This is the first installment in a new feature called "Best-Kept Secret" that will profile businesses, resources and sites that are hidden gems in the Fox Valley. If you have a suggestion for a place we should feature, please write to editor(at)gowestyoungmom.com.
I first heard of the Poblano Pepper Grill back in May, when I wrote a list tied to Cinco de Mayo entitled "Five Great ... Places for Tacos in the Western Suburbs." Two readers wrote in to comment that my list was missing a great spot for authentic Mexican food called Poblano Pepper Grill on the east side of St. Charles. Both mentioned that in addition to the food being amazing, the owners were wonderful, too.
Well, I know I have smart readers and we love Mexican food, and so my daughter and I went to check it out this summer for lunch. I was very impresed with my Asada tacos that day and the friendly attitude of the staff. So last month, I returned with my husband, daughter and in-laws so we could try out more dishes.
My verdict? I'm still dreaming of the Sopa Azteca, a tortilla soup served with cheese and chile pasilla strips and topped with sour cream. Poblano Pepper Grill has definitely become one of our favorite restaurants in the area. Both times I got to visit with the owners -- even met their new grandchild! -- and the story of the family behind it is nearly as good as the food.
Poblano Pepper Grill, which opened in February, is owned by Ruben and Lizette Alonso, who live in the Aurora area. They met more than 30 years ago in school in Mexico City and got married a year later. They say that even though they came from different backgrounds, both had grown up in homes where their moms prepared delicious home-cooked meals using traditional Mexican recipes.