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Casa de Isaac in Highland Park

Casa de Isaac in Highland Park
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  • Casa de Isaac in Highland Park

    Post #1 - May 2nd, 2007, 5:37 pm
    Post #1 - May 2nd, 2007, 5:37 pm Post #1 - May 2nd, 2007, 5:37 pm
    I had a simple taco asada, which was good but the real star of the lunch waqs the pozole. A slightly thick chicken broth with generous amounts of shredded chicken and hominy. Isaac serves the pozole accompanied with a small pate of red pepper, mexican oregano, sliced lime, chopped onions and sliced avocado. I am not necessarily an afficicianado of pozole bit I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Tasted very fresh and was served in a generous bowl....enough left over for a quick snack the next day. I wish Isaac the best. He is a charming, enthusiastic restauranteur. Given the quality of his food I am hoping that his "closed Fridays" schedule could be overcome.

    I am cross posting this on a new "Casa de Isaac" thread ...since I think posting it on the Pancho Viti thread is a disservice to the new owner.

    Casa de Isaac
    431 Temple Avenue
    Highland Park, IL 60035
    847-433-5550
  • Post #2 - May 3rd, 2007, 2:11 pm
    Post #2 - May 3rd, 2007, 2:11 pm Post #2 - May 3rd, 2007, 2:11 pm
    I am cross posting this on a new "Casa del Isaac" thread ...since I think posting it on the Pancho Viti thread is a disservice to the new owner.


    I just had lunch there with Ronnie Suburban.

    An aside, my choice in selecting the Pancho Viti thread was largely to put a period to close it off. No intent to be a disservice to the new owner, who I met today and has a loyal following of his own. He said when he opened his doors on Sunday there were people waiting to come in. All without any advertising beyond changing the signage. Since posole is a weekend offering, I guess you must have been a Sunday attendee.

    Isaac is open for lunch on Fridays.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - May 3rd, 2007, 4:59 pm
    Post #3 - May 3rd, 2007, 4:59 pm Post #3 - May 3rd, 2007, 4:59 pm
    As Cathy mentioned, we had lunch today at La Casa de Isaac and really enjoyed ourselves.

    Image
    La Casa de Isaac


    Image
    Chipotle salsa which was served with warm, salty chips


    For sake of 'research,' we decided to order a few starter items. I opted for the Tostada de Ceviche (mackeral). It delivered a very nice flavor and for $7, it was a gigantic portion.

    Image
    Tostada de ceviche


    Cathy ordered a taco de lengua, which I thought was excellent. Having just had lengua at Tacos del Norte in Highwood, I would rank Isaac's slightly above theirs.

    Image
    Taco de lengua


    Cathy asked our server if they offered cebollitas. He replied 'no' but moments later emerged from the kitchen with a plate of them. Obviously, something was lost in translation, at least for a moment.

    Image
    Cebollitas


    As her main course, Cathy ordered the chilaquiles verdes with eggs over easy. These were quite fine.

    Image
    Chilaquiles verdes


    My son went with his recently-designated 'usual,' the Tampiquena. Here, the steak was ribeye (iirc) and the enchilada was stuffed with cheese and covered with red mole. This plate was scorchingly hot (as we were warned) and the crust on the steak was wonderful.

    Image
    Tampiquena

    I went with the cecina, which was tasty and enjoyable. I generally like a bit more grill marking on the exterior but I'm not sure that's conventional. In any case, this was tasty and not overly salty, like some cecina can be.

    Image
    Cecina


    My wife ordered the Isaac's Mom's favorite enchiladas (not sure if this is the exact name but it's close). These were filled with chicken and were quite tasty.

    Image
    Isaac's Mom's favorite enchiladas


    As the blurb in this week's edition of Dish indicates, Isaac has brought his mother to town from Mexico to head up the cooking.

    Image
    Isaac and his mom, Florenza

    Isaac says that his goal is to prepare every plate exactly as it would be served in Mexico and that's certainly admirable. Considering that La Casa de Isaac has only been open since Sunday, I found today's lunch impressive. The food was very tasty, the restaurant was reasonably full and there were no service glitches, which often plague recently-opened joints. The restaurant is new but Isaac's been in the biz for nearly 2 decades, so there is an experience level here which will provide an excellent foundation.

