita’s Pupuseria at 16th and Valencia Streets. Sure, those pork, chicken, and spinach pupusas are soft and soothing. But revenge is served with plantains and guacamole if a customer gets out of line there, as KGO brings the news that the nearly 60-year-old grandmother who owns the place responded to an assault attempt by flipping a table and fending off the customer with it


KGO brings us security-camera video of the incident above, wherein a customer is informed that her order is not ready yet. She responds by grabbing a five-pound bottle of hand sanitizer and hurling it at manager Doris Vargas. But ninja grandma and shop owner Doris Campos, who is Vargas’ mother, quickly flips a large wooden table at the unknown customer, who returns fight (to a grandmother!). Campos wins this battle decisively, using the upturned table to drive the customer out of her storefront.

Restaurants are in a tough spot operationally right now, so we ought to be a little more understanding if there is a five-minute delay on our order. "We told her it would take 15 minutes and it took about 20 minutes," Vargas told KGO. "She grabbed a jug of five-pound hand sanitizer and launched it at me while I was holding my son."

The woman did not get her pupusas. Moreover, Panchita’s is asking help identifying the ill-mannered customer, and SF police are looking into the incident.

"Bad behavior is something we don't forecast for," said Vargas. "Be considerate of the employees and the business. And just have some empathy for the industry itself. We're trying to stay afloat for the community and ourselves."

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