Two Top: Las Cazuelas
In a neighborhood full of Mexican restaurants, we thought we could stumble into any ol’ place and have a great meal. With authentic sounding names (I studied two years of Spanish in college and didn’t know what anything meant), it seemed like we couldn’t go wrong. But Northern Liberties’ BYOB Las Cazuelas enlightened us to just how wrong we could go.
The Cazuelas Nachos, homemade tortilla chips served with black beans, picadillo, melted oaxaca and chihuahua cheeses, topped with sour cream and guacamole sounded like a sure thing. We love bar food, we love nachos! Maybe starting with the least authentic dish on the menu wasn’t a great idea, but not only were the nachos pretty average, but they were served with meat. I’m guessing it was ground beef, and I’m guessing because nowhere on the menu was meat mentioned, and though I could eat them, Conrad was left out of our very first coarse. Not a great sign.
Trying to salvage the evening, we ordered the Corn Quesadillas, a simple, classic dish of soft tortillas stuffed with oaxaca cheese. Unfortunately, this seemingly simple dish was also sub par. Everything had the same chewy texture, the melted cheese was not quite melted enough, and the tortillas, only slightly heated, were undercooked. At $7, I couldn’t help but think we could have stumbled into any other restaurant nearby for a better experience.
In a last ditch effort to salvage the evening, I ordered the Empanaditas de Tinga. Empanadas are one of my favorite foods, and though I wasn’t super excited about their preparation here, I also wasn’t totally disappointed. Everything else on our table was lacking flavor, down to the chips and salsa (that tasted strangely like duck sauce) the empanadas were the first hit in our hit-or-miss evening. Chicken and onions sauteed with chipotle peppers brought a sorely needed spice to the meal. [Photo at top of post!]
Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll ever go back to Las Cazuelas. There are just too many better options in the neighborhood.
But if you’ve ever been to Las Cazuelas and have a completely different story, leave a comment!
Words by Andrea McGinty