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i like a big pile of barbacoa, though, so maybe a return visit is in order.  or maybe i'll hit that up in south philly on sunday...  mmmm weird spaghetti....

You think it's open on Easter? Because I'd definitely up for some goaty goodness. And odd spaghetti...

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  • 1 month later...

Dropped back in to Xochitl last night and ended up sucked into a weird time vortex, I think we were there for 15 hours or something... It's something to do with the tequila, I think.

Had some delicious cocktails, served up by bartender Bob (who will from now on be known as "A Different Bob.") Bob was feeling a little whacky, something about West Ham humiliating Man U, some sort of croquet contest as best as I could tell...

His mood fit ours pretty well, so we abandoned our plans for a table and just stayed at the bar and let Bob amuse us. He managed to concentrate enough to make some very fine drinks, the best of which might have been a pretty bangin' margarita, made with a Corazon reposado.

Food was quite delicious too. We started nibbling on Queso Fundido with Chorizo and Chiles. This had great flavor, it wasn't not merely gooey, rubbery, oily melted cheese (OK, it's a little gooey, rubbery and oily - it's melted cheese - but way better than most places.) The chorizo was a crucial component, I'd be sure to get that in there.


Regarding the Gordons' chorizo trauma reported above, it might partly be an expectation of a Spanish-style sausage, or an unfortunate triggering of terrifying taco-day memories, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the Chorizo here! We thought this was quite tasty, not reminiscent at all of cafeteria horrors. But on a certain level, Mexican chorizo is what it is, crumbly, oily, peppery, and if it happens to spur certain associations, there's probably no getting around it...

We also quite liked the guacamole.


It doesn't really look like it, but there's a good-sized mound of it under the nice, light fried chips. The flavor was very bright and lemony, one of the better guacs I've had.

I managed to grab a sample of the Sopa Azteca, and it struck me as a very good example of the classic Tortilla Soup.


I did not sample the ceviche, but it seemed to be getting good reviews, the only complaint being that it was such a large serving! This might be a good one to anticipate sharing...


Our amnesiac dining partner decided to try the Pork Shank (again) and he pronounced it quite delicious. Pity he won't remember it...


I grabbed a sizable chunk while he wasn't looking and found it to be very full-flavored, moist, tender, and nicely spiced. I'm still surprised by the two "eh.." reviews posted above, I had this twice now, and it has rocked both times.

Consumer alert: they will warn you that the onion-pepper condiment on the side is very spicy. Believe them. This stuff is not kidding around...

I finally tried the "Chiles en Nogada" a poblano chile with ground beef, nuts, fruits, etc and a creamy sauce.


It's apparently traditional to serve this room-temperature, and it tasted fine that way, I suppose this particular sauce might have acted strange if heated. The filling was flavorful, and interacted nicely with the chile and sauce, but in the end it's ground beef. I think I like the similar dish at Molcajete Mixto (served hot, with shredded pork as a filling) a tiny bit better, but this version was quite good too.

I forget the name of this dessert - sweet tacos filled with fruit, etc...


I was actually so full at this point that I didn't even make a run at it, but it looked good...

I opted instead for a trio of ice creams:


The upper scoop was supposedly Mexican Coca Cola. Katie and I were joking that it must have actually been made from Coke Zero, it tasted like... well... nothing. Seriously, it tasted like ice. Weird. On the bottom right was Kahlua, and very good: nice and creamy, quite tasty. The bottom left was Mint, and, weirdly, again, tasted like nothing at all. But creamy. It was sitting ON a mint leaf, and didn't taste minty. Very strange. I was almost wondering if I'd blown my tastebuds out on something, but I could taste the kahlua one just fine. I didn't say anything at the time, it was no big deal, the Ice Creams weren't disgusting or anything, just bland, and I didn't really mind. I wouldn't have wanted a replacement or anything, so I didn't bring it up. I'm sure it was some weird thing with flavors not being distributed evenly or something, and I got a couple of unlucky scoops.

But jeeze, sorry for doing this publicly like this, but I feel confident word will get back to the folks at Xochitl. The very friendly and helpful manager (who I suspect has her days made much more, umm, interesting, by the likes of Bob!) greeted us warmly, and said she remembered us from the last time, and liked the pictures her on eGullet! I know the big-honking camera isn't the most subtle device in the world, but i do try to be low key... oh well, busted...

In any case, we did receive very nice service from everyone, from the hostess to the manager, even Bob in his perapatetic way...

Overall a very good night: refreshing drinks, delicious food, good company, and even entertainment from across the bar.

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz


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Bob, our friendly bartender, was highly amusing. I was having a hard time today trying to remember the nickname he gave me. I kept thinking it was "Bitchy knickers" but it was actually "Naggy Britches". :rolleyes: And that Corazon Reposado made a righteous 'rita. I went out today and snapped up a bottle with a quickness. I'm enjoying the fruits of that purchase this evening in a homemade maragarita that's pretty tasty. I cheat and use frozen Limeade in my home 'ritas. It's quicker than juicing all that fruit since I took my juicer to work with me for use at the bar.

I really enjoyed the apps a Xochitl. And the tastes of everyone else's entrees and dessert were quite enjoyable, with the exception of the utterly tasteless cola ice cream. The "INteresting" service (and I mean that in a Bugs Bunny and Gossamer kind of way) from Bob, as well as the food and drinks are well worth exploring. Tequila aficionados beware. This place could keep you busy for quite awhile.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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  • 3 months later...

We stopped by last week and had another very good experience - the fourth I think. I'll second philadining's mention of the Queso Fundido and of the guacamole, which to me is one of the most remarkable things there.

We also tried the equivalent of the chamorro mentioned upthread, now made with cochinita (suckling pig?) ribs, which was possibly even better than the shank, sampled before.

Honorable mention also goes to the camarones a la sal, which my SO deemed among the best she had here.

Churros to close were, as ever, a very good idea.

Separate mention for the excellent margaritas, which I prefer with the Patron reposado or the Don Julio anejo.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

everyone should try the morcilla salad at xochitl. slices of morcilla, endive with tomatillo sauce, warm pico de gallo. it's awesome. actually everything we had last night was really good. i hadn't been back since it opened, really, but i plan to go again soon.

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  • 9 months later...


Sic transit gloria mundi. My usual regret is that we should've gone more often.

Whoa there, let's slow down with the tansiting of the gloria, mundial or otherwise: the new kitchen has been up and running a week. I trust the crew there to address any problems - if they have them, since Philly Mag's acumen in food criticism is less than piercing, generally speaking.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Granted: however, in most of the places we've been to a change of chef has brought some change (Matyson is actually the most recent notable exception that comes to mind). Good or bad remains to be seen, but if what Phillymag writes is true, I will personally not deem it good. Still, we'll find out when we come back over on the 20th.

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