Trey Popp files his first review for Philadelphia Magazine, his inaugural target, El Rey. Popp doesn’t find big mistakes but only a couple of items that are worth raving about.
The outstanding stuffed poblano pepper, a carryover fromÂ Xochitl, rides waves of flavor – a splash of creamy walnut sauce, a spray of almonds, then a dried-fruit-and-cinnamon-scented tide of beef, whose sweetness recedes as tart bursts of pomegranate punctuate the slow burn of the chili. Sucking his mole negro – an alchemy of anchos, mulatos and chilhuacles – off of slow-cooked lamb cubes is like plunging through a column of chili smoke into a cauldron of chocolate-dusted tobacco leaves. Itâ€™s as black as sin, as pungent as heartache, as mysterious as redemption.
Two Stars out of Four
Since another reviewer has taken a look at El Rey we have updated ourÂ El Rey: Annoted Menu.