When natives of the southern Mexican state of Puebla began arriving in New York in earnest in the late ’80s and early ’90s, they had a profound impact on the city’s idea of what Mexican food could be — several degrees earthier, spicier, more varied, and more colorful than the crowd-pleasing burritos, nachos, and hard-shell tacos New Yorkers were used to eating.
As the years have passed, many Poblano restaurants have expanded their menus beyond even the vast range of hand-patted masa vessels — sopes, huaraches, and tlacoyos — and complex moles, like mole poblano, to highlight iconic dishes like round, seeded cemita sandwiches perfumed with pápalo leaves and mole de olla, a hearty one-pot beef and vegetable soup. But the most enduring Poblano establishment remains the bodega taquería, serving up ever-underrated tacos (especially by Angelenos) like the shawarma-inspired, often-pita-wrapped tacos Árabes and the hulky, humble tacos placeros.
Despite being one of the world’s great regional cuisines, Poblano food, especially the permutations that have developed in New York, remains undervalued in the canon of Mexican food — at least in American eyes. Here are a dozen places that serve some of the very best Poblano food that New York has to offer.Read More