Thursday, July 10, 2008
It would be hard for me to pick out just one ethnic cuisine as my favorite. I think I vacillate depending on the day, the temperature outside, and whatever I'm craving at the moment. However, Mexican food is almost always something I'm willing to eat. When I first moved to Philadelphia there was a severe lack of Mexican food available in the city limits. Now, however, our options in the city have seemed to multiply exponentially. When I heard about Azul Cantina via Phoodie.info weeks ago, I immediately marked it down in my "To Eat" book and ventured there as soon as I possibly could.
Margaritas are served by the glass or the pitcher and come in a plethora of varieties. We adored the mango version. A pitcher served three of us two nice sized drinks each.
While the presentation was a bit lacking, the guacamole was simple but good. No fancy stuff here, just ripe avocado, lime, garlic and hint of cilantro. The chips were very good, slightly salty and still warm from the fryer.
On recommendation from our waitress, who was excellent, knowledgeable and friendly, we tried the black bean and goat cheese enchiladas. Filled with creamy goat cheese studded with the occasional black bean and covered in a traditional red Chile sauce, we all really liked the flavor, but thought a bit more texture to the filling would have been nice.
I was very excited to try the pulled pork enchiladas, but they ended up being the most disappointing dish we sampled. Pork is cheap, especially a cut used to make a slow-cooked pulled pork, therefore the pitiful amount of pork found in these enchiladas was inexcusable, you could barely see the filling, never mind taste it!
Luckily for every downside there's usually an upside. Azul Cantina's upside was this order of Mahi Mahi tacos. Covered in a spicy BBQ sauce and served with a pineapple salsa, the fish was dense and smokey and was complimented nicely by the sweet salsa and crisp red cabbage slaw.
With a sidewalk full of tables and a beautifully decorated interior, Azul Cantina is a nice place to spend a summer afternoon sipping away on delicious margaritas. As far as the food is concerned, there are hits and there are misses, but it's a good choice for a small plate or some munchie appetizers in a fun and lively part of the city.
941 Spruce Street