    A couple of other notes . . . Our lunch, which includes everything pictured above and multiple beverages (including pops, horchata and jamaica) was a very reasonable $55, before tip. Valet parking will probably be added soon. There's a parking lot behind the building, accessible from the alley to its east, which is for customer parking. A liquor license is probably about a week away from being issued.

    I love pozole, so I'm probably going to head back this weekend and give it a try. If Isaac runs his own place even half as well as he ran el gordo's place, I think he'll have a winner here.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - May 3rd, 2007, 7:56 pm
    Post #4 - May 3rd, 2007, 7:56 pm Post #4 - May 3rd, 2007, 7:56 pm
    I really hope this guy is successful. He really fills a niche in the Highland Park area. I would consider Casa del Gordo & Tamales to be slightly upscale, shall we say North-Americanized version of Mexican food while Tacos el Norte is your basic good taqueria plus. Casa de Isaac is somewhere in the middle which often is the best option when trying to suit the tastes of a larger group (4+). If the small sampling so far is an indication, he could be in for the long haul.
  • Post #5 - May 9th, 2007, 3:41 pm
    Post #5 - May 9th, 2007, 3:41 pm Post #5 - May 9th, 2007, 3:41 pm
    Not to pick nits, but La Casa de Isaac is actually in Highland Park not Highwood. The boundary line runs along the west wall.
    My wife and I ate there last week and loved the restaurant. I ordered the chiles rellenos stuffed with cheese and was amazed at how good the sauce was. It was like nothing I had ever had before. The owner told me that it was a simple receipe to make and I wonder if other Mexican restaurants use a prepared sauce.
    The overall service was just fine and the pricing is just great. They use fresh ingredients and give good value. I expect to go back often. It will be nice when they have a liquor license which I understand is forthcoming.
  • Post #6 - May 9th, 2007, 3:59 pm
    Post #6 - May 9th, 2007, 3:59 pm Post #6 - May 9th, 2007, 3:59 pm
    Grandpa,

    I know people who have won bar bets on whether Carlos is in Highland Park or Highwood. While Highland Park wraps around Highwood, or at least it used to because I am not sure of the HP-Highwood-Ft. Sheridan related boundaries. The few Highland Park businesses on the border of Highwood's business district make it quite confusing.

    As long as people get to where they intend to go is good enough for me!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - May 9th, 2007, 4:48 pm
    Post #7 - May 9th, 2007, 4:48 pm Post #7 - May 9th, 2007, 4:48 pm
    I went this past Saturday night, and according to a sign, it was closed due to religious observance. I assume this referred to the Jewish Sabbath. If that's going to keep this place closed Friday and Saturday night, how will they survive?

    Jonah
  • Post #8 - May 9th, 2007, 5:09 pm
    Post #8 - May 9th, 2007, 5:09 pm Post #8 - May 9th, 2007, 5:09 pm
    Jonah wrote:I went this past Saturday night, and according to a sign, it was closed due to religious observance. I assume this referred to the Jewish Sabbath. If that's going to keep this place closed Friday and Saturday night, how will they survive?

    Jonah


    Isaac is confident his business the other evenings will keep his business viable. He is open for Friday's lunch.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #9 - May 9th, 2007, 5:27 pm
    Post #9 - May 9th, 2007, 5:27 pm Post #9 - May 9th, 2007, 5:27 pm
    Being open on Saturdays after sundown would be ok, too. Of course, that's not really viable this time of year because sundown is so late but it could be during others.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #10 - May 9th, 2007, 6:10 pm
    Post #10 - May 9th, 2007, 6:10 pm Post #10 - May 9th, 2007, 6:10 pm
    So they are Jewish but they are serving non kosher food, right? I see ribeye with chiles suiza upthread. Do they serve pork?
  • Post #11 - May 10th, 2007, 9:50 am
    Post #11 - May 10th, 2007, 9:50 am Post #11 - May 10th, 2007, 9:50 am
    Even though Isaac makes combined meat and dairy dishes (what would Mexican food be without the cheeses and sour cream?), I notice he doesn't have pork or shrimp on the menu.
  • Post #12 - May 10th, 2007, 11:59 am
    Post #12 - May 10th, 2007, 11:59 am Post #12 - May 10th, 2007, 11:59 am
    Hi,

    I didn't notice the absence of pork and shrimp until you mentioned it. Looking over their preliminary take-out menu, they offer enough choices in meat you don't notice it right away. For those who may want to know, those meat choices are: asada, pollo, picadillo, lengua and tinga. If they had just stated chicken and beef, then it would have been obvious from the get go.

