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popol vuh, high-end mexican in minneapolis

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here is my review of a recent dinner at popol vuh, one of a couple of high-end mexican places that have opened in the twin cities in the last year (colita is the other--not been yet). popol vuh shares a large converted warehouse space with its more casual sibling, centro (a taqueria). we quite liked the meal (though not everything we ate, especially not the desserts). as a bonus there's some complaining included about the use of the term "elevated" to describe mexican or other "ethnic" cuisines in these contexts.



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But more importantly, look at the list of entrees and strip away the words in Mexican to get your standard new American list of steak, short rib, pork chop, duck breast, veg, and fish for seekers of disappointment.

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Given that Alarcon seems to run the show, and what you say (Mongo) about Centro, wouldn't it be surprising if Hispanic staff are being excluded from Popol Vuh?


(Good band indeed.)


no, i don't think they're being excluded and that's not what i meant to say. what i'm suggesting is that it would be good to see more hispanic chefs/staff being able to make the leap from the casual to the high-end that alarcon himself has managed. it's really the discrepancy between the staffing at the two places, one casual, one formal, that share the same larger space that was striking. and as i say, this is not an issue just with popol vuh.


and yes, it's the standard new american list of proteins but they were mostly done very well with mexican sauces and ingredients.

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Culinary school, accents.



yes, i do understand these things*.


the fish, by the way, turned out to be very attractive looking filets of sea bass and not the branzino i was expecting. seeing them being made in front of us i think we regretting not getting one order of that in place of the carne asada.



*though alarcon didn't go to culinary school himself; he started out as a dishwasher. 

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