The interior of Paxia consists of one room, which is airy and wonderfully spaced out. Little wooden men with sombreros pepper the windows and add to the charming nature of the restaurant. The floors are hardwood and the tablecloths are literally bursting with color, adding some extra vibrance.
The food is as colorful as the décor. Start off with the tamales ($6). These change daily, but consist of fresh, soft flour tortilla stuffed with various items. One example is the chicken tinga which is moist pulled chicken breast covered in a zesty chipotle salsa. The chilaquiles con pollo ($7) is a twist on more traditional breakfast fare. Tomato-based salsa, fried egg, cojita cheese (like parmesan but better) and red onion all are incorporated into this highly flavorful dish. All the ingredients form a casserole and are served on top of warm, corn tortillas that are also delicious.
The torrejas con cajeta ($7) is a variation on French toast, another traditional breakfast item. This entrée is nothing short of phenomenal if you are a french toast lover. The thick slice of raison bread is soaked in a cinnamon egg batter, cooked and drizzled with possibly the best caramel sauce around. The sauce is created from a goat milk base and extraordinarily creamy. The entire dish is topped with diced fruit (kiwi, apples, strawberry) that tastes as if it was picked that morning. Syrup is available, but you won’t even need it.
Finally, the torta ahogada ($8) is a very generously sized sandwich. Inside the two pieces of fresh bread, several yummy fillers can be found. The first is chorizo, a Mexican sausage that has been infused with canela (cinnamon). Also included are potatoes, lettuce and queso fresco and topped with a heaping amount of suiza salsa, which soaks right into the bread.
When all is said and done, you would think Paxia couldn’t do any better. Well, the Mexican chocolate mousse ($7) proves that theory wrong. The pudding-esque sweet is served in a tall glass, layered between riffs of tart raspberry compote. The icing on the cake is the Patron XO, coffee infused liquor that’s poured on the mousse. It’s fabulous, right down to the last spoonful.
Paxia is a bit unassuming so it’s quite a nice surprise that almost every item is above and beyond delicious. Seriously seek out this gem next time you are looking for some high quality brunch in the Philadelphia area.
Sat/Sun: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
746 Christian Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147