    The hours stated on this preliminary take-out menu:

    Sun-Thurs: 7 AM to 10 PM
    Fri: 7 AM to 1 hour before sundown
    Saturday: Closed during the summer.
    (open 1 hour after sundown during the winter)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - May 10th, 2007, 2:30 pm
    Post #13 - May 10th, 2007, 2:30 pm Post #13 - May 10th, 2007, 2:30 pm
    Interesting about the menu. A tingas recipe in one of Bayless's cookbooks definitely calls for pork (I'm sure many here are more knowledgeable about this than I am). And the pozole, which I did not get in to try last weekend, is definitely going to be unusual without pork.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #14 - May 11th, 2007, 10:53 am
    Post #14 - May 11th, 2007, 10:53 am Post #14 - May 11th, 2007, 10:53 am
    Isaac tells me that his Mother's pozole is made with chicken and none of his dishes contain pork in keeping with their religious dietary beliefs. I didn't ask about their tingas receipe, but I would imagine the dish uses a substitute meat.
    I'm sure that Rick Bayless would understand. If I recall there is a large Jewish population in Mexico City that probably grew dramatically after World War II when Jewish refugees immigrated to Mexico. I'm sure that many have adapted Mexican dishes to Jewish kosher restrictions.
    Regards,
    GP Bob
  • Post #15 - May 11th, 2007, 11:55 am
    Post #15 - May 11th, 2007, 11:55 am Post #15 - May 11th, 2007, 11:55 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Interesting about the menu. A tingas recipe in one of Bayless's cookbooks definitely calls for pork (I'm sure many here are more knowledgeable about this than I am).

    Ronnie,

    Chicken seems to be, if not standard practice, certainly a standard deviation. Here's a picture of chicken tinga at Rique's.

    Un Huarache Grande (Sandal w/Tinga (shredded chicken w/oregano, onion, chipotle sauce)
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Rique's
    5004 N Sheridan Rd
    Chicago, IL 60640
    773-728-6200
    Last edited by G Wiv on May 11th, 2007, 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - May 11th, 2007, 11:56 am
    Post #16 - May 11th, 2007, 11:56 am Post #16 - May 11th, 2007, 11:56 am
    Yep, the tinga at Maiz on California is also chicken. That's my guess for CdI.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #17 - May 11th, 2007, 1:29 pm
    Post #17 - May 11th, 2007, 1:29 pm Post #17 - May 11th, 2007, 1:29 pm
    Thanks, guys, for the info/background on the pozole and tingas. It's much appreciated.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #18 - May 11th, 2007, 2:09 pm
    Post #18 - May 11th, 2007, 2:09 pm Post #18 - May 11th, 2007, 2:09 pm
    I had lunch today at CdI, and it was very busy. The service was very friendly but slow due to everyone showing up at once. I liked the ceviche, but it didnt have as much jalapeno as Tacos el Norte. I agree that the tongue was better and leaner here. The tinga (which I have never had before) was indeed made of chicken, and had an excellent smoky flavor. I also never had picadillo before, which the server said was vegetables, but seemed like finely ground beef to me (maybe I was served the wrong thing). The only hot sauce that they had was bottled pepper sauce, while I love the fresh green and red sauces at Tacos. Overall, a nice addition to the neighborhood, and a definite improvement over Pancho Vitis.

