Puebla is one of those neighborhood spots that you would probably pass right by unless you lived around the corner and used it for take-out. Completely unassuming, I think it's fair to use the phrase "hole-in-the-wall" when describing this family-operated Mexican food spot. There are a few seats, but most of the business is probably delivery or take-out. After hearing rave reviews for Puebla's authentic Mexican dinner fare, we decided it was time to give their breakfast menu a go.
The Ranchero Breakfast Burrito ($5) consists of eggs, chopped green peppers, onions, tomatoes, ham, jack cheese, and re-fried black beans wrapped--like all of the breakfast burrito options--in a ten-inch flour tortilla. Of the items we sampled, this seems the most classically breakfast in the sense that it tasted like an omelet wrapped in a tortilla (as opposed to a burrito with an egg added). Balance is perhaps the weak point with this one: the green peppers are by far the dominant flavor and could be too strong for some. But overall I found the more California-style burrito to be delicious.
The Chorizo Breakfast Burrito ($5) is a slightly more hearty combination, with plenty of thick-cut slices of the Mexican sausage. While it made for a perfectly satisfying breakfast, the chorizo wasn't anything special, and reminded me a little too much of pizza-sausage.
While not quite as filling, I'd choose the Bacon Breakfast Tacos ($6) instead for a pork-fix. The lean cuts of bacon were smoky, and flavored the beans and cheese. The eggs were blended into the other ingredients and were slightly overpowered by the double-wrapped corn tortillas, so one might consider adding another egg for $0.75. Two tightly wrapped tacos come with each order.
It would seem wrong to sample a Mexican breakfast without trying the classic, Huevos Rancheros ($4.25), so we took away this dish as well. Eggs over-medium top a soupy mix of hot sauce, re-fried black beans, and cotija cheese, and everything is melted together over a layer of tortillas (rather than stacked). The flavor has a welcome intensity that says "chili" without burning your mouth.
Chilaquiles ($6.50)--tortillas covered in black refried beans, and topped with Cotija cheese, slices of avocado, and sour cream--pack more serious heat (at least with the green sauce, but you can also request red). Add eggs for $1 or chicken or beef for $2; I'll certainly be ordering this again with eggs.
We couldn't help but try the small side of mole ($1), which turned out to be excellent: rich and chocolaty. It would make a nice addition to even the simplest "2 eggs on a roll."
Breakfast can be had any time of the day here: it will just cost you $0.50 more if you require it after noon.
47 First Avenue, New York NY 10003 (map) 212-473-6643