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  • That Little Mexican Cafe

    Post #1 - August 27th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    Post #1 - August 27th, 2006, 1:49 pm Post #1 - August 27th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    That Little Mexican Café offers Sunday brunch, and apparently has done so for years now. After eating there this morning I’m surprised that no one has posted about it yet. For $11.95, you can indulge in an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet which includes:

    • Coffee
    • Fresh squeezed lemon-limeade
    • Fresh Fruit
    Image
    “Salad Bar” (mesclun, pico de gallo, jicama, papaya, cheese)
    • Guacamole
    • Salsas and tortilla chips
    • Homemade tortillas (flour and corn)
    • Cold salmon salad
    • Cold lime-marinated grilled chicken salad
    Image
    Tamales con mole (pork and chicken)
    Image
    Chicken tinga (pulled chicken with chipotle sauce)
    • Chicken mole
    • Steak Fajitas
    Image
    • Some other taco filling that looked like a picadillo, but tasted like pastor
    • Tilapia milanesa with a Veracruz style sauce (tomatoes, onions, fish stock)
    • Rice and Beans
    • Jalapeno rellenos
    • Quesadillas
    Image
    Chocolate Torte with fresh berries
    Deep fried tortillas drizzled with honey and cinnamon

    And everything was pretty good, and by buffet standards the dishes were excellent. The tortillas were being made in small batches and constantly replenished. Everything was homemade and fresh. A feast for sure, and a great value to boot. I guess the menu says it best, “Where you peso little and get so much!”

    Image

    1010 Church St , Evanston
    847-905-1550
  • Post #2 - August 27th, 2006, 2:17 pm
    Post #2 - August 27th, 2006, 2:17 pm Post #2 - August 27th, 2006, 2:17 pm
    I've eaten lunch there a couple of times and the regular menu food isn't all that bad either, albiet slightly gussied up for the Evanston crowd. That looks like a pretty nice spread. I am racking my brain and coming up empty as to the location, but saw a "Coming Soon, Little Mexican Café" sign just yesterday. Has anyone else seen evidence of another location? I wish someone kept a database of all those "coming soon" announcements and had the answer at their fingertips.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - August 27th, 2006, 3:21 pm
    Post #3 - August 27th, 2006, 3:21 pm Post #3 - August 27th, 2006, 3:21 pm
    It is opening east of the Red Line on Bryn Mawr I believe.
  • Post #4 - August 27th, 2006, 3:33 pm
    Post #4 - August 27th, 2006, 3:33 pm Post #4 - August 27th, 2006, 3:33 pm
    eyewall wrote:It is opening east of the Red Line on Bryn Mawr I believe.


    That it! You win the prize! thanks for jogging my memory.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - August 27th, 2006, 3:47 pm
    Post #5 - August 27th, 2006, 3:47 pm Post #5 - August 27th, 2006, 3:47 pm
    Isn't that the place that has a tableside production for guacamole? I seem to recall enjoying it very much, as well.
  • Post #6 - August 27th, 2006, 4:23 pm
    Post #6 - August 27th, 2006, 4:23 pm Post #6 - August 27th, 2006, 4:23 pm
    Mhays wrote:Isn't that the place that has a tableside production for guacamole? I seem to recall enjoying it very much, as well.


    Yes, they do. At first I thought it was just a gimmick, but the one time we had it, it came out quite well.
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #7 - August 28th, 2006, 8:37 am
    Post #7 - August 28th, 2006, 8:37 am Post #7 - August 28th, 2006, 8:37 am
    Had dinner at the new location on Bryn Mawr this weekend. The tableside guacamole was very good. I would order it every time. I ordered the skirt steak with chimichurri. I was in the mood for beef so it hit the spot. Some of the specials looked interesting. The Ahi tuna fajitas looked good & some of the other seafood specials. I plan on going back.
  • Post #8 - September 3rd, 2006, 12:17 pm
    Post #8 - September 3rd, 2006, 12:17 pm Post #8 - September 3rd, 2006, 12:17 pm
    And now a few words from the other side:

    Lovely Dining Companion and I were joined for brunch this morning by Amata and Lucantonius. Never one to mince words, I will say by way of conclusion that I won't be rushing back to the Bryn Mawr branch. The obligatory chips and salsa were good (fresh chips) and bad (the salsa wasn't even mediocre). I had chilaquiles con chorizo. First bite: the sauteed potatoes weren't cooked. Looked gorgeous, but simply not cooked. The chorizo, a coarse grind, was not distinctive in any way and was not even warm. The torilla/salsa combination was sprinkled (in a rather tight-fisted way) with a little queso, but was also undistinguished. I can speak with unqualified approval of the black beans and the sour cream alone.
    LDC had black bean empanadas and pronounced herself happy with her dish, with the caveat that they were portioned appropriately for her. For anyone weighing more than 98 pounds, however, another entree would be recommended. LDC actually finished her plate; that is so rare as to be noteworthy.
    Service was not good in any way. Anytime you have to ask for the coffee to be refilled--and continue to ask time after time after time, it's not a good sign. Lucantonius ordered lemonade; they were out. (First thing in the morning?) Amata ordered Mexican hot chocolate; they were out. (Hello?) Lucantonius devoted some of his time to drawing. (He's really quite accomplished; among other things, he presented a finished hockey rink--do we detect a parental/paternal influence?--that was quite impressive for its detail.) But on the way out, we noticed that the restaurant has crayons. Did anyone think to bring the crayons over to us? Nope.
    The physical space is quite attractive but for a location with the capacity for 150 people, I don't think there were more than 20 people by the time we left (we were there at opening, 11:00, and left about 12:30).
    Sad and disappointed. We had quite looked forward to this brunch. Speaking of which, although they serve brunch at this location it is not, unlike Evanston, a buffet. Everything is a la carte. Perhaps they are still settling in, but too many things simply weren't well done to anticipate a return any time soon.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #9 - September 3rd, 2006, 4:45 pm
    Post #9 - September 3rd, 2006, 4:45 pm Post #9 - September 3rd, 2006, 4:45 pm
    The company of LDC and Gypsy Boy at brunch this morning was delightful, but I sadly must agree with Gypsy Boy that the food and service left a lot to be desired. I also ordered the chilaquiles and had the same experience as GB: less than fully cooked potatoes, boring sauce for the tortilla strips, dry chorizo off on the side.

