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Casa de Isaac in Highland Park

Casa de Isaac in Highland Park
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  • Post #121 - September 8th, 2008, 8:13 pm
    Post #121 - September 8th, 2008, 8:13 pm Post #121 - September 8th, 2008, 8:13 pm
    nr706 wrote:
    Grandpa Bob wrote:Has anyone out there ever seen goat on a Chicagoland restaurant menu?


    I've never thought of goat as particularly hard to find find on menus in Chicagoland. Heck, there's even one LTH Great Neighborhood Restaurant - Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlán - that serves only goat.


    The minute that I hit the submit button on the above post, I just knew there had to be other restaurants in the area that served goat. I'm sure that beside RdO, there must be a bunch of Caribbean places and Mexican restaurants that have goat on the menu.
    Best,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #122 - September 22nd, 2008, 3:30 pm
    Post #122 - September 22nd, 2008, 3:30 pm Post #122 - September 22nd, 2008, 3:30 pm
    I enjoyed my weekly lunch at CdI today and Isaac asked me to post a notice on this thread about their changes in hours of operation due to the forthcoming Jewish holidays.

    For the Jewish New Year, they'll be closing at 3 pm on Monday 9/29, closed the entire next day and opening again on Wed 10/1 at 10 am.

    For Yom Kippur, they'll be closing at 3 pm on Wed. 10/8, closed the entire next day and opening again on Fri 10/10 at 10 am.

    For Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles - for more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukkot), they'll be closed for eight days beginning at 3 pm on Mon. 10/13 and reopening on Wed 10/22 at 10 am

    If you have any questions, it might be a good idea to phone Isaac or Moishe at 847-433-5550.

    Best regards,
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #123 - September 23rd, 2008, 12:11 am
    Post #123 - September 23rd, 2008, 12:11 am Post #123 - September 23rd, 2008, 12:11 am
    Grandpa Bob wrote:The minute that I hit the submit button on the above post, I just knew there had to be other restaurants in the area that served goat. I'm sure that beside RdO, there must be a bunch of Caribbean places and Mexican restaurants that have goat on the menu.
    Best,
    GP Bob


    Nepalese places almost always have goat on the menu -- and even on the buffets. Mt. Everest in Evanston and Himalayan in Niles both come to mind. And some Indian places, even in the suburbs, have goat on the menu. (Just had it last weekend at India House in Buffalo Grove.)
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #124 - November 2nd, 2008, 11:34 am
    Post #124 - November 2nd, 2008, 11:34 am Post #124 - November 2nd, 2008, 11:34 am
    Grandma Bobbi and I had breakfast this morning at CdI. Moishe, Isaac's brother, asked me to post a notice about a change in their hours. With daylight savings time ending yesterday, they'll be opening on Saturdays now at 6 pm. They still close at 3 pm on Fridays.
    Regards,
    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #125 - November 21st, 2008, 2:20 pm
    Post #125 - November 21st, 2008, 2:20 pm Post #125 - November 21st, 2008, 2:20 pm
    CdI will start serving latkes again starting this Sunday 11/23.
    Here's a link http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=16593&p=229258#p229258 that describes the three types of latkes that they'll be serving through the month of December.
    Regards,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #126 - November 21st, 2008, 9:01 pm
    Post #126 - November 21st, 2008, 9:01 pm Post #126 - November 21st, 2008, 9:01 pm
    What, no humentash? I sense a debate here.
    trpt2345
  • Post #127 - November 22nd, 2008, 7:26 am
    Post #127 - November 22nd, 2008, 7:26 am Post #127 - November 22nd, 2008, 7:26 am
    trpt2345 wrote:What, no humentash? I sense a debate here.


    Tuesday night at the University of Chicago - http://www.uchicagohillel.org/Hillel_We ... lcome.html
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #128 - December 19th, 2008, 1:40 pm
    Post #128 - December 19th, 2008, 1:40 pm Post #128 - December 19th, 2008, 1:40 pm
    During my semi-weekly Mexican food fix at CdI, Isaac told me they'll be open on Christmas day. Their hours that day will be from 10 am to 10 pm, which are their normal weekday hours.

    It's a good alternative to Chinese on Christmas day especially since the Chinese restaurant scene in and around Highland Park has diminished dramatically IMHO.

    And don't forget to considered ordering Isaac's latkes for Hanukah. They'll be serving them throughout December. Ask your server about the different styles.