    -Will
  • Post #19 - May 11th, 2007, 2:18 pm
    Post #19 - May 11th, 2007, 2:18 pm Post #19 - May 11th, 2007, 2:18 pm
    WillG wrote:I had lunch today at CdI, and it was very busy. The service was very friendly but slow due to everyone showing up at once. I liked the ceviche, but it didnt have as much jalapeno as Tacos el Norte. I agree that the tongue was better and leaner here. The tinga (which I have never had before) was indeed made of chicken, and had an excellent smoky flavor. I also never had picadillo before, which the server said was vegetables, but seemed like finely ground beef to me (maybe I was served the wrong thing). The only hot sauce that they had was bottled pepper sauce, while I love the fresh green and red sauces at Tacos. Overall, a nice addition to the neighborhood, and a definite improvement over Pancho Vitis.

    -Will


    Picadillo is ground beef, often with the addition of small diced vegetables like carrots and potatoes.

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #20 - May 11th, 2007, 2:35 pm
    Post #20 - May 11th, 2007, 2:35 pm Post #20 - May 11th, 2007, 2:35 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Isaac is confident his business the other evenings will keep his business viable. He is open for Friday's lunch.

    Regards,


    Is Highland Park *that* Jewish ? I grew up in Northbrook and I can't remember *any* restaurants being closed due to Jewish sabbath. What's more, 0% of my Jewish friends ever even bothered observing it.

    This seems very odd.
  • Post #21 - May 11th, 2007, 2:46 pm
    Post #21 - May 11th, 2007, 2:46 pm Post #21 - May 11th, 2007, 2:46 pm
    tem wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Isaac is confident his business the other evenings will keep his business viable. He is open for Friday's lunch.

    Regards,


    Is Highland Park *that* Jewish ? I grew up in Northbrook and I can't remember *any* restaurants being closed due to Jewish sabbath. What's more, 0% of my Jewish friends ever even bothered observing it.

    This seems very odd.

    I only know of one other HP restaurant that closes in observance of the Sabbath: Now We're Cooking Grill, 710 Central. IIRC, they close around lunch time on Fridays.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #22 - May 11th, 2007, 2:47 pm
    Post #22 - May 11th, 2007, 2:47 pm Post #22 - May 11th, 2007, 2:47 pm
    tem wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Isaac is confident his business the other evenings will keep his business viable. He is open for Friday's lunch.

    Regards,


    Is Highland Park *that* Jewish ? I grew up in Northbrook and I can't remember *any* restaurants being closed due to Jewish sabbath. What's more, 0% of my Jewish friends ever even bothered observing it.

    This seems very odd.


    The last I heard, HP is maybe 40% Jewish. I have Jewish friends of all levels of observation. My friend whose husband is a Rabbi happens to live in Northbrook. I absent mindedly called just before sundown on a Friday to get quite the scolding. All you need is once never to make that mistake again.

    Whether or not people cotton to Isaac's hours of operation, he is a man of faith who will be closed for the Sabbath. There is a butcher and a Kosher grill at Green Bay and Central Avenues that are closed for the Sabbath, also. Once Upon A Bagel and Max's Deli do not observe the Sabbath.

    If you want really odd, then check out the hours of operation at Club 81, Too in SE Chicago. Wednesday and Fridays only for restaurant service with the bar open everyday.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - May 12th, 2007, 2:22 pm
    Post #23 - May 12th, 2007, 2:22 pm Post #23 - May 12th, 2007, 2:22 pm
    tem wrote: Is Highland Park *that* Jewish ?


    HA!

    HA HA HA!

    Yes.
  • Post #24 - May 13th, 2007, 11:39 pm
    Post #24 - May 13th, 2007, 11:39 pm Post #24 - May 13th, 2007, 11:39 pm
    Just got back from a visit to CdI with my mom for mother's day.

    We agreed that the food was extremely fresh and the service was very attentive. It seemed like the employee/owner to customer ratio was very high this evening, verging on 6:1. During our dinner, we only saw a few other tables occupied.

    I normally don't go for guacamole as there are other, appetizers I find tastier. But the co-owner (Isaac's brother) was so enthusiastic about it that we went for it. As I said, very fresh, if a tad underseasoned/spiced for my taste. But, when combined with the three table sauces, it was quite tasty. The portion was also quite large, unlike the surprisingly shallow molcajetes I've encountered elsewhere.

    I should note that the chips seemed freshly fried, as opposed to what I often encounter in suburban Mexican restaurants.

