Las Poblanitas is a tiny hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant with an unbelievably small kitchen that’s usually filled with Mexican guys having a Negra Modelo at all times of the day. I found it last year on the way to Noodles 36 after seeing a man holding a sign for the place on the corner of 38th and 8th Avenue. Yes, show me a somewhat scary nondescript sign for tacos and I will follow.
Soon after, I was going to Las Poblanitas at least once a week for their delicious fried sopes and fresh tacos. Then one day after multiple visits, I got a bad sope that was reheated and served to me when it really should have been tossed out. I guess I should have forgiven then, since it was just one time, but instead, like a spurned lover, I cheated on Las Poblanitas not once but four times. Last week, after swinging by Ying Du to see if the ducks were back (they’re not and should be back next week according to Midtown Lunch), I found myself hungry and near Las Poblanitas and decided to give them another chance. Perhaps still remembering the bad sope from last year though, I decided to go the all taco route and ordered three tacos: Taco De Chorizo, Taco De Barbacoa De Chivo, and Taco De Lengua (3 for $7.50).
All tacos can be garnished to your preference. I like a lot of veggies and cheese so I always ask for shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, jalapenos, and Cotija cheese. They also have a choice of salsa, red or green. The red is spicier but I always need more heat, hence the jalapenos.
The Taco De Lengua (Beef Tongue Taco), pictured on the left, was gloriously fatty with huge charred cubes of soft tongue. The Taco De Chorizo (Mexican Sausage Taco), right, was also filled with large pieces of salty cured chorizo. I hate places that give you just a sprinkling of ground chorizo. Las Poblanitas doesn’t skimp on the chorizo.
The Taco De Barbacoa De Chivo (Steamed Goat Taco), pictured on the right, was my favorite taco. The goat meat was crazy moist and fall apart juicy with a touch of sweetness. I just learned last week on Andrew Zimmern Bizarre Foods that goat meat can be lower in fat and cholesterol than chicken and even fish. Eating this taco, though, you wouldn’t believe it. The goat tasted like really good fatty pulled pork with hardly any taste of gaminess.
I guess this should be a lesson for me not to be turned off by one bad meal. I’m still wary of the cute French cafe in Midtown after finding an ant in my salad. Next time I’ll order the sopes, and if it ends disastrously, I’ll be writing about the tacos again sometime next year.
Las Poblanitas Restaurant Mexicano (CLOSED)
302 West 38th St (betw 8th & 9th Ave)