For a little while now in downtown, we have been witnessing a restaurant boom. Restaurants are popping up downtown like flowers in the pavement. One of these restaurants to spring up is Penca! This place opened up at the end of February by Patricia Schwabe, owner of Peach Properties. Patricia was born in Mexico City and she wanted to make the chow at Penca as genuine as possible.
The atmosphere of the place was trendy. The exposed red brick, pipes, and wood tables gave the place a warm feel. Along with Edison lights illuminating the area. It was very easy on the eyes.
First right off the bat, I would recommend reservations before you go. Since my Mother and I didn't we had a bit of a wait on a comfy, white couch with chips and salsa. Five minutes later we got a table. Woot!
The head chef of the place is Johnathan Hale. He started cooking under the great Albert Hall at Acicia in the Pantry Station.
Our appetizer was the Queso Fundido ($9) or as our waitress called it "cheesy goodness". It's cheese was Chihuahuan cheese. A glorious satin of cheese. The raja and sautéed were very tasty. The dish was suppose to come with achiote sausage. Instead it came with shredded turkey was a great substitute. The viscosity was like a chowder. This made eating it infront of people more attractive. It came with tortillas perfectly sized for you mouth.
My mother ordered the Short Ribs ($18). These tender, well seasoned ribs were easy to pull apart with her fork. They were presented on a bed of something that tasted like grits. A good example of upscale comfort.
For my entrée I got the Chile en Nogada ($16). It was a perfect marriage of both sweet and savory. The dish consisted of a chile poblano stuffed with tender pork . Along with sweet tender pork. Along with sweet plaintains, apples, and dried fruit. Topped with a pomegranate sauce and seeds. It all tied together greatly.
The dessert we ordered was the Chocolate Bread Pudding, created by Mr.Hale himself. The dish was like the cooler older brother to chocolate cake. We ate it quickly because it tasted so good there was no room for talking only Mmmmmm.
50 E. Broadway Blvd. Tues-Fri 10am-1am
(520) 203-7681 Sat 8am-1am