Great Mexican at Estrellita Poblana IV
Mexican food is one of the few cuisines Manhattan does best. A friend of mine asserted that the Bronx has the best Mexican, even better than Brooklyn. With a statement like that, how can I not try it? We schlepped all the way up to Estrellita Poblana IV, a Bronx based mini-chain of restaurants that serves very authentic Mexican fare for dinner.
We started off with the fresh in-house made guacamole ($5.45) that’s terribly addictive to eat with the tortilla chips. The horchata ($2.50) was refreshing to drink – not overtly sweet and the hint of cinnamon was perfect.
There’s a mix-and-match section on the menu, where you select the vehicle (taco, burrito, and chalupa) for one of sixteen meats, like chorizo, chipotle chicken, tripe, or suadero, a moist beef marinated in orange juice. Most of these items are topped with savory black beans, cool, fluid sour cream, salty queso blanco, and some fresh veggies.
We wanted to taste the tacos at it’s purest, the kitchen decided to have just fresh chopped parsley and raw white onions. We can figure out our own toppings, as each table would have a this condiment vessel (of two different hot sauces, puréed guacamole, and fresh radishes and lime) to dress the tacos any way one would prefer.
Our order of goat, cabeza (head) and lengua (tongue) in soft corn tacos ($2 each) were overall very good. When eaten without any additional condiments, the goat meat I was hoping to be much more flavorful since the restaurant did have this as a special except it’s been braised the living daylights out of it that it’s surprisingly on the bland side – but at least it’s meltingly tender in the mouth. The cabeza and lengua were simply delicious. It’s well seasoned, no off putting flavors, and incredibly tender.
The tamales Oaxaquenos en hoja de platano ($3) was an impressive item that we didn’t expect to be blown away. I didn’t expect the tamale to be as large (I’m under the presumption of its skinnier sibling that’s wrapped in corn husk). The contents of creamy, not too dense masa, chicken, and mole negro were really sublime and melded wonderfully.
We finished off with the gordita con chicharrones ($2.75). This dense, wonderfully fatty sandwich from the somewhat crisp, finely shredded chicharrón was packed with a lot of fresh lettuce, and queso blanco. The small sandwich-like concoction was delicious but it’s suggested to share since it’s brimming with a lot of delicious filling.
If you manage to be around the Westchester Square section of the Bronx, this is one of the few hidden gems for very good, authentic, inexpensive Mexican food. The Bronx doesn’t have to be only known for old school Italian fare (e.g. Arthur Avenue).
To view more photos of this meal, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE for my photo set):
[tylr-slidr userID=”hellokitty893112″ groupID=””]http://www.flickr.com/photos/hellokitty893112/sets/72157633976570893/[/tylr-slidr]
Estrellita Poblana IV
45 Westchester Sq
Bronx, NY 10461
Telephone: (718) 239-8290