Las Poblanitas‘ lunch-sign specials are my fail-safe option when payday is around the corner and I’m picking at the lint in my pockets, scraping together a few bucks for lunch.
Today I tried the $6 chicken tostadas, a new lunch special written on a whiteboard that’s shown up outside the restaurant recently, some sort of addendum to the lunch specials posted on this sign that you’ll see most days on the southwest corner of W. 38th Street and Eighth Avenue.
The tostadas didn’t unseat the carnitas tacos as my favorite option off the cheap menu, but they did satisfy my craving for that crunch of tortilla chips that I miss when I order a burrito or tacos, neither of which come with chips (at least for free).
Three large tostada rounds (all tostadas start with what is basically a big, circular chip) emerged from the kitchen smeared with beans and topped with diced chicken, ready for the the receiving line treatment: shredded iceberg lettuce; diced tomatoes, onion, cilantro; pickled jalapenoes; cojita cheese. White sauce? Yes, please.
Only then did it become apparent that Las Poblanitas is clearly unprepared to serve this special as a take-away order; the only way they fit into the take-out container was by stacking the third one on top of the other two and pressing down until the lid locked into place. I had strange flashbacks to when I’ve had to sit on an over-stuffed suitcase to get the zipper zipped.
In my mind, one of the charms of Las Poblanitas is the no-frills decor, which includes the Corona ladies on the ceiling. It’s festive, in a basement-hangout sort of way. Cold beers in the fridge, decent Mexican food, Corona models beckoning: What more can one ask for from a hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint?