If you’re thinking of Mexican for dinner, the first thing that pops into your mind are probably tacos. Followed by Burritos, tagging along with nachos and quesadillas, and probably a day dream consisting of margaritas with a salted rim. How often do we sit down and order one of the above, without so much as a wink in the direction of the rest of the menu? We went out for some authentic Mexican cuisine, and decided to stray from the norm and try some dishes that aren’t in our usual rotation. At Chilango’s in Providence, you have all of these classics on the menu, as well as a variety of traditional Mexican dishes that you have just got to try.
We started with the Coliflor Rostizada, roasted cauliflower in a thick and flavorful poblano mole, sesame, scallions, and finished with queso cotija. Cauliflower is such an amazing vegetable. As a matter of fact, it is a cruciferous vegetable, which offers a number of health benefits! But what we love about albino broccoli is that is is so versatile! Here, is had smooth and spicy flavors throughout, and offered somewhat of a meaty consistency. The mole was thick and just a tad smokey, which really upped this dish for us! What a great starter.
OK so I know that we said we were going to try different things tonight, but how could we resist everyone’s favorite dip? Yes, we got chips and guac. Smoother than butter served with house made crispy tortilla chips. If you like it hot, add habanero! Don’t be scared, spice it up baby!
Speaking of dips, we practically did an olympic style head-first dive into the Queso Fundido. Yes, “fun” is in the name. Yes, we played with this melty, gooey, delicious pot of queso. An assortment of cheeses melted together, with bites of spicy chorizo and peppers, served with a side of warm flour tortillas. The photo-worthy cheese pull is easy here, stick a form and watch that melty cheese stretch allllllll the way to your mouth.
Three adorable mini sandwiches called pambazos, were placed before us. They were almost too cute to eat. These little buns were stuffed with tinga chipotle chicken, shredded lettuce, and queso cotija. The pulled chicken was full of flavor, and super juicy. But what made these lil darlings so tasty were the buns! Of course. They are dipped in pepper sauce, fried, and then grilled before they are filled with the tinga chicken. The layers of taste that comes with a preparation like that is exceptional.
Speaking of cute appetizers, we also enjoyed the Mamelas Yucatecas; citrus marinated shredded pork, pickled red onions and cilantro all cradled in little fried corn bowls, and placed on top of a thick and spicy sauce. The corn bowls were thick and doughy but had a perfect crispy outside, holding all of the spiced flavor inside.
All of these carbs and cheese had us feeling like some greens. So we tried cactus for the first time! The cactus salad was topped with sliced almonds, grapefruit segments, tomatoes, onions, and a drizzle of agave mustard dressing. If you have never had cactus before, it has such a great consistency; juicy, with a snap! The brightness of the grapefruit and the tangy mustard dressing wrapped this salad up so nicely, finished with a nutty crunch.
The next dish we enjoyed was the Pollo en Mole; tender roasted chicken breast, that shreds when you sink a fork into it, smothered in an herb verde mole sauce. Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce that is flavored with garlic, onions, and typically with habanero or some type of pepper. Here, this smooth green sauce was thick, and had an underlying bite of spice. Served with a side of rice and warm flour tortillas, it’s everything you could want served in one dish.
Our final plate was on the special menu; the enchilada pochutecas. Rolled tortillas filled with crispy cheese, topped with smokey chile pasilla salsa, crema, sliced almonds, pickled red onions and slices of avocado served with a side of rice. Enchiladas are really like a cross between a burrito and a taco, with all the yummy stuff on top (what’s not to love!?). We loved this dish so much because it wasn’t something you see all the time. The sliced almonds added a nutty crunch, and the pasilla salsa gave some heat. And the cheese stuffed in the middle?! Phew! A special delicious enough to earn a permanent spot on the menu.
We would like to thank everyone over at Chilangos; Carlos, Max, and our model Justina. You were all so wonderful, and fed us so well!
Thank you to our photographer, Ashoka for photographing all of this delicious and tasty food!