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The 47th-a-Thon [LOTSA pics]

The 47th-a-Thon [LOTSA pics]
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  • Post #31 - April 30th, 2006, 2:05 pm
    Post #31 - April 30th, 2006, 2:05 pm Post #31 - April 30th, 2006, 2:05 pm
    stevez wrote:
    JimInLoganSquare wrote: Not sure why they keep the old restaurant going; maybe sentimental reasons more than because they need the money.


    Jim,

    It's more than just the "old restaurant". I've been to at least 3 different Taco Atotonilco's and I think there at least a couple more. I've found the food, and in particualr the al pastor, to vary from location to location. The best I have had is at the TA on 26th St.


    The couple of times I discussed the restaurant(s) with Oscar Munoz, he left me with the impression there was only one; maybe he was simply being modest or referring to the original by default as the outlet I should visit. I also note from the picture above that the 47th Street location is designated No. 2, so maybe the original is on 26th Street (which may explain why you like that one better, Steve)? Anyway, maybe I should make time to get down to at least one of the outposts of Oscar's restaurant empire.
    JiLS
  • Post #32 - April 30th, 2006, 2:33 pm
    Post #32 - April 30th, 2006, 2:33 pm Post #32 - April 30th, 2006, 2:33 pm
    Many thanks to Mike G for organizing this entertaining athon. Kerensa and I had a great time, met some new friends, and ate some delicious items. I will say for the record that nothing on this athon really jumped out as a must-have must-return experience, with the possible exception of the suadero & head tacos at Aranda’s, and the delicious fresh rye and smoked pork at Baltic bakery.

    Some notes and pics:
    The taco al pastor at Atotonilco
    Image

    All three of the al pastor spits we saw had some funny similarities and common peculiarities. None had a particularly aggressive marinade – I’ve become accustomed to a taco al pastor dripping with achiote paste and pungent with spice. All of these more closely resembled oniony griddled pork. None stood up to the example I ate at Maxwell st last week. Two spots had non-functional spits, all had sad dried out looking junks of pineapple on top. I think there may be one local supplier for al pastor on 47th, the kronos of southside mexican pork gyro cones. Unfortunately not that good.

    Tacos de birria with excellent pickles at Atotonilco
    Image

    The birria had a distinctly unpleasant tang at atotonilco – the pickles on the table hoever were excellent – plentiful carrot slices, huge chunks of cauliflower and the occasional chunk of jicama really made this pickle stand out.

    Somebody did ask about what made the taco atotonilco special - i think it was carne asado with onion lettuse and sour cream. I got the sense that the sour bream made it special. Maybe one of the other folks at my end of the table will remember the explanation better.

    Suadero pan of fat
    Image

    Tacos de suadero, al pastor, and de cachete
    Image

    Let us linger for a moment on the windows to the soul – the eye taco as served by Arandas restaurant:
    Ojos before fresh from the steamer:
    Image

    Ojos after being passed around a table of 14 ravenous internet food crazies. Can it be that only half an eye taco was eaten?
    Image

    Wiv’s true feelings about eating ojo
    Image

    Wiv putting on a brave face
    Image

    Let’s take a closer look at the ojo.
    Image

    I will go so far as to say that this eye taco was by far more palatable than the one I ate at Maxwell three years ago – to say I ate that whole one is not actually accurate – I had a sliver of eye goo from Mumon’s eye taco. That one was more obviously an eye – complete with lens to be spit out and nearly intact globes. This one was more discreet about its identity as an eye. The cachete, on the other hand, was pretty good – unctuously fatty, and tasty.


    Cuerditos – pickled Chicharron in a jar from a cart – didn’t look too appetizing to me. Anybody tried this?
    Image

    Baked goods – the only thing on 47th that we didn’t eat! from panaderia pantitlan. Why we didn’t stop to eat that tasty looking elephant ear shall forever be a mystery.
    Image

    Piezano’s Pizza – to my palate, not noticeably worse than 90% of all pizza in Chicago (and the world!)
    Image

    Eating local at John’s. Too bad I didn’t notice the address of the tomtom plant when I took this pick – we could’ve visited the factory and seem how they make the tube tamal de chicago
    Image

    This was the second Zumex juicer we saw on this thon. Reminds me of the blood orange juice in Lerici at the Doria Park Hotel.
    Image

    I liked the strawberries n crema at Gelateria Cris – simple recipe, strawberries, Mexican sour cream, sweetend condensed milk, sugar and granola. I also tried a fresh fruit juice - # 6 : Para Perder Peso (To Lose Weight). Aside from the bitter orange seeds and cucumber pips it was fine. Although I don’t think that it counteracted the fact that I ate three days worth of meals in just 8 hours.
    Image

    More good natured LTH conviviality at Gelateria Cris
    Image

    The hamburguesa de camaron at Mariscos Luis. The one I saw on Rick bayless’s TV show looked awesome, this one fell slightly lower on the awsomeness scale.
    Image
  • Post #33 - May 1st, 2006, 4:30 pm
    Post #33 - May 1st, 2006, 4:30 pm Post #33 - May 1st, 2006, 4:30 pm
    I had a great time, although none of the stops on this Thon impressed me as much as the high points of the Millwaukee Ave. a Thon or the Milwaukee A Thon. But the turnovers from Baltic Bakery really were amazingly light with a nice crunch (if hardly any filling), and the taste of their smoked pork shoulder was tantalizingly close to things I haven't tasted since childhood. Their cheese bread's interesting, but they have to tweak something; the bottom of my loaf is solid, as though the leavening was just too weighed down to work. (And the sides -- the loaf is square -- are concave, as if they were drawn in by the rise to support the loaf's weight.) Although the House O' Jello was an impressive sight, the chocolate strawberry cake was meh, and the oatmeal milkshake didn't come close to Irazu's. The candy store was very cool, and I loved the smell of fresh masa all along the street, but none of the flavors and tastes really caught me -- Maiz may be more expensive, but it turns out maybe you do get what you pay for.

    Anyway, for me the point was that it was an enjoyable day exploring a neighborhood I've never been in with folks who like doing the same. I'm happily looking forward to future Thons.
    --
    Never toss pizza dough in a kitchen with a ceiling fan.
  • Post #34 - May 1st, 2006, 6:14 pm
    Post #34 - May 1st, 2006, 6:14 pm Post #34 - May 1st, 2006, 6:14 pm
    Mike G wrote:Much better than that was Birrieria Arrandas, which I would call the discovery of this part of the trip. I had first noticed it on one of my reconnaisance missions, because a woman was making tortillas from a big tub of masa in the front window.

    Mike,

    Many thanks to you and Liam for a wonderful 47th-a-Thon, thanks also to ReneG for his, as always, amazing grasp of Chicago neighborhoods.

    Here's a picture of the very nice woman making tortillas at Birrieria Arrandas's, that and Arrandas's suadero were two of many highlights of a very enjoyable day.

    Birrieria Arrandas
    Image

    Another highlight was watching Seth's reaction moments after consuming the eyeball taco. :)

    Seth getting his Eye-On
    Image

    Company, as always, was the highlight, made even nicer by the fact Ellen joined us on her first, ever, A-Thon. She seemed to enjoy herself and went the full distance.

    Ellen getting into the a-Thon spirit.
    Image

    It was also very nice to spend a full day with old LTH friends and also to meet new LTH friends BerryBerry and r2g. Unusual for an LTHForum event there was an incident that resulted in a few punches being thrown Lucky no one was hurt and the police were not called.

    Giovanna going bare knuckles at Dulce Landia
    Image

    Great day, thanks Mike!

    There are many (many) 47th-a-Thon pictures here I started to sort them by stop, but am only about 1/3 finished.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #35 - May 1st, 2006, 7:21 pm
    Post #35 - May 1st, 2006, 7:21 pm Post #35 - May 1st, 2006, 7:21 pm
    In the great tradition of Columbo and other scatterbrains who remember to make a point a bit too late, I do need to say that the carne y su jugo was easily the standout for me. I'm no expert -- this was my first taste -- but whatever its quality stacked against others, I appreciated its complexity and look forward to more.
    --
    Never toss pizza dough in a kitchen with a ceiling fan.
  • Post #36 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:28 pm
    Post #36 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:28 pm Post #36 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:28 pm
    LTH,

    Not much has been said about Char's BBQ, a quickie stop between Abundance and Baltic Bakery. At 11am there was no BBQ available, but there's a Chicago style Aquarium BBQ pit in plain view.

    Char's BBQ
    Image

    Steve Z ordered 10-wings, which took a short while to make as they were hand breaded. After snapping a few pictures I went outside, but Steve said he saw them loading up the BBQ pit with lump charcoal. He could have also used the time to get a haircut, Char's shares an entry way with Billy's Barbershop

    Char's/Billy's
    Image

    I found the wings quite good, nice spice in the breading, meaty, though they slightly suffered as, having just opened, the oil was not quite up to temp. We're talking subtle here, but the wings had absorbed just a hair of oil and were not as crisp as they might have been.

    Char's Wings
    Image

    If Char's wings were that good with the handicap of oil not quite up to temp, I can't wait to try them when they are hitting on all 8-cylinders.

    Char's Bar-B-Que
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Char's Bar-B-Que
    325 W. 47th
    773-538-8631
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #37 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:32 pm
    Post #37 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:32 pm Post #37 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:32 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Char's BBQ
    Image

    Steve Z ordered 10-wings, which took a short while to make as they were hand breaded. After snapping a few pictures I went outside, but Steve said he saw them loading up the BBQ pit with lump charcoal.


    If you look on the left side of the pit, you can see a nearly empty bag of lump sitting on the floor.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #38 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:39 pm
    Post #38 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:39 pm Post #38 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:39 pm
    stevez wrote:If you look on the left side of the pit, you can see a nearly empty bag of lump sitting on the floor.

    Steve,

    I wonder if Char's uses any wood to go along with that lump.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #39 - May 2nd, 2006, 5:29 pm
    Post #39 - May 2nd, 2006, 5:29 pm Post #39 - May 2nd, 2006, 5:29 pm
    G Wiv wrote:I wonder if Char's uses any wood to go along with that lump.


    I saw no evidence of any wood, either near the smoker or in the ashes of the firebox when the pitmaster opened it up to add the charcoal.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #40 - May 2nd, 2006, 9:24 pm
    Post #40 - May 2nd, 2006, 9:24 pm Post #40 - May 2nd, 2006, 9:24 pm
    First off…..a big thanks to all the LTHers for making me feel very welcomed on the great Saturday adventure that was my first –athon.

    I would like to provide a little contribution by sharing my 2 cents on the food I sampled during the trip -- though, I have little to say that others haven't (and they do it with pictures). I'll add what I can.

    1. Abundance Bakery: I will definitely be making a trip back to Abundance. The fritters were as wonderful as previously described. I found them remarkably light with a fabulous texture. They provided just the right amount of tender resistance and spiced things up with crunchy bits. The glaze on a long twisty donut (don't know the official name) was great. At times it was layered on thin, resulting in a dry, crackly, delicate skin, whereas in the nooks and crannies the glaze had accumulated so much that it could not fully congeal and was thus a wet and sticky treat. Oh, and those beautiful upside-down cupcakes that were copiously drenched in a beautifully brown caramel – I didn't try those, so for that alone I will return.

    2. Baltic Bakery: This place will also see a return trip from me. The bread was as good as previously described. My surprise find was a round, flat, cheesecake-looking-like object that was wrapped in plastic and simply labeled, "open face cheese," which I bought on impulse. Cathy2 commented that it looked (and possibly tasted) like a cheesecake that had been overcooked. But, I found the taste to be much less sweet and creamy than traditional cheesecakes and the consistency was much drier and bready. Surely it was not a good pairing for the excellent cured pork shoulder we all enjoyed, but it was quite the complement to the steaming cup of black joe that berryberry, me, and our significant others enjoyed at the end of the long and tiring –athon. Berryberry's wife described it as a "blank canvas" that could easily be topped with a few fresh fruits and homemade whipped cream for a light and lovely desert or coffee accompaniment. My wife went for seconds, which clearly signaled her approval. We finished it off between the four of us. For $2.50, I thought it was a steal, as were most things at Baltic Bakery.

    The next phase of the –athon was quite a blur, and we didn't even drink tequila. Yes, I was definitely taco-ed out. So much so, that my taste buds welcomed the slice of pizza previously-known-as-the-worst-pizza-ever, which wasn't that bad. I guess it does make a difference when you eat something freshly baked vs. after it has been sitting under a heat lamp for hours :). Back to the tacos: there are a few items I might return for if the craving ever strikes. 1) The tacos al pastor at Atotolnico were just as Seth described; nevertheless, I was not averse to the way that they were spiced: juicy, with plenty of grilled onion flavor. It was definitely not the taste I associate with typical al pastor, but I found it unique and didn't even want to change it by adding the cilantro and chopped onions that I normally would have piled on. 2) The saudero at Arandas may lure me for another trip out to 47th – they were good. 3) Though I only had one spoonful, the "carne en su jugo" at Taqueria Los Altos was delicious – it's the first time I tried that dish and will surely go back to try the one that I was told was recommended in the legendary Pigmon list.

    There were a few items that I sampled across the taco shops that were surprisingly flavorless, including: tacos de picadillo (Atotolnico), chorizo (Atotolnico), and barbacoa (Don Cuco's). I was originally excited when the chorizo tacos hit the table, since they looked nicely cooked, with some very browned edges and not super-greasy as is sometimes the case. Sadly, the flavor (or lack thereof) left me wanting. At Arandas, the meat in the "cabeza tacos" was surprisingly soft and tender (enjoyably so, not in a gross way), but the flavor was not very memorable. One final note before I leave the tacos behind – I did sink my fork into the infamous "ojo taco," carefully trying to avoid anything that looked like an eyeball, while trying to still get something on the fork. I did manage to get a piece of meat in my mouth that tasted surprisingly like cheek. I don't know if cheek snuck in from another taco or if it was just a small piece of occulomotor muscle (I won't dwell on this for too long).

    Dulcelandia was lots of fun and a welcome distraction during a part of the day when my energy was low and the sky outside was gray – it perked me right up. I found several things there to enjoy, including the previously mentioned "Obleas Las Sevillanas," which I purchased in bite-size portions (think, a think layer of less-sweet dulce de leche sandwiched between two gourmet communion wafers), a small round wheel of pecan brittle (yum), and the red macaroons pictured above (they were soft, moist, and deliciously coco-nutty, but their temperature was too cold).

    My final stop was at Gelatina Cris where I sampled nothing that I got excited about. In all fairness, at this point my tummy was full and all the sweetness had signaled a premature coda to a culinary composition that started strong, lagged at times, and finished quietly, but definitely had its mini-climaxes.

    Thanks to the LTHers who did all the hard work and planning, as well as provided the company and guidance through an enjoyable and eye-opening experience. I'll take pictures next time.

    r2g
  • Post #41 - May 2nd, 2006, 10:04 pm
    Post #41 - May 2nd, 2006, 10:04 pm Post #41 - May 2nd, 2006, 10:04 pm
    r2g wrote:Cathy2 commented that it looked (and possibly tasted) like a cheesecake that had been overcooked. But, I found the taste to be much less sweet and creamy than traditional cheesecakes and the consistency was much drier and bready.


    Cheesecake is dessert where the outcome depends on temperature and length of time in the oven. The cake on Saturday was dry, which if it had been cooked a shorter period of time would have had a moister perhaps even creamier texture. Cheesecake preferences, like so many things, are based on your personal taste and experience. I happen to like it less dry and creamy, so from my point of view it was overcooked. Yet I know many who would love it as it was on Saturday.

    Baltic Bakery outlet store was straight out of bread store in Russia or the Baltics. From the wood bins, where Babushkas would stick forks in the bread to test for freshness. To the unlit, barely labeled, refrigerated display case holding the meats. I agree it is definitely worthy of many return trips.

    It was a great day Saturday! Thanks to everyone for making it special.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #42 - May 4th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    Post #42 - May 4th, 2006, 7:08 pm Post #42 - May 4th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    I’d like to add my thanks to Mike G for organizing a very interesting expedition to a street many Chicagoans probably never set foot on. I had a great time even though I ate very little, trying to save room for the Jain dinner at 5pm (a wise decision because that shockingly good meal consisted of over 16 dishes; there will be a report later).

    Mike G wrote:The stars were the steamed meats like cabeza (head), and the suadero, all on freshly made masa tortillas, not the best I've ever had, a little lard would go a long way in increasing their flavor, but any fresh hot masa item is a friend on your plate.

