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Bring the fiesta home from this fun-loving cantina

Entrees from El Ponce are prepped and ready for the oven at home, including chicken enchiladas (left) and chiles rellenos (bottom right).
Entrees from El Ponce are prepped and ready for the oven at home, including chicken enchiladas (left) and chiles rellenos (bottom right).

Credit: Henri Hollis

Credit: Henri Hollis

Dish of the Week: Oven-ready entrees from El Ponce

One of the primary pleasures of visiting an old-school Mexican restaurant like El Ponce is the fiesta-like atmosphere — colorful decor, radiant neon signs and loud conversations shared over queso and guacamole. Of course, that atmosphere — any atmosphere outside your own home — is what we’re truly missing about restaurants as our COVID-19 quarantine drags on. Luckily, El Ponce is the type of Mexican restaurant that also serves great food, and their heat-at-home entrees and batched cocktails allow diners to bring the fiesta home.

El Ponce has an easy online ordering system built with ChowNow, a newer food-ordering app that charges a subscription rather than a per-order commission (which some restaurants deem fairer than the high commissions charged by major players like Uber Eats). Navigate to El Ponce’s Quarantine Provisions, and there are individual and family-style meal items available for pickup. Oven-ready Mexican staples like chiles rellenos and enchiladas are packed in foil containers, allowing you to warm them up at home and enjoy a much fresher dining experience than takeout from the restaurant.

Heat-at-home chicken enchiladas (left) and chiles rellenos from El Ponce, just out of the oven.
Heat-at-home chicken enchiladas (left) and chiles rellenos from El Ponce, just out of the oven.

Credit: Henri Hollis

Credit: Henri Hollis

I naturally gravitated toward the chiles rellenos, but be warned: They are spicier than your typical stuffed poblanos. The chicken enchiladas are simple, comforting and hearty, with a few sauces available to punch up the flavor to your desired level. Don’t skip the cocktail order — the lightly sweet, richly colored hibiscus margarita is as balanced and bracing a cocktail as you ever could ask for.

With chips and salsa added to our order (and not having to cook for the first time in days), it wasn’t hard to feel a little fiesta spirit, but we’re still looking forward to visiting El Ponce for the real thing eventually.

El Ponce. 939 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-881-6040, elponce.com.

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