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Los Ocampo vs. Tortilleria La Perla: Pitting pozole against pozole

Hangover helper: Pozole from Los Ocampo on Lake Street
Hangover helper: Pozole from Los Ocampo on Lake Street
Lisa Gulya

With the weekend almost here, and the resolve to drink less in 2011 already waning, the Hot Dish is here to help. We tested two versions of the hangover helper pozole, a Mexican soup usually made with hominy and pork, to see which restaurant had the more delicious antidote to too much tequila.

Los Ocampo Los Ocampo offers white or red pozole, with a choice of pork or chicken. "The red pozole isn't really spicy," the girl at the cash register explains. "It just has more flavor." We take the red pozole with pork and promptly receive a portion suitable for two ($6.99). The soup is served with a garnish plate--avocado, radishes, onion, lettuce, and lime--and a couple of tostados, piled high with shredded lettuce. The soup is savory and hearty, with just a hint of spice.

A portion of pozole from Tortilleria La Perla
A portion of pozole from Tortilleria La Perla
Lisa Gulya

Tortilleria La Perla La Perla is a cash-only place, so bring a 10-spot to get your pozole. (A serving is $8.89.) La Perla's version was white pozole with shredded chicken instead of pork. It came with the garnish plate--radish, lime wedges, and diced cilantro, onions, and jalapeño--plus two bean tostadas. The pozole is mild; spice lovers can dial up the heat by adding diced jalapeño. The tostadas were tasty, a crunchy counterpoint to the soup.

The winner: After tasting two different versions, we preferred La Perla's chicken pozole. It was closer to chicken noodle soup, an association we guess would be more comforting to an alcohol-addled stomach. And it was delicious. The bean tostadas were a substantial side, too, especially compared to the lettuce-covered tostadas from Los Ocampo.


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