    Best regards,
    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #129 - December 20th, 2008, 11:19 am
    Post #129 - December 20th, 2008, 11:19 am Post #129 - December 20th, 2008, 11:19 am
    Grandpa Bob wrote:During my semi-weekly Mexican food fix at CdI, Isaac told me they'll be open on Christmas day. Their hours that day will be from 10 am to 10 pm, which are their normal weekday hours.

    It's a good alternative to Chinese on Christmas day especially since the Chinese restaurant scene in and around Highland Park has diminished dramatically IMHO.

    And don't forget to considered ordering Isaac's latkes for Hanukah. They'll be serving them throughout December. Ask your server about the different styles.

    Best regards,
    Grandpa Bob


    Hm, enchiladas, some latkes, and then a movie. Sounds like a plan.
    trpt2345
  • Post #130 - December 20th, 2008, 8:49 pm
    Post #130 - December 20th, 2008, 8:49 pm Post #130 - December 20th, 2008, 8:49 pm
    Mexican-style Latke's

    Image

    I stopped in the restaurant one Sunday afternoon about 3-weeks ago. One of the things I ordered was the latke's. Most of the restaurant staff didn't have an idea what I was talking about when I ordered them, and I speak Spanish well-enough to describe what they were. Isaac, I think, finally appeared through a doorway from the back room and told the kitchen staff what I was asking about - and he told me of the three varieties. I get enough good latke's where I live, from my, collection of Jewish Mothers - so I wanted to see what a "Mexican" version looked like. After eating just one, I was left with the question . . . "Who would eat this stuff?" Soggy. That's the one word description I'll start with. I can't speak about the "traditional" latke's that are said to be available, but I didn't like the Mexican version and would not order them in the future. They came as a dinner entree, not appearing on the menu - and if you want to give them a try maybe call ahead and warn them that you'll be asking for them.

    My main entree was chicken enchiladas with salsa verde, with flan for dessert. The portions are good-sized and the chicken was moist and fresh-testing - maybe a tinga de pollo filling as compared to just shreaded chicken on its own. I don't like what I see in earlier photos of the over-use of cream on the entrees, and I asked my waitress to ask the kitchen to go light with the stuff, which they did. I didn't imagine that the latke's would come cris-crossed with the cream, though - and that, the cream, didn't help me like that dish any better. The flan had the taste of something a couple days old - a bit stiff.

    The dining room was comfortable and the staff gracious, attentive but not a nuisance. I was amazed that the drive to the restaurant from my place in the West Ridge neighborhood was only about 30-minutes, door-to-door. Casa de Isaac is situated outside of my travel pattern but it's likely I'll stop in for a future visit.
  • Post #131 - December 26th, 2008, 9:08 am
    Post #131 - December 26th, 2008, 9:08 am Post #131 - December 26th, 2008, 9:08 am
    On the fifth night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me . . . Latkes at Casa de Isaac.

    Grandma Bobbi and I visited CdI on Christmas night (yesterday) at about 4:30 pm to avoid the 6 o'clock mob scene, which eventually happened. I ordered the latkes especia which I really enjoy. Great flavor and they're quite different from latkes I've eaten over the years.

    Every Hanukkah we go to a relative's house to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Since Jews have historically scattered through the world, she uses recipes from different countries. This year she made latkes from Iran, Hungary, Brazil, Spain and the Netherlands. They all had their unique flavors, texture and accompanying condiments.

    I'm sure that many American Jews have their own ways to make this holiday dish. So Isaac's Mexican version is just one additional take on the "traditional" latke.

    What I'm trying to say is that latkes, matzo ball chicken soup and sex have one thing in common -- There's no "one best way" since it depends on individual preferences and what you're used to.

    Have a Happy New Year everyone.

    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #132 - January 26th, 2009, 1:50 pm
    Post #132 - January 26th, 2009, 1:50 pm Post #132 - January 26th, 2009, 1:50 pm
    Casa de Isaac will be offering a Super Bowl special for this coming Sunday, Feb 1st. The specials will include an entree of either fajitas (chicken or steak) or skirt steak along with rice and beans, guacamole, chips and salsa. The cost will be $11.95 per person with a 10-person minimum. These specials will be available for delivery or carry-out only. Additional items can be ordered. Isaac suggests that you place your order early.
    Best regards,
    Grandpa Bob

    La Casa de Isaac
    431 Temple
    Highland Park, IL 60035
    847-433-5550
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #133 - March 2nd, 2009, 4:25 pm
    Post #133 - March 2nd, 2009, 4:25 pm Post #133 - March 2nd, 2009, 4:25 pm
    Isaac's brother, Moishe, tells me that they are rolling back prices because of the recession.

