Classy tacos are the new food option Provo didn’t know it needed.
When Mountain West Burrito — the Mexican food cafe sharing restaurant space with Provo’s Waffle Love — went out of business, I was curious to see what would fill its spot.
When the signs for Blue Poblano went up, its beckoning call of gourmet tacos and churros quickly had me showing up at ordering stand.
The highlight of Blue Poblano’s menu is, of course, tacos: a range of unique, delicious, pricey tacos (each one is about $5). My group and I tried the al pastor, carnitas, chicken and vegetarian options from the menu, along with an appetizer of chips and guac. Other menu options include burritos and enchiladas.
Each taco arrived to our table housed in a delicious blue-corn tortilla with a range of fillings paired uniquely to each protein, including green pepper, caramelized onion, thin purple cabbage, cilantro, guacamole, radishes, queso fresco cheese and crema.
Our group thought the al pastor taco had a unique, sweet flavor; the carnitas tasted like BBQ with some spice; the chicken was roasted perfectly and had a bit of kick; and the vegetarian was interesting with its substitution of large chunks of bright red beets for meat.
Our appetizer was above and beyond your typical chips and guac: the chips were also made of blue corn and were still warm from being homemade in Blue Poblano’s fryer. And even our group member who usually doesn’t care for avocado said the guacamole was impressive.
Presentation is definitely an A+ at Blue Poblano — it’s something you’d find at a nice sit-down restaurant. And the atmosphere is Aztec-themed with large exposed light bulb fixtures hanging from the ceiling.
Chatting with the friendly restaurant workers led me to discover a few notable facts about the Blue Poblano: Years ago, the establishment was housed in downtown Provo, then moved locations up to Salt Lake, and then recently closed that location to move back to this new spot in Provo.
And the menu might seem familiar to those who have dined at the high-end, sit-down Provo restaurant Black Sheep Cafe, because the two restaurants share the same head chef.
Past customers of Waffle Love and Mountain West Burrito will notice a blatant change to the layout of the shared restaurant space: While the two sides used to share an open customer dining area layout across the building, there’s now a solid wall firmly separating tacos from waffles. This layout change might be due in part to Blue Poblano not wanting its dessert menu to have as much competition with the enticing smell of Belgian waffles. But as well-known as Waffle Love has become locally, Blue Poblano can hold its own in the sweets department.
The highlight of the dessert menu is its homemade churros. Now, I’ve tasted my fair share of churros — from classic theme park to fancy filled to giant twist — so don’t take this lightly when I say that these are hands-down the best churros I have ever had the delight to taste. They’re made on the spot with a thick, crisp crust juxtaposed with a lovely soft center.
We ordered the churro sundae to get a taste of the ice cream as well. The magnificent dish that I’ve thought about multiple times since came with three small churros on top of a scoop of vanilla bean (there are several other flavors as well). Not only was everything drizzled in chocolate and caramel, but the dish also came with dipping sauces.
Overall, we agreed that each individual bite we put in our mouths was delectable, with nothing we wouldn’t want to try again. But along with high-quality food comes high pricing, and the bill might not be pleasing for every diner. Our group of three spent about $50 on our meal, and we left feeling satisfied but not particularly full.
For anyone around Provo looking for a food option steps and steps above Del Taco, Blue Poblano is the place for you.