    I mentioned three table sauces. The first one provided was sweeter and seemed to have a tomato-guajillo base. Without prompting, the waiter offered to bring a couple of spicier versions. We got a small cup of a lighter red sauce and a creamy green one. He wasn't sure of the ingredients (and I forgot to ask the many other service folks who stopped by), but I suspect that arbols had something to do with the red and the other was more like a raw tomatillo sauce.

    Anyhow, we also got the tostadas de ceviches and enjoyed them. I scarfed mine down so quickly that I didn't consider if I missed the crustaceans. I tend to think most ceviches can use an extra shot of lime, but otherwise, these had a little kick to them that I enjoyed.

    I had mothers on the brain with mine sitting in front of me and Isaac's sitting in the corner. So for my entree I got Isaac's Mom's favorite Enchiladas. These came with 4 tortillas stuffed with chicken and were topped with a raw tomatillo green sauce and crema garnished with a few slices of red onions, very green avocados and the standard shredded lettuce and tomato. They were not overly spicy but by no means bland. This was an example of the sum being more than its parts. The chicken was cooked well with a little heat, the chile'd sauce added tang and spice and the crema and garnishes cooled it to make a very satisfying melange.

    My mom went for the half chicken in mole rojo. This was the most aggressively spiced dish that we tried. The mole had an initial hit of sweetness that faded in light of some chile astringency. A nice complexity of flavors. I didn't taste the chicken, but she seemed pleased with it. Isaac's brother indicated that their mole had 32 ingredients and it was the one he grew up with in his town/village. I asked about plans for other moles and he said they might offer a green pumpkinseed one in the future as a special.

    There is a sign on the front door indicating something along the lines of "I brought my mother from Mexico so she could cook for all our friends." It definitely has the feel of a family-run place. Isaac's brother mentioned several times that everything was housemade. My mom and I both agreed that the menu consisted of standard choices, but that the freshness (of food and service) really made the evening.

    I enjoyed my horchata as well. We'll be back. I hope that as they get their legs, they will offer some specials. I also look forward to trying some of the beef dishes.

    Last note, as I stated earlier, Isaac's mom was hanging out in the corner and we were encouraged to let her know if we had any complaints or suggestions for improvement. Needless to say, our experience was good and even if it weren't, I wasn't about to criticize the cooking on Mother's Day. However, it kept me glancing over at her from time to time as she enjoyed a staff meal. I was shocked to see her on a very futuristic looking blue tooth headset much of the night. Hopefully she was getting mother's day well-wishes from afar.
  • Post #25 - May 14th, 2007, 10:08 am
    Post #25 - May 14th, 2007, 10:08 am Post #25 - May 14th, 2007, 10:08 am
    We also ate at Isaac's for Mother's Day with my wife, my mother and my three daughters.

    Started off with the Ceviche Tostada and guacamole. Both were very good but I agree that the guac could use more spice and perhaps another shot of lime juice.

    I ordered the Tampiquena and it was excellent. The steak was perfectly cooked with a nice char on the outside. This dish alone is worth returning for. My mother ordered the fajitas and said they were also very good. Unfortunately, my wife went with a trio of tacos which she did not enjoy. I was surprised by her choice she she loves a good steak.

    I was also intrigued by the Chipotle BBQ Salmon on the menu and would like to try this in the future. I would also like to make it back for breakfast and to try what was described to us as a Mexican version of bread pudding on the desert menu.

    The service was first rate with a waitress, several bus boys, Isaac and Isaac's brother all making their way to the table at various times of the meal.

    When we left sometime after 6:00 on Sunday, the restaurant was full. I do wonder how they can make it without having dinner service on Friday or Saturday nights.

