While North Grande Avenue features legendary Tucson restaurants such as Tanias 33 Mexican Food, Mariscos Chihuahua, and Pat’s Chili Dogs, one new food trailer quietly opened around the corner on a dirt lot on West St. Mary’s Road.
Drive through the front gate at 1114 W. St. Mary’s Rd to find the vibrant El Antojo Poblano. While Tucson is chock-full with Sonoran mesquite-grilled beef and flour tortillas, El Antojo Poblano features the distinctive cuisine of Puebla, Mexico.
Puebla native Analy Guzman opened the food stop with her husband Leobardo Guzman on February 6. Both of them cook and handle customer service. During our visit, Leobardo handed us menus and took our orders, while Analy prepared the meal and checked in with us afterwards.
While Poblano cuisine isn’t one of Tucson’s most prominent styles of Mexican cuisine, its arrival via El Antojo Poblano is exciting for a foodie.
Due to the French Intervention in the 1800s, Puebla City features rich bread culture. Although you might be familiar with pan dulce throughout Tucson, you’ve probably missed out on the brioche-like, sesame-covered cemita bread.
The name cemita can also be used to name a sandwich made with the cemita bread, as is the case at El Antojo Poblano. Here, the Cemita ($7.99) envelops a breaded fried beef cutlet, salty ham, stringy queso Oaxaca, cilantro-like papalo herb, caramelized onion, smoky chipotle peppers, cool avocado, and olive oil.
If that sounds like a mouthful, it is. You’ll have to open wide to bite into this tower of a sandwich. Don’t mistake its size as a gimmick, however; the wide spectrum of textures and flavors create a mariachi in your mouth.
The next dish to catch our eye was the Chalupas Poblanas ($4.99 for six). This ain’t your Taco Bell chalupa, that’s for sure. These little tortillas are fried with salsa roja and salsa verde, then topped with carne deshebrada, crumbled cheese, and onion. The tortillas have a little crunch and pliability at the same time, so they don’t crumble like tostadas.
If you can handle heat, then you’ll love both their salsas. Be careful with the green salsa, however; look closely and you’ll see specks of red. The green salsa felt spicier than the red but both had us sweating.
Even though this visit only included two dishes, we’re excited to return for the rest of their hard-to-find Puebla dishes. Stay tuned for updates on the Enmoladas de Pollo (Chicken Mole, $6.99) and giant Huaraches ($7.99) along with the Fridays-and-Saturdays-only soup Mondongo ($8.50) and aromatic slow-cooked Mixiote ($10.99 to $11.99).
El Antojo Poblano is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
El Antojo Poblano is located at 1114 W. St. Mary’s Rd. Keep up with El Antojo Poblano on Facebook.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran’s Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...