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Mexican Find in Sleepy Hollow

w
Westjanie Oct 1, 2007 07:31 AM

We ate this weekend at a new restaurant in Sleepy Hollow called Que Chula es Puebla. Coincidentally, it's right across the street from the sort-of-hard-to-find Greek restaurant recently touted here. My husband, who has been spending a good bit of time in Mexico during the last several years (for business purposes, and eating with Mexican associates,) declares it truly authentic.

The menu is more varied than other restaurants around and the meals we ate very tasty and nearly universally successful. We were a group of four and we ate "dinner" type dishes for the most part (as opposed to tacos, sopes, tortas, etc.) We started out sharing guacamole (made at tableside to order in a molcajete) and quesito fundido: very good. -- And, by the way, pursuant to other recent posts about NR, there were tortilla chips and a decent, tho tame, salsa gratis. The entrees were pollo al tequila (half a chicken with a mix of vegetables in a tequila based sauce,) mixiote de pollo (steamed in parchment with a guajillo and pasilla sauce,) a shrimp, scallop and lobster brochette (shrimp and scallops were cooked perfectly, lobster was tough,) and a combo plate of beef flautas and chile relleno (chile, stuffed with cheese, was deemed bland.) The chicken dishes were VERY tasty. Beers and sangria are available: there is a big bar, but I'm not sure if they have a more comprehensive liquor license. They've apparently only been open 3 months.

All of us are eager to go back and try other items from the extensive menu. By the way, they have both lunch and dinner menus -- the lunch one, not surprisingly, featuring more tacos and tortas.

Their address is 180 Valley St., Sleepy Hollow.

  1. MMRuth Oct 1, 2007 07:33 AM

    Thanks - we saw that on our trip to the Greek place and wondered about it!

    1. c
      c.how Oct 1, 2007 07:59 AM

      We've seen this restaurant too - we wandered there after eating at Valley Pollo, and the staff practically came chasing after us to see if we were coming in for a meal - it looked pretty empty. We just wanted a look at the menu and the pricing; the prices looked a bit high, which we figured had something to do with why the restaurant was pretty deserted.

      What did you think of the prices?

      1 Reply
      1. re: c.how
        w
        Westjanie Oct 1, 2007 09:07 AM

        We thought the prices very reasonable for the types of food we got. Pollo al tequila: $12.50. Mixiote de pollo: 14.25. Flecha jarocha (seafood brochette): 18.25. The only items on the menu over $20 are a couple of paellas with shellfish, and they're $21.50 and 22.50. While it's not a "luxe" restaurant, it does have tablecloths, etc., and is clearly not intended as a workmen's lunch place. They were not full when we were there, but they did have a lot of tables taken, with a mix of types.

      2. i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Oct 1, 2007 12:41 PM

        Thanks for another great tip for Sleepy Hollow... now I have two new places to go next weekend!

        3 Replies
        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream
          adamclyde Oct 1, 2007 12:59 PM

          Has anyone tried Cancun in Sleepy Hollow? I first heard about it about 2 years ago from one of the people working at Paleteria Fernandez, in Port Chester. They said their friends were opening it and it was going to be primarily focused on Yucateca regional dishes. However, I never got the chance to try it and haven't heard of it in a long time. Is it there? If so, and if anyone has tried it... how does it compare to Que Chula, I wonder?

          (Westjanie - thanks for the tip on this place... another place I need to try now!)

          1. re: adamclyde
            MMRuth Oct 1, 2007 01:06 PM

            From our brief drive around Sleepy Hollow looking for the Greek place, it looked like there were a number of Mexican places to check out, as well as one unnamed place that had large photos of roasted chickens in the window - made me wonder if it might be a Peruvian place.

            1. re: adamclyde
              g
              gsun Oct 14, 2007 08:15 AM

              Que Chula is located where Cancun used to be. We tried Cancun a few times and enjoyed it, but it didn't last long. I don't know if there is any connection between Que Chula and the previous owners.

          2. i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Oct 13, 2007 06:51 PM

            My sister and I went to Que Chula tonight and had a great time! The wait staff is so nice, and we really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere (casual, but cute decor, and got more crowded as it got later!). The standard table-side guac was consumed with much gusto, and our main dishes were well prepared-- my chicken enchiladas were moist and flavorful. Beans and rice, warm tortillas, horchata, the whole 9 yards, a very great place to have locally-- convenient from Ossining. I will be back frequently. Oh, and the fried ice cream is flamed up at the table with Bacardi 151, which makes for a show, but leaves quite the aftertaste on the ice cream! :-)

            Again, glad this review was posted. Seems between Que Chula and Santorini, there's plenty of good eats on Valley Street.

