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Sep 9, 2007 08:24 AM

cafe angela-a find in eastie

Cafe Angela recently opened at the corner of Brooks and Lexington in East Boston. It is open breakfast to dinner serving both Mexican (more acurately I think Salvadoran) and typical American. Yesterday had a selection of gorditas (chicken or chorizo with red or green sauce), all excellent, a tostada and bites of my dining companion's quesadilla which was yummy and well-balanced between cheese and chicken. They serve specials. Yesterday it was tacos arabes stuffed with (okay, irony) shredded pork. Again, quite good. Service is fast and friendly, corner space with lots of light and it appears to be becoming a place for newcomer Eastie hipsters, long-term residents, etc. Coffee could use some work but I'm going to let it pass.

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  1. When did this place open? It sounds a bit like Tacos Lupita in Somerville. Have you been there? If so, how do they compare?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hiddenboston

      Very new, last few weeks opened I think. I haven't been to Tacos Lupita but my sense from looking at reviews of it is that TL has more selections in Latin food while CA has a sunnier decor and American menu on top of the burritos, etc. I had a pancake with dulce de leche to polish off my meal.

    2. I live around the corner from Angela's and have become addicted to their mole. It is definitley NOT Salvadoran food like many other "Mexican" restaurants around here. The owner is an elderly woman from Puebla Mexico who has been cooking professionally for over 40 years. My wife is Mexican and she says it is by far the best Mexican food she has had in the Boston area. They just opened and don't have the perfect business operation, so you are really only going for the food.

      It has some similar items as Tacos Lupita, but really they are concentrating on typical dishes from the Puebla area and go way beyond tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. They are keeping many typical "American" dishes on the menu because they inherited a long time Eastie restaurant that served a heavy American breakfast crowd. But for breakfasts they have added an excellent Chilaquiles dish as well as some other items.

      They are slowly integrating more typical Puebla dishes onto the menu and specials list, but will remain a binational restaurant.

      You have to try the Mole Poblano dish. It is unlike any mole you can find outside of Mexico or Los Angeles. There are over 100 ingredients and it is cooked for 3 days!

      Puebla in Mexico is generally known as one of the culinary centers of Mexico and over the next months you will surely see some fascinating dishes coming out of Angela's kitchen that you never even knew were "Mexican food." It's definitely worth a trip over to Eastie.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jbowen1519

        Real mole is almost impossible to find anywhere in the US. Even better places often start from a mix. Wow. Can't tell you how psyched I am.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          Yea, this is the real deal. All of the Mexican food is made from scratch.

          I saw these articles on Puebla food that might be of interest:

          This one is on "tinga" which they had on the menu this week, but it sold out by Wednesday:

      2. Sounds fantastic! Is it a sit-down place, or takeout only? Do they have beer/wine? How is street parking around there?

        1 Reply
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          It is a sit down place with about ten tables. There is also a wrap around breakfast bar with stools so you can go alone and not feel weird sitting at a table. No beer/wine, but you could probably ask them to bring in a bottle of wine with dinner. Street parking is easy during the day, a bit more difficult at night. We brought some friends from Somerville there last night and parked half a block away at around 8:00PM.

          They also do takeout. I got two orders of Chilaquiles for Sunday breakfast last week and brought them home.

        2. Sounds great, and nice to know the owner is from Puebla. And of course, if there's homemade mole poblano, we're there! I'm adding a link and map for future reference - I hope to get there this week.

          Angela's Cafe
          131 Lexington St, Boston, MA 02128

          1. Holy crap, is this place good!

            A molcajete mounded with some of the best guacamole I've tasted, served with homemade fried tortilla chips. Lovely, chunky texture, some bits of minced onion, just fresh and amazing. Tortilla soup is simple and lovely, not much more than a beautiful, rich chicken stock, some lime, and strips of homemade corn tortillas.

            Tacos arabes don't have the dose of gine, the tahini-like sauce I was expecting (a contribution of Lebanese-Mexicans in Puebla), but this version is gorgeous anyway, a normal-sized flour tortilla wrapped around a shredded pork filling, a bit of chili snap, a little greasy. Two to an order. I could have eaten four myself.

            The mole poblano, as limster noted in a separate post, is serious and astonishing; deep-brown, glossy, and very complex, myriad flavors hitting the tongue differently with every bite. Many kinds of peppers in there, some sweetness from banana, thickening from corn tortillas cooked into disintegration, a bitter chocolate note that is persistent yet doesn't overwhelm. The vehicle is a beautifully moist breast of chicken, plus rice, beans (with a lovely, integral texture, not overcooked), and homemade corn tortillas. Again, probably the best version of this dish I have ever sampled.

            I'll be returning soon: the tinga gets made once a week and served till it disappears; it was long gone by the night I visited. It's a true family-run place: grandma in the kitchen, son running the front of the house, granddaughter busing. Just a handful of tables, some takeout, and breakfast, lunch and dinner. Note that dinner ends around 9pm. Such nice people, too. It's a bit of a hike from the nearest Blue Line stop. I drove and found parking pretty close by.

            More evidence that Eastie deserves to draw adventurous diners from all over, the way Allston and Chinatown do. Based on one visit, this might be my favorite Chowhound find of the year to date. Many thanks to Hound camillerotier for bringing Cafe Angela to my attention!

            6 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Thanks for the great update, and the tip that they close at 9 pm - we'll be heading there for an early dinner tonight. Mole Poblano is E's all-time favorite Mexican dish. I can't wait to try their version!. Did you notice if they had one of my favorites, Chile En Nogada? Really looking forward to tonight's meal, and will definitely order the tacos arabes too!

              1. re: Rubee

                I did not see that particular dish, in fact have never noticed Chile En Nogada anywhere. The dinner menu is fairly short, but the owner says they will keep rotating nightly specials according to his mama's whim. Probably wouldn't hurt to drop a gentle hint about how much you love that dish.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Thanks MC! I'll be sure to report back.

                  Locally, I've had Chile en Nogada at Tu Y Yo in Somerville - as a seasonal specialty in the fall.

                  (PS - for CHs curious about this dish - commemorated annually at Puebla's Festival del Chile en Nogada - here's an earlier discussion w/pic on the Home Cooking Board):


                  1. re: Rubee

                    Blue Line helpful info: When you get off at Airport, going Outbound, take the escalator or stairs up and over to the Inbound side - exit there - walk straight ahead out of the park, cross Bremen, and keep going until you hit Lexington. (Sorry I don't know cross street's name) Just a few blocks from the T, going this way!

                      1. re: fredid

                        Brooks is the cross street, according to our friends at Google Maps -- looks like about a six block walk. Totally doable!