    I was also surprised by what Lucantonio was served -- we were expecting one taco of carne asada served on a soft corn tortilla or two, but instead he got two large flour tortillas wrapped around some kind of stewed beef which (he claimed) was spicy. I guess we should have sent it back but we weren't having much luck dealing with the staff, and L seemed okay with just eating beans and rice.

    Oh, the fresh-squeezed orange juice got good marks...

    Oh well. As I said, the meal was a pleasure because of the company... but I don't think any of us will be choosing to return to that branch of That Little Mexican Cafe.
  • Post #10 - September 4th, 2006, 8:58 am
    Post #10 - September 4th, 2006, 8:58 am Post #10 - September 4th, 2006, 8:58 am
    Hi,

    What a contrast in experiences from one location to the other. Certainly one has to consider going to the Evanston location Trixie Pea reported on. Though one will have to wait for the Chicago location to get its act together, which hopefully it will.

    Thanks for the colletive efforts!

    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 #11 - September 4th, 2006, 10:41 am
    Post #11 - September 4th, 2006, 10:41 am Post #11 - September 4th, 2006, 10:41 am
    When they moved from Sherman over to Church, the old space became "Cabo Grill" - run by the same people. It was really not nearly as good. I'm not sure if they changed the concept or just the name, but it closed fairly quickly.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #12 - September 8th, 2006, 6:22 pm
    Post #12 - September 8th, 2006, 6:22 pm Post #12 - September 8th, 2006, 6:22 pm
    Just had lunch at the Edgewater location today. It's a beautiful spot, and looks like it would be a fun place to have margaritas at! My experience today was neither good nor bad.

    The service was great. Very attentive staff, refills on the sodas before you were even done!
    The chips were warm and tasty, and the salsa was good too.

    I had the fish tacos and overall, the feeling was...eh. The rice and beans were bland. I had to add salt in order to give them some flavor. The corn tortillas were the highlight of the meal, since they were hecho a mano, and very good. But overall, I was very underwhelmed.
  • Post #13 - September 8th, 2006, 8:07 pm
    Post #13 - September 8th, 2006, 8:07 pm Post #13 - September 8th, 2006, 8:07 pm
    how were the tamales?
  • Post #14 - September 9th, 2006, 6:31 pm
    Post #14 - September 9th, 2006, 6:31 pm Post #14 - September 9th, 2006, 6:31 pm
    PixieYoohoo wrote:The rice and beans were bland. I had to add salt in order to give them some flavor.


    At the Evanston location I never liked the rice or beans alone, but somehow mixed up together they always tasted marvelous.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #15 - September 11th, 2006, 7:13 am
    Post #15 - September 11th, 2006, 7:13 am Post #15 - September 11th, 2006, 7:13 am
    It's been awhile (we are awash in a nordic sea of pastys and, well, that's it), but when we lived in Chicago, the Evanston location was aces with us. There was no downside, the service was impeccable, the food as well. I don't know if things have changed or not, but whenever we get back to Evanston we intend on returning.
  • Post #16 - November 6th, 2012, 12:36 pm
    Post #16 - November 6th, 2012, 12:36 pm Post #16 - November 6th, 2012, 12:36 pm
    This thread hasn't had any action in a while, so I thought I would dust it off.

    My wife and I along with another couple went to the Edgewater version of TLMC on Saturday evening before attending a play at City Lit Theater. We were totally satisfied with everything about the experience. Specifically:

    1. The margaritas - we ordered the standard on the rocks. It was excellent, arriving in a shaker that contained about two 12-ounce glasses (with ice).

    2. The guacamole prepared at tableside was really good. The ingredients were fresh and flavorful.

    3. The salsa. The red salsa was tasty with a bit of a bite but really not much, based on my spice-avoiding palate. The server also brought some mild salsa verde which was good but not great, needing a little more flavor.

    4. Duck breast fajitas - This was my main course. It absolutely rocked!! The duck breast was cooked medium rare for the most part, with the narrow ends of the breast closer to well done but still with great flavor and texture. The outside of the breast was fabulously charred. There's no question I would order this dish again in a heartbeat.

    5. The service - Our server could not have been more friendly and attentive without being annoying. The host was also very friendly and helpful. Top marks for the service.

    I would highly recommend the Edgewater location of TLMC.

    That Little Mexican Cafe
    1055 W. Bryn Mawr
    Chicago, IL 60660
    Phone - (773) 769-1004
    John Danza
  • Post #17 - November 8th, 2018, 6:56 am
    Post #17 - November 8th, 2018, 6:56 am Post #17 - November 8th, 2018, 6:56 am
    After That Little Mexican Cafe closed a few months ago, Edgewater is regaining a Mexican restaurant in the same space — Edgewater Mexican Cafe.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/c ... story.html
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin

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