Where to Find "Chile en Nogada" North of the Border
Chile en nogada is a poblano chile pepper, stuffed with peccadillo (shredded meat, aromatic diced dried fruit and spices), topped with a walnut-cream sauce and pomegranate seeds. This dish from Puebla is not often found on menus of Mexican restaurants in the U.S. It's not even that common south of the border, except during the August-September season surrounding Mexican Independence Day. If you're in downtown Tucson, however, you can try it at Penca.
In a repurposed space with exposed brick and hip cocktails, this restaurant is also a worthy destination for brunch or late afternoon tacos. Choose from carnitas, fish, lengua, cabeza, nopales, carne asada, and more. The corn-tortillas are handmade right after you place your order. (The tortillas alone are almost worth the trip.) Mexico City is the inspiration.
The food is fresh, and the scene is full of optimism: downtown Tucson is reinventing itself with a new streetcar for a live-work-play vibe. Taste and see how this desert city continues to evolve.
(Penca has recently been named one of the best bars in the country. Start your meal here with a creative cocktail!)