I know, you're looking at the photo thinking, eew! fried dough! But hey, this fried dough is da bomb! Living in Southern California, churros are as common in Los Angeles as apple pie is in other parts of the U.S. So to happen upon this churreria in Puebla that is OPEN UNTIL MIDNIGHT was a blessing!
You can buy a few in a bag to happily munch as you stroll along the street (they never made it past a few blocks!) Or, there are several tables and chairs in this corner venue where it is a popular place for folks to hang out, enjoy some sweet fried dough or sandwiches, and catch a game or two of futbol on the TV screen in the dining area.
Favorite Dish: Again, churros are basically fried dough, and as if THAT wasn't fattening enough, they roll the churros in sugar. This churreria also sold bunuelos (the round ones) and other shapes of fried dough. All very yummy and quite popular from what we can tell.
The churreria also served more substantial food such as tortas (sandwiches) and cemitas (another kind of sandwich.) It was quite popular, both during the day and in the evening. On our first evening, we happened upon the churreria just as they were closing (it was past midnight), so we made it a point to stop by the next day. And the next!
Like Casa Puebla, this is another good restaurant on the Zocalo at which to enjoy food, drinks and soak in the local atmosphere. Besides the typical regional specialities, there are also Italian items on the menus (pastas and pizzas.)
It is always crowded, but one can always find some place to sit.
Some of the waitresses wear the traditional China Poblana blouses and skirts.
A nice place to hang out and enjoy the Zocalo, either day or evening.
Favorite Dish: As you read through my Tips, you will see that I've had chalupas and soda de limonada at almost every place I went. (What can I say? If I like something, I stick with it!) At Caffe Vittorio, my favorites did not disappoint me here.
They also serve those pale orange-colored puffed crackers that look like pinwheels along with some Tipatio sauce (hot sauce.)
A very casual atmosphere, lots of families as well as groups of young people getting ready to hit the clubs.
This place was usually busy both during the day and the evening.
In the evening, there are modern, comfortable chairs situated on the sidewalk, often with live music to accompany your dinner/drinks.
Seemed to be a place where people would hang out, probably to gather before hitting the clubs.
Favorite Dish: I ordered chalupas a soda de limonada. My friend ordered alcoholic beverages. They have a full dinner menu as well as appetizers and drink menus as well.
It was a nice place to just relax, soak in the lively atmosphere of the Zocalo in the evening.
I spent four days in Puebla, and believe it or not, I had chalupas at least once, sometimes twice a day.
I don't know if this particular dish originated in Puebla, but it is on the menus of most restaurants in the city. And, you often see street vendors, both day and night, selling chalupas to anxious passersby who need a quick bite to eat on the go or in between bar visits.
Favorite Dish: Chalupas are very simple, yet packed with flavor. The ingredients/recipe, from what I can tell are:
* Take a small tortilla, about the size of the palm area of your hand and lightly fry it.
* After frying, spread either salsa verde (made of green tomatillos and green pepers) or salsa rojo (made of red pepers and red tomatoes) on the tortilla.
* Top the salsa with a small bit of shredded, grilled beef, not too much. Almost just enough to look like a garnish topping.
* Finish topping with a sprinkling of chopped onion.
Again, very simple, but packed with flavor, and just the right amount for a breakfast or appetizer item, or as a nice side to a main entree.
I have to say, it's all about the sauce. So if any of you have any good chalupa recipes, do share!
In most restaurants in Puebla, you will find these two types of sauces on the menu:
* Mole Poblano--served with some sort of meat (chicken, turkey, etc.) or on enchiladas
* Pipian Verde--a green pumpkin seed sauce, again either over meat or enchiladas
Although you can find mole (pronounced "moh-lay") sauces in dishes throughout Mexico, Puebla is the city known for the first mole. Mole refers to a type of sauce that contains as many as 10 varieties of peppers, both fresh and dried, and other spices and chocolate. (yes, chocolate!) The legend goes that Sister Asuncion of the Convento de Santa Rosa added spices from her cupboard when asked to prepare a special dish for a visiting bishop. She added these spices to the traditional Indian "mole guajolote" and put her "mole poblano" sauce on turkey and served what is now the defining dish of Poblano cuisine.
Another popular type of sauce is "pipian verde" or a green, pumpkin seed-based sauce. I don't exactly is in this sauce, but it is pretty darn amazing. I am craving it now as I write this Tip!
Favorite Dish: When in Puebla, do try both mole poblano (which is a dark sauce, from the chocolate and other spices) and the pipian verde (simple, yet quite delicious.)
You can find dishes with either sauce in most restaurants in Puebla. The Poblanos are proud of their regional cuisine, so take full advantage of it while you visit their charming city.
We visited one of El Ranchito's three locations, going to the one located within the Hotel Palace not far from the Zocalo. We had read about the restaurant, and our tour guide had also recommended it to us as a place where we could try the famous "chile en nogada" regional speciality dish.
It is a very casual venue, and very reasonable, too. I would recommend it as a place to try some of the regional specialties.
Favorite Dish: We tried the Chile en Nogada here. This dish is a poblano chile, stuffed with meat, fruit (pineapple mainly), walnuts and vegetables. the chile is then coated with a light batter and fried, and then the fried, stuffed chile is plated with some cream sauce and pomegranate seeds. It was definitely a different dish than any other Mexican dish that I've tried, and very tasty.
They also have other typical Poblano specialties such as pipian verde (a green sauce made from pumpkin seeds), the famous Mole Poblano ("from the convent to your table" is how they describe it, as the sauce was supposedly the invention of a nun at a local convent when she had to prepare a special dinner for a visiting bishop), chalupas (my favorite), etc. I also tried a Cemita, a famous regional sandwich, but found it to be just o.k. at El Ranchito. It was basically a thin grilled steak sandwich. The Cemitas at the local stalls at the Callejon de los Sapos looked more appetizing and tasty.
The service was good. Overall, a nice, casual place to try some of the famous Poblano specialties, catch some TV (futbol, of course) in the historic center.
We went there to enjoy the "happy hour" after working time and we (me and my office coleagues) until 1h in the night.
Mexican food accompanied by good mexican beer and some tequilas make you spend the best time together with friends...
Don't miss it.
An original argentine barbecue in the middle of Mexico.
For the ones who love a tasty meat barbecue, do not miss the opportunity.
Favorite Dish: Bife de Chorizo, for sure...