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Puebla Mexican Restaurant

New York NY (East Village)

47 1st ave (btwn. 2nd & 3rd st), new york ny 10003
mon-fri 7am-12am, sat 8am-12am, sun 10am-12am


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Rating: 74
Price: $$$$

On a recent unseasonably warm November afternoon, I continued my quest for the East Village's best tacos with a trip out to Puebla as a precursor to a session at the Russian Bathhouse nearby. I'd been driving past Puebla fairly regularly while delivering cookies and pies for my job, and the outside had a cool mural, so my hopes were that it could potentially supplant Zaragosa as my local go-to.

Puebla is nicely decorated with turquoise colors and a prominently displayed Wu-Tang sticker, and it's got a big ol' menu on the wall to go with a whiteboard of daily specials. Even from the outside, you can tell it's the sort of place that has good enchiladas and mole; however, my objective on this day was purely taco-related. With that in mind, I ordered some (quite expensive) steak tacos. As you can see from the menu, Puebla is unfortunately of the "taco plate" style, in which you receive several of the same taco, rather than my favorite "mix-n-match" style.

The tacos came out fairly quickly on a nice clean plate. The tacos consisted of large strips of steak, rolled between two tortillas, with a cilantro-onion filling in the center. On the whole, the meat volume was probably slightly larger than your standard flat taco, but not appreciably, and certainly not adequate to compensate for the mark-up.

The meat was salty and a fairly good cut, though there were few hunks that took some serious incisor-work to rip through. The seasoning was adequate but could certainly use some more flavor. Overall, though, Puebla struggled with putting together the total package. The tortillas were a bit dry, and when combined with the meat the food could have used some more moisture. There was no salsa or lime, and a bottle of vinegary-red store-bought salsa resting on the counter was the only moisture available for addition. On the whole, Puebla makes a solid effort (and supports Wu-Tang), but they need to address quite a few basic deficiencies to get up to return-customer status.

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