    Starting tonight, their signature and best selling dish, Isaac's Mother's Favorite Enchiladas, is only $10 versus the menu price of $13.50. Now that a great value for four enchiladas. The current "recession special" price was the original one when the opened a few years ago. They're considering the possibility of lowering some other items.

    They're undecided as to how long the roll back specials will be available. Moishe mentioned that they'll probably keep this price until their anniversary in late April. I wouldn't wait that long since prices are always "subject to change."

    Moishe asked me to put together this post. Please tell him or Isaac that you saw this post since they want to track the customer response.

    Regards,
    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #134 - March 5th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    Post #134 - March 5th, 2009, 3:39 pm Post #134 - March 5th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    Here's an update on my last post. I stopped by CdI today for lunch and noted that Isaac's Mother's Favorite Enchiladas are only a lunch special. Of course, I ordered some and they were delicious.
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #135 - March 5th, 2009, 4:33 pm
    Post #135 - March 5th, 2009, 4:33 pm Post #135 - March 5th, 2009, 4:33 pm
    Grandpa Bob wrote:Here's an update on my last post. I stopped by CdI today for lunch and noted that Isaac's Mother's Favorite Enchiladas are only a lunch special. Of course, I ordered some and they were delicious.
    GP Bob

    We too, ordered lunch today from LCdI and it was great. Their Caldo de Res is wonderful -- deeply flavored, fiery and loaded with zucchini, green beans and tender chunks of beef. Burrito de Tingas, which is made with chicken at Isaac's, was delicious, as well -- smokey, with a fair amount of heat and very moist.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #136 - March 9th, 2009, 4:52 pm
    Post #136 - March 9th, 2009, 4:52 pm Post #136 - March 9th, 2009, 4:52 pm
    Had brunch at CdI on Sunday. At 9:30, it was very quiet - nice for a leisurely meal and reading the paper. I received a friendly welcome when coming in the door and loved the warm colors and artwork. Started off with a large fresh squeezed orange juice that was delicious.

    Had the chilaquiles with salsa verde. I've never had them before so I can't compare, but this was delicious and I loved the tangy taste of the salsa and crema. Rice and beans were barely warm and not very good - I would ask for a substitution of roasted vegetables in the future.

    For those not familiar with the area - turn east on to Highwood off of Green Bay Road - I didn't see a sign for east/west Temple until I was at the restaurant. Also - signs will indicate you are in Highwood.
  • Post #137 - March 12th, 2009, 5:59 pm
    Post #137 - March 12th, 2009, 5:59 pm Post #137 - March 12th, 2009, 5:59 pm
    lighthouse wrote:For those not familiar with the area - turn east on to Highwood off of Green Bay Road - I didn't see a sign for east/west Temple until I was at the restaurant. Also - signs will indicate you are in Highwood.


    The border between Highwood and Higland Park run north to south between the Casa de Isaac building and the Miramar restaurant. Most people think that CdI is in Highwood, but they're really in HP.
    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #138 - April 3rd, 2009, 6:54 am
    Post #138 - April 3rd, 2009, 6:54 am Post #138 - April 3rd, 2009, 6:54 am
    Isaac asked me to put up a post that CdI will be closed for Passover beginning Tues. 4/7 and opening again on Fri. 4/17. The Nava family extends its best wishes for the holidays to everyone.
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #139 - September 18th, 2009, 1:12 pm
    Post #139 - September 18th, 2009, 1:12 pm Post #139 - September 18th, 2009, 1:12 pm
    Isaac and Moshe asked me to advise the LTH Forum of their restaurant hours during the Jewish New Year holidays.
    They'll be closed all day on Saturday, Sept. 19 and will close again at 3 pm on Sun. Sept 27 and stay closed all day on Mon. Sept 28. They will also close for a week beginning on Saturday Oct. 3 and will reopen on Sunday morning Oct. 11 at 9 am.
    Please phone the restaurant at 847-433-5550 to confirm their hours of business during the holidays.

    The entire Nava family wants to wish its customers and the community a very Happy New Year and thank everyone for their continued support.

    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #140 - November 17th, 2009, 6:35 pm
    Post #140 - November 17th, 2009, 6:35 pm Post #140 - November 17th, 2009, 6:35 pm
    Isaac and Moishe tell me that CdI plans to prepare their latkes throughout the month of December. I think they'll be similar to the ones they made in previous years where they have one type that is traditional with apple sauce and sour cream and two Mexican style latkes. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if Isaac doesn't try something new this Hannukah season.
    I can taste them already. Yummmmmmmm
    Regards,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #141 - November 19th, 2009, 2:39 pm
    Post #141 - November 19th, 2009, 2:39 pm Post #141 - November 19th, 2009, 2:39 pm
    We carried out lunch from LCdI yesterday at the office and it was delicious as usual (burrito campestre, guacamole, chips, salsa). But what made it particularly memorable was some incredible service. As we unpacked our order, we realized that our tortillas were missing. Given their excellent track record and the fact that we were really hungry, we decided that we would eat without the tortillas and call the restaurant after lunch, just to let them know. However, no more than 30 seconds later, Moishe himself walked into our office with the tortillas. It was just incredible to see such dedication. Not only did he figure out that we hadn't received them but he also looked up our address and brought them over without even so much as a phone call. I really love the food at La Casa de Isaac but their dedication to their customers continues to be unparalleled.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #142 - November 25th, 2009, 9:48 am
    Post #142 - November 25th, 2009, 9:48 am Post #142 - November 25th, 2009, 9:48 am
    Wow. I'm trying to find a reasonably priced place to take a Lake Forest friend for lunch somewhere up there, and CdI was looking somewhat good to me, but as someone who lives near the Rogers Park Clark Street joint and gets down to 18th Street now and then, not to mention Mexico, the prices listed on CdI's online menu are taking me aback a bit. $13.50 for chicken enchiladas? Nearly $15 for chicken mole? $17 for salmon enchiladas? The prices are approaching Frontera Grill level (which, at FG, I think are quite reasonable given the stature, ingredient quality and location of the place). I'm wondering if the margaritas are, like, $10 too.

    I've looked at the CdI pictures, and the food looks homestyle and good, and not unlike the dishes you get down here in some of the tastier homespun places for maybe 40% less. Is it that good and special? Or is it all about North Shore pricing? I think no matter where I end up going, I'll probably swing by their deli to test their tamales, but I really want to know on this place. If one has a wealth of fair-to-very-good Mexican places readily available to them, is CdI likely to live up to the hype?
  • Post #143 - November 28th, 2009, 7:56 pm
    Post #143 - November 28th, 2009, 7:56 pm Post #143 - November 28th, 2009, 7:56 pm
    I’d like to comment on the above post by watery wave on 11/25.

    I have no idea of the prices charged by other Mexican restaurants in the 18th St area or even the Rick Bayless restaurants. So here’s my take on what I feel is the price/value relationship of the CdI menu.

    First of all, all CdI guests are given complementary chips and salsa. The chips are house-made as are all of their salsas and sauces. I understand most other Mexican restaurants charge for chips and salsa. Virtually everything at CdI is made from scratch, which translates to a high labor content in their dishes.

    Here are a few examples of some of their dishes and what I perceive as excellent values:
    - Isaac’s Mother’s Favorite Enchiladas are four for $13.50, which is about $3.40 per enchilada. That’s their biggest selling item I’m told.
    - Three fish tacos are $14.95, which is $5 per taco.
    - An 8 oz. piece of BBQ marinated grilled salmon (with side dishes) is $16.95, which is considerably below the price point for similar dishes in most restaurants.
    - Whole 1.5- to 2-pound red snapper (with sides) is $21.95, which compares well with other restaurants.
    - The house margaritas are $6 and the premium ones are $9.

    Note that their fish is fresh and never been frozen. In addition, they use the best available beef. Isaac continues to make dishes that are not found in other Mexican restaurants. He tells me that they plan to develop additional unique specialty menu items.

    Besides the great food, they have knowledgeable and accommodating wait staff and a congenial casual atmosphere. How do you put a price on that?

    Keep in mind that they’ll be serving three varieties of latkes for the entire month of December. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Mexican restaurant anywhere that makes latkes. If you know of one, please let me know.

