El Mural de los Poblanos (Puebla, Puebla) #WeVisitMexico

I wish I had loved El Mural de los Poblanos more than I did. There, I said it. Of all the epic meals I had during my WeVisitMexico Puebla Tweetup, I have to chalk El Mural de los Poblanos’ performance as that of a middle-of-the-road restaurant for what the expectations were. And not because the restaurants’ staff and general manager weren’t on top of things. They were, and kudos to the general manager, who went above and beyond the call of duty. The reality is, whether it is in Canada, in Mexico or in any other country I have visited, tasting menus suck. And I got a tasting menu at El Mural de Los Poblanos. Not the best move, in my opinion.

El Mural de los Poblanos (Puebla, Puebla)

Tasting menus are, by definition, smaller portions of what you would consume in a normal meal. Often paired with spirits and/or wines, tasting menus are extremely popular in Canada. And while I rarely patronize restaurants that offer them, I can understand how a customer who wouldn’t be able to visit otherwise would want to do them. When I eat out, I prefer full portions of meals, and at every other stop during the WeVisitMexico Puebla Tweetup, that’s exactly what we got. And yes, sometimes our meals were heavy precisely because of the fact that we ate full portions and I had to stay up until I had digested everything. But again, a tasting menu is poised to disappoint as it doesn’t really represent the marvels that said restaurant can produce.

While El Mural de los Poblanos offers top-notch Mexican (and specifically Poblano) cuisine, smaller portions presented in the tasting menu left me wanting a more full-blown experience. Ambiance and decor get major brownie points, particularly the Poblanos mural. Now, on to the actual meal.

El Mural de los Poblanos (Puebla, Puebla)

We began with a traditional Cemita (basically, if you deconstruct a Cemita you can make it with a sandwich of Chalupa Poblana – simple as that). Delicious and most definitely Poblana. So far, so good. Our Cemita was as traditional as they come, but since our dinner at El Mural de los Poblanos was already our second dinner during the We Visit Mexico trip, I already had tasted Chalupas Poblanas and wasn’t all that excited.

El Mural de los Poblanos (Puebla, Puebla)

Our hosts at El Mural de los Poblanos followed up with a chicken and tomato Tostada, which again, isn’t that different from the basic Chalupa. I make my own Tostadas, so much as I really enjoyed the flavourful mixture on top of the toasted corn tortilla, I had had already enough and wanted a different dish (and was starting to wonder whether I was going to try a broad spectrum of derivatives of Chalupas Poblanas).

El Mural de los Poblanos (Puebla, Puebla)

I love Mexican soups. My Mom makes the best Aztec Soup on this planet, and I was looking forward to trying the Sopa de Esquite (corn-on-a-cob soup). Sadly, I was given a mini-taster of sopa de esquite. While very tasty (and a little spicy as they might have added a touch of Chilpotle chile) I really wanted a full portion. Since I found having a Cemita and then a Tostada really heavy on my stomach, I welcomed the Sopa de Esquite heartily despite my disappointment in portion size.

El Mural de los Poblanos (Puebla, Puebla)

The best dish of all El Mural de los Poblanos’ tasting menu was, without a shadow of a doubt, a skewer that contained Mole Poblano, Pipian Verde and Pipian Rojo. Pipian is a traditional mole sauce based on squash seeds. My absolute favorite was the Pipian Verde (green Pipian). Light, perfect portion size after the heavy hitters on the earlier stages of our tasting menu.

El Mural de los Poblanos (Puebla, Puebla)

Desserts included Pan de Elote (cornbread, which I found completely pedestrian regardless of how cutely presented it was) and Cremita (a custard that quickly became my favorite dessert). Overall, I wasn’t overly impressed with our dinner, but again – not because the service wasn’t top-notch (it was). The food was great. But I’m not 100% sold on choice of appetizers, nor on portion size for the soup.

Towards the end of our meal, my fellow Anglosaxon travel writers did try escamoles (larvae) and some other weird Mexican delicacy. Now, my palate is definitely NOT ready for that. And I know that it looked weird that the Mexican in the group did not eat worms, but I wasn’t about to either. Apparently they were very tasty. Frankly, I do hope El Mural de los Poblanos can take my feedback in the positive and constructive way that it is intended. I would definitely recommend people to come and eat at El Mural de los Poblanos. I just wouldn’t suggest ordering the tasting menu.

Disclosure: My trip to Puebla, sponsored by the Mexico Tourism Board, includes transportation, activities and meals. However, my posts are written in my own words and everything I write is entirely my own opinions. Any out-of-pocket expenses are paid out of my own dime. As always, anything that I post on my site is entirely my responsibility and I retain full editorial control.

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Comments (3)

Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)July 8th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

It’s a shame you didn’t like El Mural more than this. For me this WAS the outstanding meal of the trip, being able to taste a lot of food without feeling full – it’s kind of the point – no? I am a fan of tasting menus because often if it’s just me, it means I still get to taste most of the menu. But that’s just me. In any case, the larvae were – ahem – interesting!!!!
Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) recently posted..French Fridays with Dorie: Crunchy ginger-pickled cucumbers

Norma HawthorneApril 27th, 2013 at 11:35 am

How nice you got paid to write this! I’ve been dining at El Mural de los Poblanos coming and going from Puebla to either Oaxaca or Mexico City for the last five years. On my last visit, three days in Puebla, I ate at El Mural three times. Nothing compares to the quality of the food, it’s careful preparation by Chef Lisette and her staff, and the outstanding service of the wait staff. Don’t blame the restaurant if you regretted what you ordered. Too bad, the photos look fantastic.

RaulApril 26th, 2014 at 2:22 pm

First of all: I did NOT get paid to write this, in case you didn’t read my disclaimer at the end of the post. Second of all, I didn’t order, they brought the food sampler. In case you didn’t realize when reading my writeup, this was a media dinner. The restaurant owner/manager makes the decision as to what to bring. El Mural probably has much better food, but what I tried wasn’t to my taste. It’s my blog and my opinion, I write because I like expressing it. Nothing and nobody is assured a positive review on my blog.

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