            Oh, our meal was about $50 for 2 w/tip, which I think is very reasonable considering the portion size and how yummy the food was!

            -----
            Que Chula es Puebla
            180 Valley St, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

            1 Reply
            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream
              Nancy C Nov 4, 2007 07:33 AM

              We took friends there last night (they have a place in Mexico, so know good food when they find it). Had the Botanita appetizer plate (perfect sharing for four), and the Ceviche (very good balance of lime/garlic/onion taste). Had a diverse bunch of entrees: Pork Tamales (very yummy and filling); Chicken in Cherry/Almond sauce (kind of like Mexican Sweet/Sour Chicken) - not great, but just fine; Chicken in Tequila Sauce (very yummy, lots of veggies); and the Chula mixed plate (tamale, sope and an enchilada). All very tasty, with four couple of beers, horchata, two glasses of red wine and a margarita (not a particularly great one) was about $70 a couple with the tip. We'd made dessert for us to share at home, so we didn't get to try that flaming ice cream. We'd go back for sure. Popped into the Greek place across the way and definitely want to try that, too. Both places reasonably busy, with two groups of 8 (families) at Chula, so hopefully that'll stick and help them be successful. Waitstaff very gracious, talked about Puebla with our friends who've been there a few times, etc.

              Nancy in Ossining

            2. i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Jan 13, 2008 03:32 PM

              I've been back to Que Chula a bunch of times since I first went in October, and I'm sad to report that the last two times we went, the service was extremely slow. I completely appreciate having to wait for carefully prepared, delicious food, but a few weeks ago we took a group of friends and the whole dinner eating experience (no dessert) took 3 hours. My boyfriend and I were really embarrassed-- the wait was no longer funny after hour 2. I love, love the food, and the staff is so nice, but they really need to get their act together in the kitchen.

              1. tbetz Jan 18, 2008 08:46 AM

                I'm fortunate enough to live a few blocks from Valley Street and Que Chula.

                I just picked up a $5 Torta Milanese to go (even though they don't have a take-out menu, they will accomodate to-go requests) and it was absolutely delicious! They make their own potato chips, which accompanied the torta quite nicely.

                I look forward to going back for dinner, though I worry about the threat of slow service.

                For what it's worth, the torta was done in a reasonable ten minutes -- I think the driving factor is that the to-go order made it clear I wasn't drinking. I suspect that the slow service may be a strategy to sell (more profitably) more from the bar. Those who have experienced slow service might want to experiment with a teetotaling dinner, and see if you get different results.

                1 Reply
                1. re: tbetz
                  i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Jan 18, 2008 11:52 AM

                  Interesting point-- many of us were drinking their $9 margaritas, which started off very strong, but got weaker and weaker as the night dragged on-- if they'd gotten stronger and stronger maybe we wouldn't have minded! I think I'll try your strategy and stick with horchata next time. But, we have experienced similarly slow service sans alcoholic beverages, so who knows.

                2. m
                  miguel2 Feb 24, 2008 01:32 PM

                  If you want good Mexican food at a reasonable price, go there pronto. If you want quick and attentive service, stay away.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: miguel2
                    a
                    as1977 Mar 3, 2008 12:48 PM

                    Great Mexican food! the best in the area. The staff is so nice. Splurge and get the fresh home made lime margarita on the rocks for $10, it's worth it. It tasted so fresh and no artifical mix used.
                    The atmosphere is very laid back and no one rushes you out the door. Be prepared to wait for you meal, but it is worth it. Order a starter and plan for it to be a long, relaxed dinner.

                  2. Marge May 12, 2008 07:20 PM

                    We recently dined here, and enjoyed it very much. One and only criticism (well, not only, but biggest)...they advertise a happy hour till 6PM with free appetizers. We arrived at 530 and sat at the bar for our margaritas (patron silver and fresh lime juice, $10 and very good), but no free appetizers were to be had--just chips and good (although not at all spicy) salsa, which was also served gratis on the tables. Oh well, the margarita was good. For dinner we had :soups-- garlic, bread and egg which was fabulous, and chicken tortilla which was very good; the tequila chicken, which was very good, and a combo, which was okay. I had a glass of Mexican sangria, which I had never had before, and liked a lot--instead of brandy, tequila is used in the sangria. It was not terribly sweet, and a nice sized glass was $6. The food was very good, service left something to be desired, and the price was very reasonable. We will return. On the way home, I noticed the parking lot at Guadelejara was packed--I so do not get that!!

