Photo by Rayni Shiring/Pittsburgh City Paper
This feature is the first in a series of articles focusing on the growing Latino communities in Pittsburgh, co-published with Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Latino Magazine, and the Gazette 2.0.
By Ladimir Garcia
A growing Latino community in Pittsburgh’s Coraopolis neighborhood is accentuated by delicious, authentic cuisine.
The Coraopolis location of La Poblanita, a Mexican market store and taco stand just 20 minutes west of Downtown Pittsburgh, is one of three of the business’ locations in Western Pennsylvania where you can go and get Mexican groceries, treats, and prepared foods.
La Poblanita has been around for four years and is housed in what used to be an old gas station. Inside, they have groceries, and outside, they cook and have a place where you can sit and enjoy your tacos.
Although the old gas station building is nondescript in appearance, with a no-frills exterior, that simplicity adds to the charm, and the food and smells coming out of the establishment as you approach make it worth sitting down and enjoying some tacos. The customer base is largely Latino, but the employees also spoke English in addition to Spanish, so knowing a second language isn’t a requirement for patrons looking for a good meal. Their seating area is small but it’s under some shade so you can avoid any heat on a summer day.
I ordered two tacos de lengua, or beef tongue tacos, and they were as authentic and delicious as one would hope. The tacos were fresh and savory, with the meat wrapped in soft corn tortillas. They were also substantial — just two were enough to fill me up for the rest of the day.
If eating beef tongue isn’t appealing to you, La Poblanita also offers steak, chorizo, chicken, ribeye, and carne asada tacos.
Once your tacos are done, you have the option to put your own toppings on your tacos, and as much as you want, from a toppings bar right next to their cooking area.
Pro tip: Despite their cooking area being outside, you still have to go inside and order your food. After you order inside, you then take your ticket order to the person cooking outside and they prepare your food. Inside La Poblanita, they have a wide selection of drinks, including some Mexican classics like Jarritos, which you can grab after you order.
If you’re still hungry after tacos, head across the street to La Poblanita’s smaller secondary location where they offer cold treats like ice cream, and other assorted items. And, if you’re interested in buying some Mexican groceries to take home for later, just head inside and buy whatever may catch your eye. They had fresh produce, meats, cheese, and more.