Back in November, on what must have been the last warm day of the year, we decided to finally experience El Tule. We always admired the cheery colors and homey feel of the restaurant from the side walk but after countless recommendations we couldn’t bear to walk past El Tule anymore. The timing was all too right for us considering the following week the owners decided to shut down their indoor and patio dining due to the climb in COVID cases.
El Tule perfectly married two distinct cuisines, Mexican and Peruvian, by highlighting their commonalities: layered flavors and the use of simple, native ingredients. Their menu presents familiar Mexican dished to choose from or with a little help from Google you can familiarize yourself with Peruvian dishes we bet you probably haven’t heard of. Carapulcra, Tacu Tacu and Chaufa are among some of the terms we recommend you researching before visiting El Tule in order to maximize your dining experience.
Now that we’ve made you aware of this gem tucked comfortably in Lambertville NJ, we have to point out our absolute favorite section of El Tule’s menu, the Appetizers. Odd right? Let us explain. El Tule’s appetizer portion of the menu is composed of a few different ceviche options. Ceviche is a dish that is translated by many different Latin American countries but so far, El Tule has our favorite translation of the dish. The Peruvian ceviche is different than most because they developed Leche de Tigre, Tigers Milk. This distinct Peruvian marinade is made up of a citrus juice base with layered chili’s and aromatics to add depth and spice.
We began our meal with the Ceviche Mixto and were caught off guard when our server asked what heat level we wanted. Although mild was the safest choice we decided to be adventurous and agreed on the medium. The other two levels where “Spicy” & “Make Me Cry”. We are not gonna lie here, the medium definitely was a challenge for us. The texture and depth of flavors made us happily endure the heat, although a lot of Chicha was used to chase the spice. It was in the moment that we knew who could take on El Tule’s “Make Me Cry” spice level, The Lava Boys! We enlisted the help of our friends Jon and Dan to bring you this mouth watering, fire burning, explosive BFNJ exclusive:
Also, we cant express enough how delicious and authentic El Tule is. There is no question why the family owned business has been open for almost ten years now. If your dealing with a bad case of FOMO, get to El Tule and let us know what you thought!