    Arandas/Elvia’s (two names because of licensing issues) was a worthwhile stop not only because they serve some less common items like tacos al vapor and suadero but especially because some are quite good. I agree the tortillas were good, not great. I don’t think it was the lack of lard (masa para tortillas doesn’t contain any, unlike masa para tamales) but because they use masa harina instead of fresh. You can see the bags of Maseca in Gary’s photo above.

    Mike G wrote:Rene G has some interesting observations about why there are so many seafood/mariscos places on the south side, hopefully he'll share them.

    Nothing very profound, I’m afraid. The southwest side is awash in mariscos places, many quite recent. There are at least five on W 47th alone. It seems to me that Las Islas Marias at 5401 S Pulaski was one of the first of the new ones and it’s packed them in since opening day (for good reason). It wouldn’t be surprising that other newer places hope to play to the same audience or try to draw some customers away. La Muelle, with two giant shrimps on its roof seems like the most obvious imitator.

    David Hammond wrote:The highlight of my day was actually John's G.A.R. (Great Army of the Republic?). I've been intrigued by the Mom-in-Law since ReneG wrote about it, and I do like the concept of a cup of chili with an embedded corn roll tamale. Having had it, I can say with assurance that it was not bad. It would have been better with better chili (and of course a better tamale), but it was pretty much okay. . . . Even odder on the food scale was the tamale on a bun with flourescent relish. This tasted exactly as one would expect, with an imbalanced carb-to-flavor ratio, no need to have it again.

    Few would claim John’s is one of Chicago’s greatest hot dog stands but it’s generally a likeable spot, the sort of place every neighborhood should have (and probably once had). You really ought to try Johnny O’s for a better rendition of the Mother-in-Law (in a cup) and Fat Johnnie’s for a better version on a bun (get it with onions and peppers only). I think you’d appreciate both of these.

    Cathy2 wrote:Thinking there was a misunderstanding between us, I told her I thought the MIL came in a bun. "Oh, you want tamale in a bun then. Do you want the 3rd MIL changed to tamale in a bun?" "Sure."

    Until Cathy figured it out on Saturday I didn’t realize John’s served it both ways. I only knew about the version in a cup. By the way, no one I spoke with at John’s has been able to offer any explanation of the term so I guess Johnny O’s story still stands.

    David Hammond wrote:Absolutely, and the giardiniera on the substandard hot dog was a good combo -- on a better dog it would have been, you know, better, and it raised the issue of putting this most excellent condiment on wieners, which ReneG told me is how he learned to eat Chicago dogs years ago at Solly's (ReneG, correct me if I'm not remember this correctly, but I believe you said you worked there).

    I worked at the Finkl steel mill and would sometimes walk a few blocks to Solly’s on Clybourn—a shack back then—for lunch. I wasn’t very familiar with giardiniera or Italian beef in those days and would often garnish my hot dog with giardiniera from the bowls on the counter because I didn’t know any better. It was a good combination but I’d forgotten about giardiniera on hot dogs until Gary’s recent post. I definitely agree the giardiniera at John’s G.A.R. was very good.

    stevez wrote:The best I have had is at the TA on 26th St.

    The numbers seem to rank the quality as well as order of opening: #1 on 26th is best, then #2 on 47th, followed by #3 on Kedzie.

    Mike G wrote:Rene G says the stand (now closed) was called "Cinderella" but since that word is in the same size and placement as other individual food items, I wonder....

    Believe me, I’d be thrilled if it was the Back of the Yards version of the Mother in Law or something but I think this entry in the 2002 phone book shows my boring explanation is probably correct. Of course it doesn’t rule out the possibility that Cinderella’s served a cinderella.

    Image

    Seth Zurer wrote:Cuerditos – pickled Chicharron in a jar from a cart – didn’t look too appetizing to me. Anybody tried this?

    Just the thing for Pickle Boy! I’ve seen this exact item (though in smaller jars) at the supermercado before but could never muster the enthusiasm to buy it. Want to talk appetizing? In the occasional jar you’ll see a big piece of skin with the bristles still on.

    Seth Zurer wrote:Piezano’s Pizza – to my palate, not noticeably worse than 90% of all pizza in Chicago (and the world!)

    I’m afraid you’re right, and this was the biggest disappointment of the day for me. I expected it to be much worse. Last year I had a truly vile slice from this place. I think the difference was our slices came fresh from the oven (Steve and I had to wait) while the one I had was sitting in the desiccator box until the cheese congealed and the crust hardened on the bottom and got soggy under the sauce. The sauce was the same—like Chef Boyardee—as I remember it. There’s another Piezano’s on the corner of 31st and Pulaski, should anyone feel the need to try it.

