Monday, April 13, 2009
My neighborhood, and areas north of Northern Liberties, have gone through something of a Mexican food explosion (no pun intended) over the past year or so. Las Caszuelas opened up a sister location, Taco Riendo, which serves banging tacos and other traditional street food, while Cantina Dos Segundos and El Camino Real are lighting up second street with high-end tequilas and attempts at high-end food. During this time my go-to place for a decent burrito north of Washington avenue, El Ranchito, closed up shop much to my dismay. I was over the moon when I drove by El Ranchito's former location at 2nd and Master to see a Grand Opening sign for Que Chula es Puebla, and as soon as I possibly could I stopped by for a bite with one of my most trusted foodie friends.
Before we had a chance to look at the menu or open the beer we brought along from The Foodery, a plate of chips smothered with traditional refried beans and crumbled queso fresco was brought to our table along with two salsas. Both salsas were good, if not a bit too pureed for my liking. The flavor of the green salsa was excellent, heavy on the lime and cilantro, while the red salsa was a bit spicier, with a hint of smokey chipotle.
Guacamole was definitely a hit and full of flavor. Chunky guacamole is exactly what I like and this one totally satisfied. It was loaded with fresh tomatoes, red onion, garlic and fresh cilantro. Don't forget to order this as a starter as it compliments everything you could possibly order and they give you a huge plate of it!
Carnitas tacos are prepared traditionally with chopped white onion, cilantro and plenty of fresh lime wedges for squeezing. The pork was very tender and tasty, but I'm used to carnitas being shredded pork, so I was surprised with the way the pork was cut, but the meat was plentiful and delicious.
Flautas are freshly fried, not greasy in the slightest and filled with seasoned shredded chicken or beef, your choice. They're not shy about flavor at Que Chula es Puebla, and as you can see from the picture above, they're not skimpy with the crema or cheese either. Yum.
Vegetarians should be happy with their choices at Que Chula es Puebla. The vegetable quesadilla was stuffed with a variety of fresh grilled veggies and served with vegetarian rice and beans.
They're not reinventing Mexican food at Que Chula es Puebla. The location and atmosphere aren't fancy, and neither is the food. But the food is good and inexpensive and it's far less effort for me to walk up 2nd street a few blocks for a decent burrito than make my way down to Washington avenue whenever I have a burrito craving. For simple Mexican food at more than reasonable prices, check out Que Chula es Puebla.
Que Chula es Puebla
1356 N. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122