                    1. Eat_Nopal May 12, 2008 07:45 PM

                      That is a pretty solid looking menu. At least 75% of the dishes are authentic (as opposed to Tex-Mex) and they have some specialties that aren't common. Even in Calfornia the Mixiote & Huazontle sightings are rare.

                      Presumably they should do the Pueblan dishes best... anybody try the following?

                      > Chicken in Pipian Verde
                      > Turkey in Mole Poblano
                      > Mixiote de Cordero
                      > Tortitas de Huazontle
                      > Coliflor Entomatada
                      > Pescado Que Chula Es Puebla
                      > Tortitas de Mar
                      > Crepas de Camaron
                      > Chicken with Huitlacoche
                      > Tinga Tostadas
                      > Salads
                      > Salpicon

                      Those are the dishes I would commonly order in Puebla.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Eat_Nopal
                        adamclyde May 12, 2008 07:53 PM

                        which menu are you looking at?

                        1. re: adamclyde
                          Eat_Nopal May 12, 2008 08:58 PM

                          Online Dinner Menu:

                          http://www.quechulaespueblarestaurant...

                        2. re: Eat_Nopal
                          i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream May 13, 2008 03:13 AM

                          I've had the mole poblano several times, but I get it with chicken instead of turkey (not sure why, habit I guess, though I know the turkey's supposed to be moister and whatnot) and I LOVE it.

                        3. k
                          kellygirl May 23, 2008 09:56 AM

                          We must have tried this place on a very off night. We went on a Saturday night late last year and the place was so disappointing that I was embarrassed at having suggested it. I had gone soley based on the reviews I saw here and my experience could not have been more different. There was not a fresh item served to us. The chips and salsa were no better than an average Zagat rated 16 restaurant. My tamales tasted like they had been made 6 months prior and frozen and reheated several times. Salsa tasted like it came out of a jar. Margaritas were average. Service was not attentive and atmosphere was awful. The place reminded me of a Mexican version of a greek diner that puts too much on a menu and doesn't do anything well. I thought perhaps they had new owners but other people seem to have posted favorable comments in the months following my experience. Did we hit it when management was on vacation?

                          1. uitsmijter Jul 5, 2008 08:17 AM

                            I view Que Chula es Pueblo as a great neighborhood joint, but not a destination if you don't live nearby. Food is fresh and tasty, service is very relaxed, and drinks are good if you splurge for top shelf, or at least one step above well. My main complaint is it's a tad pricey for Mexican. Chips and salsa were definitely made fresh the last time I was there a couple of weeks ago. We ordered the ensalada de aguacate, the Mixiote de Pollo, chicken flautas, and enchiladas suizas, and all were delicious. The flautas really were among the best I've had anywhere, including five years I spent in Texas. Service was authentically Mexican as well--definitely not "attentive", but I personally view that as a plus. If you need something, just ask. If you're needy or in a hurry, go to a diner or chain restaurant, but don't complain when they deliver your main course before you're through with your appetizer. If you're looking for a relaxing evening with good food and drinks, give this place a try.

                            1. m
                              miguel2 Aug 27, 2008 09:45 AM

                              The food is excellent; the service is still pretty bad. We were there last 8/20/08 and got the wrong drinks, had to get the attention of the spaced out waiter several times, our food took a very long time to arrive, and at the end, were overcharged for our drinks. And this was on a slow night.

                              1. s
                                susemeister Sep 2, 2008 11:53 AM

                                I have eaten there three times (because other friends wanted to try it, too) and found the food to be good but the service terrible. The restaurant has always been practically empty yet we always had to repeatedly ask for more drinks, flag down the waitstaff and wait far too long for our food. They offer delivery service and I called today to have lunch delivered. I live in the next town, Tarrytown, but could not get delivery because they were not familiar with the three well-known streets I am near! When I asked the owner to consult a map he said they don't have one and they expect all the customers to provide directions. He's a horrible businessman and I'm not surprised they don't have a lot of business.

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