    JT
  • Post #26 - May 14th, 2007, 4:18 pm
    Post #26 - May 14th, 2007, 4:18 pm Post #26 - May 14th, 2007, 4:18 pm
    I stopped by LCDI for breakfast last Friday and Isaac "complained" that he had a full house the night before. The biggest problem he had was that the customers all came in during a very short timeframe. Obviously, his help is in a start-up mode since they've only been open for two weeks.
    I'm sure that once the tempo is established by his wait staff, things will improve. It was an interesting comment by Isaac that showed he wants to continue providing a good product and experience for his customers. How many other restaurant owners really care about their customers? It's quite refreshing.
    I've talked to two other restaurant owners in HP and they both wonder how Isaac will be able to make it since he'll be closed on Friday nights and Saturdays (at least during the summer months).
    My personal guess is that he's trying to make a modest living now and expects greater rewards as time goes along.
    He was supposed to have a liquor license by now. Did either of the two who were there Sunday have any feedback on his liquor license?
    Regards,
    GPB
  • Post #27 - May 14th, 2007, 4:48 pm
    Post #27 - May 14th, 2007, 4:48 pm Post #27 - May 14th, 2007, 4:48 pm
    Grandpa Bob wrote:He was supposed to have a liquor license by now. Did either of the two who were there Sunday have any feedback on his liquor license?


    The waiter told us that they didn't have it yet. As I wasn't looking to order anything other than my horchata, I didn't inquire further.

    So as of Sunday, still no dice.
  • Post #28 - May 15th, 2007, 4:49 pm
    Post #28 - May 15th, 2007, 4:49 pm Post #28 - May 15th, 2007, 4:49 pm
    I stopped at CDI for a late lunch today. It was encouraging to see customers coming in the restaurant as late as 1:45. Isaac was grinding spices for their mole sauce. He was nice enough to allow me to see the process and let me share the recipe with others on this BB. Note that there aren't any quantities shown. So here's my write-up:

    Isaac makes a mole sauce from a recipe supplied by his sister-in-law, Lydia, who works with Isaac's mother in the kitchen. Lydia's origins are from the Puebla region of Mexico which is famous for its mole sauces.

    The La Casa de Isaac mole sauce includes 22 ingredients:

    • Spices: cinnamon stick, peppercorns, sesame seeds, almonds, cloves, dried oregano, thyme, raisins

    • Peppers: ancho, mulato, pasilla, guajillo, pulla, morita

    • Other ingredients: plantains, tomatoes, fried tortillas, fried bread, garlic, brown sugar, Mexican chocolate, homemade chicken stock

    The entire process takes three to four hours and is extremely labor intensive. After grinding the spices and peppers, they are mixed with the other ingredients, made into a paste with constant stirring on a stove, then thinned with the chicken stock. All that work is worth it because the final product is heavenly.

    Regards,
    Grandpa Bob
  • Post #29 - May 25th, 2007, 5:14 pm
    Post #29 - May 25th, 2007, 5:14 pm Post #29 - May 25th, 2007, 5:14 pm
    I have never been to Casa de Isaac, but I was at Pancho Viti's once. Pancho Viti's had decent food, but the prices kept me away.

    I was curious how Casa de Isaac compares to Las Palmas in downtown Highland Park?
  • Post #30 - May 25th, 2007, 8:17 pm
    Post #30 - May 25th, 2007, 8:17 pm Post #30 - May 25th, 2007, 8:17 pm
    Hi,

    I was at Pancho Viti's once with my friend Edgar. We agreed it was an overpriced Mexican experience on par with P.F. Chang for Chinese.

    Las Palmas is dull Americanized Mexican, which was acceptable 25 years ago when most knew little about Mexican food. You can take your elderly relative who will later tell everyone about their 'ethnic' experience.

    Casa de Isaac is a Mexican restaurant with service at a higher level than their price point. The food is thoughtfully made, plated with flair with food tasting as good as it looks. I happened to be there twice this week. The second time with my friend Edgar who was already mentally arranging his social life to return soon.

    Some new dishes to add to the body of information:

    Chicken Pozole begins with soaking hominy to soften enough to remove the nib. The soup is then prepared over a 4 hour cook.

    Image

    Chimichanga filled on this occasion with lengua (tongue). The inclusion of tongue reminded Edgar of his two favorite Jewish deli sandwiches: corned beef and tongue sandwich and chopped chicken liver and tongue sandwich.

    Image

    Chili Relleno fill with cheese:

    Image

    If there was a choice of Las Palmas or Casa de Isaac, then all thumbs up for Casa de Isaac. While we were dining, we bumped into Ronnie Suburban collecting take-out for lunch.

    Whenever you do go, then please report back your experiences.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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