    Bob S wrote:But the turnovers from Baltic Bakery really were amazingly light with a nice crunch (if hardly any filling), and the taste of their smoked pork shoulder was tantalizingly close to things I haven't tasted since childhood. Their cheese bread's interesting, but they have to tweak something; the bottom of my loaf is solid, as though the leavening was just too weighed down to work.

    I’m a big fan of Baltic Bakery but will admit they’re not totally consistent. Sometimes their regular rye breads are a bit compacted at the bottom. I still think Baltic is tough to beat for widely available rustic breads at a very fair price. I had a nice chat with the owner while he was unloading crates of eggs. I learned they don’t bake Saturday morning (he practically apologized for not having fresh bread) so if you’re making a special trip you might want to do it any day but Saturday.
  • Post #43 - May 4th, 2006, 7:47 pm
    Post #43 - May 4th, 2006, 7:47 pm Post #43 - May 4th, 2006, 7:47 pm
    I don’t think it was the lack of lard (masa para tortillas doesn’t contain any, unlike masa para tamales) but because they use masa harina instead of fresh.


    As soon as I posted that I had doubts, yet it does seem like there's a lardy taste to sopes or such a lot of the time. Are they just getting it from the grill they're on? Anyway, it was a little blander than the best, yes.

    Of course it doesn’t rule out the possibility that Cinderella’s served a cinderella.


    That'd be my bet. It's just odd, otherwise, to tuck the name of your store in among the items you serve with no visual differentiation. Admittedly, anything's possible, but I'd guess that's the explanation. It was probably just a root beer float or something...

    Nothing very profound, I’m afraid. The southwest side is awash in mariscos places, many quite recent.


    Weren't you saying that you thought raw (ceviche) seafood was kind of a macho after-work food for a lot of the laborers, as a big hunk of steak would be for us gringos?

    I learned they don’t bake Saturday morning (he practically apologized for not having fresh bread) so if you’re making a special trip you might want to do it any day but Saturday.


    Though I'll point out that even Saturday's was as fresh as anything I ever bought at a grocery store on the north side; also those heavy ryes keep a long time without turning dry and stale or getting moldy. Shoot down Ashland in 10 or 15 minutes, pick up a huge loaf for barely over $2, freeze half of it (they freeze well too), and enjoy hearty ham or salami sandwiches with a dark brown mustard* all week long.

    Of course, the other thing that's restricted to a particular day, as Pigmon reminded me today, is the carne en su jugo at Taqueria Los Altos-- it's weekends only. It kind of got short shrift in the reports, but I'm definitely game to go back and try that again and his other top picks.

    * Koop's Dusseldorf is my usual pick; alas, you can't get the really vinegary Maille dijon that I brought back from France and hoarded carefully for a year, it's not one of the varieties they market in the US. (In fact, I can't even find it on the French version of their site, so it may not exist at all any more.) But it was GREAT on that bread.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #44 - May 5th, 2006, 11:24 am
    Post #44 - May 5th, 2006, 11:24 am Post #44 - May 5th, 2006, 11:24 am
    "Weren't you saying that you thought raw (ceviche) seafood was kind of a macho after-work food for a lot of the laborers, as a big hunk of steak would be for us gringos?"

    Mike, that was my observation/conjecture (also?). I think there clearly is a certain amount of machismo attached to ostionerias. Not so different from the American oyster bar.
  • Post #45 - May 5th, 2006, 3:09 pm
    Post #45 - May 5th, 2006, 3:09 pm Post #45 - May 5th, 2006, 3:09 pm
    I knew I heard it from somebody that night, and I always like to give credit for these things... so JeffB it was!
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #46 - May 10th, 2006, 7:35 pm
    Post #46 - May 10th, 2006, 7:35 pm Post #46 - May 10th, 2006, 7:35 pm
    Wow, I'm impressed with what looks like a great day of eating, I need to beck on the "athon" horse.

    Seth's picture of the al pastor at atotonilco reminded me of something I had noticed in my most recent visit to the 56th&Kedzie location - oversaucing, so much so that most of the flavor of the pastor was overwhelmed, at the time I put it down to a bad day, but it looks more consistent.