    Best regards,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #144 - November 28th, 2009, 8:51 pm
    Post #144 - November 28th, 2009, 8:51 pm Post #144 - November 28th, 2009, 8:51 pm
    For comparison, 3 enchiladas in most Chicago places will run you $6-8, and fish tacos are unlikely to top $3 a piece.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #145 - November 28th, 2009, 9:12 pm
    Post #145 - November 28th, 2009, 9:12 pm Post #145 - November 28th, 2009, 9:12 pm
    I've had enchiladas in some Mexican restaurants in that price range that have been so bad I wondered why I ever went to the restaurant in the first place. This was a number of years ago when I worked at IIT on the south side. To my tastes, CdI is the best price/quality/taste value around. But it's all subjective and just MHO. :)
    Best
    GPBob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #146 - November 28th, 2009, 10:02 pm
    Post #146 - November 28th, 2009, 10:02 pm Post #146 - November 28th, 2009, 10:02 pm
    gleam wrote:For comparison, 3 enchiladas in most Chicago places will run you $6-8, and fish tacos are unlikely to top $3 a piece.


    You stated that you were not aware of what other restaurants charged. Gleam gracefully stated what his experience was and you go on the attack insinuating that those places must be mediocre.

    I have some excellent enchiladas in Chicago, Houston and a number of places and I would agree with Gleam that you generally spend under $10 for three of them.

    As for the chips and salsa, I cannot think of more than a couple of places that don't serve them complimentary.

    Your posts seem to be promotional.
  • Post #147 - November 28th, 2009, 10:38 pm
    Post #147 - November 28th, 2009, 10:38 pm Post #147 - November 28th, 2009, 10:38 pm
    My bet is that the whole semi-kosher thing has an impact on the prices. When you can toss pig around, it can help keep the prices down. And maybe location—it's next door to Carlos'.

    I've only been to Casa de Isaac once, but I found it quite remarkable, not solely because of the quality of the food, though that was great, but for the limitations placed on what can be served -- no pork products (he makes his own beef chorizo), no fish without scales. Dairy does get mixed with meat, so not purely kosher, but close. And what other Mexican restaurant has latkes with salsa?
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #148 - November 28th, 2009, 11:03 pm
    Post #148 - November 28th, 2009, 11:03 pm Post #148 - November 28th, 2009, 11:03 pm
    I didn't mean to sound strident, but I've had lots of bad Mexican food over the years. Of course, I wouldn't say where because that's not appropriate in this forum.
    Howveer, I do enjoy CdI and so do a lot of folks. I just feel that the value for the money is just fine considering the quality.
    Recognize that the restaurant is located in Highland Park and not Highwood. I would image that their rent is probably higher than average. About 14 years ago, I looked at retail spaces for a used book store. Highland Park rents were the highest of any north or northwest suburb. I would image Isaac has a fairly high rent and that might be reflected in his pricing. I don't really know.
    Best,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #149 - November 28th, 2009, 11:06 pm
    Post #149 - November 28th, 2009, 11:06 pm Post #149 - November 28th, 2009, 11:06 pm
    BTW - I have no vested interest in CdI other than I just like the place. With my wife recovering from surgery, I'm going there tomorrow morning for a breakfast burrito. It's better than McDonald's. :lol:
    GPB
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #150 - November 29th, 2009, 1:27 am
    Post #150 - November 29th, 2009, 1:27 am Post #150 - November 29th, 2009, 1:27 am
    I like La Casa de Isaac very much and find its pricing to be pretty much in line with other, similar, full-service, sitdown restaurants in the area (e.g. their taco plate is $9.00, Tamales' is $9-10, Las Palmas' is $9.50). On the whole, though, it's a bit pricier than Las Palmas and a bit cheaper than Tamales. Having said that, I personally think it's a lot better and far more consistent than either of those 2 places. It is, admittedly, a bit pricier than 2 nearby taquerias, neither of which offer the quality, variety or service avaiable at Isaac's. At my Highland Park office, where we have anywhere from 6-8 diverse palates deciding on lunch every day, we pretty much only order Mexican from Isaac's. We never get Las Palmas and we gave up on Tamales months ago.

    Is this Pilsen? Is this Bayless? No but it doesn't intend to be either. They do what they do very well by offering an interesting menu, high-quality ingredients, some distinctive family recipes, excellent cooking and friendly service.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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