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June 2004 Taqueria el Poblano

Stands out for freshness and clarity of ingredients often lacking at Mexican and Salvadoran restaurants.

This pair of restaurants stands out for freshness and clarity of ingredients often lacking at Mexican and Salvadoran restaurants. In either place, you get excellent Tex-Mex and Salvadoran food in large portions and attentive service at good prices. South-of-the-border beer and margaritas quench the thirst.

The standard specials are done well: quesadillas with a choice of fillings; taquitos, rolled tortillas stuffed with pork or chicken; shrimp tacos served hard or soft; guacamole of ripe avocado studded with tomato; and sweet grilled onion. Standouts among the main courses are lime-marinated steak sliced into strips and served à la fajitas with onions and peppers; similarly prepared strips of pork loin; and a very fine large chiles rellenos. The chicken mole lacked the intensity that is the hallmark of the dish. The best dessert is chocolate fritters with ice cream. Sunday-brunch fanciers will find solace here: The huevos rancheros are excellent.

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