The Chile Relleno Has a Cousin — The Chile Pablano

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Chiles poblanos at Las Maracas
  • Chiles poblanos at Las Maracas

With some version or other of Mexican food available every few blocks on the west side of town, there wasn't exactly a stampede to Las Maracas when it opened on Harding Road in early 2008.

Still, as Carrington pointed out, it's a Friday dinner option that everyone in a week-weary group can agree on, so we end up there occasionally.

This last time, I looked over the menu more carefully than usual and found chiles poblanos (though it was spelled "pablanos"). I thought maybe it was a chile relleno in disguise. But no, it has another identity. Like a relleno, it is a poblano chile, stuffed with cheese. But rather than being batter-dipped and fried, the two chiles on the platter were wrapped in a thin layer of omelet. Our server called it a specialty of the state of Puebla.

And it's good. The warmth of the pepper is mellowed by the cheese and enriched with the egg. It has the effect of a relleno without the whole frying thing. A great choice for vegetarians, but filling enough to satisfy a meat eater. And honestly, it's exciting — and unexpected — to discover something new on a Mexican menu in Nashville.

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