It was approximately 1:45PM when I received a text from my sister with the message, “I am here already, we are getting lunch :).”. The 5th period dismissal bell rings and I frantically rush out to get into the car. “Where are we eating?” I asked. Julie replied, “It’s a surprise!” We drove for a couple of minutes and that was enough to make me realize that we were heading Costa Mesa’s SoCo (S/O to Mr. Theriault because I didn’t know the entire plaza’s name was SoCo). “PUEBLO???” I yelled out excitingly. Julie looked at me with a smile. (After you’re finished with this, you’ll see why I was so excited.)
Pueblo is a restaurant that serves modern Spanish tapas (appetizers or snacks in Spanish), sandwiches, and charcuterie. Charcuterie “refers to cooked, cured or smoked meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, rillettes, galantines, pâtés and dry-cured sausage.” Around 2PM on a weekday, Pueblo is usually empty. I was seated by a young girl who was really sweet. This was my second visit to Pueblo’s lunch hour. I highly recommend the lunch hour because their sandwiches (which are the BEST!) are only served then. You also get to choose from three side options with your sandwich, the soup of the day, sub papas bravas (basically the best french fries you’ve ever had), and a salad in vinaigrette. We decided to order two sandwiches to share. I ordered the Porchetta sandwich, which is smoked pork loin, olive tapenade, manchego, and fresno chile served on crispy French bread, with sub papas bravas. I also ordered a house lemonade which contained seasonal citrus, mint, and aleppo peppers. The lemonade is amazing and I highly recommend it! My sister ordered the Chorizo sandwich, which was a house chorizo recipe patty served on a French bread roll with a sunny side-up egg, pickled zucchini, and dijonaise with a side of salad. I also highly recommend sharing sandwiches because they are large and very heavy; we had to take our leftovers to-go after. If you ever decide to eat here, literally everything on the lunch menu is great and you won’t be disappointed.
My lemonade came out shortly after we placed our order. I could taste all the different components in the drink; the aleppo pepper bits in the drink partnered extremely well. The taste was exquisite; the tangy taste somewhat reminded me of the Mexican fruit drink, Chamango. About 10 minutes later, our food was ready. Pueblo’s food is served on wooden boards, and the food presentation is as amazing as the food tastes. First, I tried the fries, which were delicious. The tangy, spicy seasoning was amazing and paired well with the chili sauce and alioli sauce served with it. The porchetta sandwich was rich and had all the right flavors. The best part of this sandwich was the smoked pork loin which was phenomenal! My sister’s salad in vinaigrette was light and refreshing. The chorizo sandwich was delightful, but not my favorite. The taste of the Chorizo was great, but the patty was a little too soft for my liking. I felt like I was biting into a thick, mushy patty of salted ground pork! This sandwich left me feeling oily and heavy, not in a good way. However, that is only my personal preference and if you’re interested in it, go for it. Overall, my Pueblo experience was fantastic. Great food and great service. I highly recommend the porchetta sandwich, house lemonade, and customizable cheese/meat boards.
I also would suggest other food spots in the plaza, such as Birdie Bowl, SusieCakes, etc.! Costa Mesa’s SoCo is close by, has amazing food, has a great modern/hipster vibe, and is very aesthetically pleasing (very Instagram worthy), so check it out sometime!