Five years ago, in January 2014, Berks County Eats as we know it truly began. It’s incredible to look back to see how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same since then.
Amazingly, it’s been five years since we last blogged about Alebrije. That visit was to the Exeter Township location and while it was a very good meal, we never made it back to either of Alebrije’s other two locations in Wyomissing or 5th Street Highway.
On a Sunday afternoon in December, we finally decided to pay another visit – this time to the Wyomissing location.
Even this location has changed since Berks County Eats began. Five years ago, Alebrije’s Wyomissing restaurant was still located in a strip mall near the Berkshire Mall. In 2015, it moved to a stand-alone building, the former Ciabatta restaurant along State Hill Road.
The menu has been updated since our visit and I was glad for this because I got to enjoy the poblano soup – an item that was added when the menu was updated.
I didn’t know what to expect beyond what the description in the menu said: “smooth, slightly spicy and creamy.” I’ve had peppers in soup but never a cream of pepper soup. But after trying it, I would eat this soup again and again.
The soup was definitely creamy and I always tasted the distinct flavor of poblano pepper throughout. I didn’t find it spicy at all – flavorful, yes, but not spicy – so it was easy to eat and enjoy. And the sour cream was a perfect complement.
I can’t imagine a better start to the meal than this.
For my entree, I decided to try the spinach enchiladas – another item that was listed as “new” on the menu.
The plate was beautiful when it arrived (it’s amazing how a little sour cream can liven up a plate). The primary topping for the spinach-filled corn tortillas was a creamy chipotle sauce. It featured a mild spice, nothing overpowering. It worked well with the spinach though and was enjoyable enough, but I would probably go back to the enchiladas poblanos (and the mole sauce) in the future.
Julie enjoyed her chorizo and steak tacos. The tacos come topped with Chihuahua cheese with cilantro, onion and spicy tomatillo sauce on the side to build to your own taste.
She skipped the tomatillo sauce – the chorizo was enough spice for her taste – but she took advantage of the cilantro and onion. Both helped to enhance, not mask, the flavor of the meat. And the mix of steak and chorizo ensured that the flavors of both shined through in every bite.
Both Julie and I had sides of refried beans with our meals (mine also came with rice). I’m not a huge fan of refried beans but these were good enough.
Kids eat free on Sundays at Alebrije, which had two advantages for us. One, we could order a kids meal for Jakob and not feel guilty about him not eating the whole thing (we did take his leftovers home) and two, we knew there would be other families, most likely with small children, so Jakob wouldn’t be a distraction.
For his meal, we ordered a combo that included two of his favorite foods: quesadilla and chicken nuggets.
The plate came with one kid-sized quesadilla and five nuggets. The quesadilla was a little simpler than one that you would order off the menu while the nuggets were pretty generic. I certainly wouldn’t order it for myself, but Jakob seemed to enjoy them so I have no complaints.
One other thing to mention: like all good Mexican restaurants we had chips and salsa at the table almost immediately. I’m a fan of Alebrije’s salsa. It’s somehow both thin and chunky with just enough heat to have me going back to my water.
Alebrije has always been reasonably priced, and with the kids eat free deal, it makes it even better. For our three meals, bowl of soup and an iced tea, we spent around $35 (kids meals are normally priced at $5.99). Our meal was certainly a good one and for me, the soup was well worth the additional $6.50.
I still can’t believe it’s been five years since our first visit to Alebrije, but I can say this after our latest meal: we won’t be waiting five years to visit the 5th Street Highway location.
Food: Very Good
Service: Very Good
Price: Reasonable to Very Reasonable
2224 State Hill Road
Wyomissing, PA 19610