    Seth Zurer wrote:the pickles on the table hoever were excellent – plentiful carrot slices, huge chunks of cauliflower and the occasional chunk of jicama really made this pickle stand out.


    Seth, I like the pickles there, but if you really want to go to pickle heaven, get to geetha foods in skokie, this may be one of my favorite indian food discoveries of the year, though I've still barely scratched the surface of the pickle selection. Pretty decent samosas as well
  • Post #47 - December 31st, 2006, 9:01 pm
    Post #47 - December 31st, 2006, 9:01 pm Post #47 - December 31st, 2006, 9:01 pm
    Hi,

    Cleaning redundant photos from my collection, I found this video clip of the tortilla lady making tortillas at Birrieria Arandas a.k.a. Elvia’s. It's only 12 seconds long.

    On this particular adventure, I got to try Pigmon's Carne en su Jugo. What a wonderful dish to highlight because until he released his research I knew nothing of this delicious dish. It's yet another gift one encounters following this forum.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #48 - January 18th, 2007, 11:23 pm
    Post #48 - January 18th, 2007, 11:23 pm Post #48 - January 18th, 2007, 11:23 pm
    For those who went on the 47th-a-Thon, you'll recall that we stood eating our various fritters off the hood of a car in the shadow of the Rosenwald Apartments:

    Image

    Yesterday, they were named one of Chicago's seven most endangered buildings by Preservation Chicago. Making me all the more glad that I saw them then (and knew what they were thanks to Rene G). It's a reminder that we're exploring a lot more than food on these trips into the ethnic, cultural and historical riches of our city.
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  • Post #49 - January 18th, 2007, 11:58 pm
    Post #49 - January 18th, 2007, 11:58 pm Post #49 - January 18th, 2007, 11:58 pm
    Mike G wrote:It's a reminder that we're exploring a lot more than food on these trips into the ethnic, cultural and historical riches of our city.


    That is so true. The Wife and I were just saying, the search for fine ethnic foods has caused us to venture into parts of Chicago we've never been before (and we have over a century of Chicago living between us), neighborhoods and buildings that continue to amaze us with their (frequently faded) glory.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #50 - January 19th, 2007, 8:36 pm
    Post #50 - January 19th, 2007, 8:36 pm Post #50 - January 19th, 2007, 8:36 pm
    Rene G wrote:A Guide to East 47th Street
    . . .

    Unfortunately a great number of buildings have been demolished with more still to fall. Better see what’s left while you still have a chance.
    . . .

    Gerri’s Palm Tavern (closed) - 446 E - A legendary bar. Musicians like Duke Ellington and Count Basie would stop for a drink after their sets at the Regal. Gerri Oliver was still behind the bar until a few years ago.
    . . .

    Palm Tavern
    Image


    That was last spring. This was in the autumn.
    Image
  • Post #51 - August 23rd, 2010, 10:12 am
    Post #51 - August 23rd, 2010, 10:12 am Post #51 - August 23rd, 2010, 10:12 am
    Took a little cruise down 47th last week since it had been a minute. A few newer spots since my last trek were up and running including this place called Taqueria Ochoa. The awning mentions that they specialize in tacos al pastor as well as cabeza (cow head) tacos.

    Image
    Lets see what up...

    Image

    So I parked the whip and walked in to see what was going on inside. There were a few family's enjoying lunch but no signs of a fresh roasting pastor spit. I thought maybe its out of view and ordered an al pastor and cabeza taco anyways. The pastor was pre sliced and thrown onto a flattop and as was expected after seeing that, nothing special. They took a piece of cows head from under some plastic sheeting keeping it warm in a steamer like concoction and chopped some of that up and threw it into a tortilla. The cabeza taco was a little better but still not all that special, to me anyways. However when I was waiting for my tacos I glanced at a menu and saw that they serve carne en su jugo on the weekends. Due to the fact that they make cabeza meat I would guess they make the CESJ the traditional way using a cows head for the broth. I will have to check that out this Fall. You can also see the mention of tortas de pierna (roasted pork leg) on the awning which might be something else to try.

    Image Image
    al pastor (L) cabeza (R)

    Taqueria Ochoa
    4151 W. 47th St.
    Chicago, IL

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