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At Puebla, Mexican Standards Step Up

The suburban St. Charles spot is taking some risks with the help of a well-seasoned consulting chef.

Chile relleno at Puebla   Photo: Eric Kleinberg

What restaurant do you think ran this special: red snapper seviche with butternut squash, onions, peppers, hibiscus, and caramel corn?

The answer is Puebla (51 S. 1st St., St. Charles, 630-945-3408), a west-suburban spot that opened last month in the space that housed the Wild Monk and the second location of Prasino.

The consulting chef Michael Tsonton, a veteran of Courtright’s and the underappreciated Copperblue, created the seviche special to run alongside a menu of more-traditional Mexican specialties. More traditional doesn’t necessarily mean chips-and-salsa-standard, though, as is proved by options such as the eggy-bread cemita sandwich, tacos al pastor, and tacos árabes. Tortillas are handmade.

“No bad decor, and no piles of rice and beans,” says Tony Alfonso, the owner. No rice and beans? Not even with caramel corn?

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