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Feb 23, 2009 11:13 AM

Perola's in Kensington

This little place in Kensington market is where I buy my fresh and dried chilies. There seems to be some kind of ad hoc food prep/serving scenario happening at the back. I'm wondering if any of you have sampled their offerings. I can't remember exactly what they have, but I noticed several Hispanic looking people sitting down around there seeming to be enjoying themselves.

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  1. There are a few places on Augusta where this takes place. Little kitchens at the back of the grocery store that make amazing street foods. Have to admit that I haven't tried Perola's since the ladies that made the stuffed pupusas retired. I hear that the folks there now are doing different flavourings of tacos.

    You might also try Emporio Latinho a couple of doors down. Same idea, though they also do amazing tamales and churros.

    1. some of the best tacos in the city, along w/ rebozos. The 3 salsas (verde, roja and an orange one) on offer are very good. Orange one is very spicy, I am a fan. They also make a good soup (barbacao consomme).

      None of the Mexican places in Kensington come close to the ladies at Perola's.

      3 Replies
          1. re: ChalkBoy

            Lots of folks around here. Salvadorean food is nice but it's not Mexican, nor is the Mexican food cranked out around Kensington that good. It's tasty but nothing to write home about.

      1. Perola tends to be my go to snack spot in Kensington. Everything is made when you order which means that you end up waiting for awhile - usually at least 10 minutes. If there are others waiting we're talking 20+ minutes.

        I usually order the pupusas and really enjoy them although I haven't had pupusas from anywhere else.

        They also serve tamales, tostadas, churros and a few other things (maybe some brunch offerings like huevos rancheros?).

        Worth a try but not a special trip.


        2 Replies
        1. re: wontonfm

          the pupusa lady retired, due to illness if I recall.

          It's now two ladies serving tacos, this happened over a year ago. Try visiting again, you'll enjoy it.

          1. re: wontonfm

            I go here all the time for peppers and never knew. Can't wait for my next trip.

          2. There's Perola's and Emporio. Which ever is the one more southerly on Agusta is the one I go to. I get my chilies there and other stuff too.

            I've had a few things from the back but the real stand out for me was the tamale. I'd never had one and after one bite, wondered what planet I'd been on. It was fantastic.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Davwud

              I just finished a taco cochinita (pork) and a chicken tamale from Perola. The taco was good, but the tamale was dynamite. I had it with the orange spicy salsa. Will definitely be going back for another as well as to try the soup and pupusas.

              1. re: pizzatheorem

                Are they doing pupusas again? Good to know!

                1. re: Snarf

                  Yes they have pupusas. Looking forward to trying them!

            2. A little sidenote - does Perola's sell fresh poblano peppers on a regular basis?

              14 Replies
              1. re: kweenshaker

                As far as I know. If not, Imporio does.


                    1. re: pizzatheorem

                      They always have dried poblanos. Do they always have fresh?

                        1. re: Googs

                          between the two stores you can find fresh for sure.


                          1. re: Googs

                            Perola's has fresh Poblanos. Every time I have been there they have had them but I only go maybe 5 times a year.

                            1. re: mlukan

                              Thanks everyone. I frequent the market in the nice weather, but didn't want to brave the cold only to be disappointed!

                              Chile relleno time!!

                            2. re: Googs

                              I live nearby and have been there over a dozen times. Fresh poblanos are a stock item there. In fact I was there today AGAIN to get tamales and soup (they were out of pupusas) and they had them. Man, the tamale with the mole sauce is a winner. Especially with the orange spicy salsa, if you like spicy. Thanks to aser for that recommendation. The consomme barbacao was also very good. Very hearty. It contains beef (I think) and chick peas and is spiced with cloves. The condiments for the soup are a couple of dried spices, lime, the three salsas that aser described, and a cilantro onion mixture. Each item is between $2.50 and $3.50.

                              1. re: pizzatheorem

                                The onion mixture is their pico de gallo...

                                Glad you enjoyed it, I love the back of bodega feel of this place. Try Rebozos if you get the chance. It is a bit of a trek though.

                                Also, Perola's is the only place in the city I've come across w/ Mexican Coke (no not the snort snort kind).

                                1. re: aser

                                  There's a Latino mall on Milvan that has Mexican coke. The mall it's self is really neat because none of the menues in the food court have English on them.


                                  1. re: Davwud

                                    I've never been out there, rarely go to that part of town. I"ll keep that in mind though, looks interesting. What would you recommend I eat at the food court?

                                    1. re: aser

                                      I had one of the sandwiches in the Chilean place. We've also had a couple of the pupusas. All great. The shrimp civeche at the (I think it's Columbian) place was once very good and the second time excellent. Tacos Al Pastor at the Mexican place were very tasty too.


                                  2. re: aser

                                    I'll probably get a Mexican coke on my next visit. Next time I'll get a couple of tamales (with the chocolate mole) and the cheese and cactus taco. The back of the place is very rustic with people cramped together sitting on small stools arranged around the serving area and a big menu written by hand on a piece of bristol board: I get my stuff to go. Reminds me of some places I saw in Costa Rica. The instructions for reheating the tamale were, "One and a half minutes in the microwave," which was spot on.