Monday, April 30, 2012

Los Comales

(October 31, 2011)
1544 W. 18th St., Chicago, IL 60608
Taqueria Los Comales on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
This places knows Mexican and they know Fast Food.  For a quick authentic mexican meal, eat at Los Comales.  But you are going to sacrifice quality for the quickness.  It is extremely greasy, and the everything extra seems to cost more.  Not sure why but I still come back more times than I probably should.

What I Ate:

Pechuga Torta

I decided to get the chicken breast torta rather than the precooked pollo that is sitting on the side of the stove... The normal pulled pollo torta is good though.  Its just not as fresh because they will reheat the chicken when an order comes in.  This torta chicken breast was tender and had a nice crisp to it.  It has lettuce, cheese, sour cream, beans, and avocado on it.  I was glad to have this following a night of halloween drinking, but would I eat here any other time... probably but not often.

Lengua Quesadilla

The lengua was nice and tender surprisingly for a fast food mexican joint.  The quesadillas are served with just choice of meat and cheese and comes with a small salad with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and avocado.  I opted to put everything inside to give it more of a taco feel.  Overall it was an ok quesadilla but there must be better option on the menu.

The DOs/DON'Ts:

DO:
- Save some of the fresh salsa for the quesadillas and tortas.  They don't give much, and they appear to get upset if you ask for more.

DON'T:
- N/A

How far would I walk for this food?


(I have actually done this)

The Piggery

(October 30, 2011)
1625 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60613
The Piggery on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
A great bar atmosphere with amazing menu items focused around the Pig.  The food is all pretty good... just remember they might put BBQ pork on everything.  And they struggle at times to make some of the easier dishes.  And sometimes it is a little too loud for my liking.

What I Ate:

BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos

Best dish by far!... Nacho chips covered with handfuls of pulled pork, jalapeños, olives, nacho cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and served with a side of BBQ sauce.  This is a meal in itself... and in my opinion a MUST TRY appetizer to share!

BBQ Pork Eggrolls

How to make egg rolls even better?  Put slow cooked pulled pork and coleslaw inside, deep fry them, and then dip them in BBQ sauce!!!  It comes with sweet and sour sauce... BUT ASK FOR BBQ sauce to dip... its much better!

Chorizo Stuffed Burger

Extremely juicy burger... cooked to medium (I asked for medium rare)... the chorizo made it a little spicy but honestly it was overshadowed by the char on the burger.  I wouldn't go with this stuffed burger.

BBQ Pork Stuffed Burger

This burger was my brother's... The BBQ pork was placed right on top of the medium cooked burger... it was topped with onion rings and in my opinion had the most flavor.  The BBQ sauce really came through!  GET THIS ONE!

Gouda and Bacon Stuffed Burger

This burger was my other brother's... stuffed with gouda cheese and bacon!  Also more flavor than the chorizo because the char didn't overwhelm it.  and the fries wow those are good!

The DOs/DON'Ts:

DOs: 
- Ask to sit in the back... its not as loud as the bar area and there are still TVs to watch the games!
- SHARE the BBQ pork nachos... if you don't you will be sad!
- Drive here... they have a small parking lot in the back!

DON'Ts:
- Stay away from the Chorizo Stuffed Burger!

How far would I walk for this food?



Irazu

(October 22, 2011)
1865 Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647
Irazu on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
Having been to Costa Rica in the past, I was excited to try Irazu to finally get some authentic cuisine. When first arriving to the restaurant, it is a little confusing.  They have a small dining area in the back, but there is not adequate signage or a hostess to really help you out.  Overall, the food was good, but not memorable.  The appetizer was the best option (I guess that is why they consider it their specialty).  I was disappointed with their service... after quite a wait, our waitress finally arrived to take our drink order.  It was even longer before the food order was taken and that much longer for our food to arrive.  Because of the disappointing services, I could only rate them at a 3.5 mile rating.

What I Ate:


Chifrijo

This is what I call a "# layered dip!"  It was our appetizer and was layered rice, black beans, chicharones, pico, avocado, and their special sauce. The various layers was a great concept, but I wished they served it in a glass bowl so we could see.  Anyway, the there was tons of meat in this appetizer with the chicharrones (fried pig skin) adding an additional crunch to the already freshly fried tortilla chips.  The pico added a nice freshness and spice that helped cut some of the greasiness from the chips and chicharrones.  The avocado added the creaminess, while their special sauce was a sweet and tangy style sauce that actually worked really well.  It gave a hint of sweetness that most people would want.

Pepito Sandwich

This is simply a steak sandwich with grilled onions and sliced avocado.  It was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives so I figured I would try it.  The bread was nice a crispy sort of like a panini. Unfortunately, the steak was not only oily, but chewy and it didn't have much flavor besides the typical grilled beef taste.  I would suggest asking for additional salsas so you can drown the sandwich in their salsa or pico.  I wished there was also more of a spice.  I guess I wouldn't order it again, but let me know what you think.

The DOs/DONT's:
DOs:
- Order the Chifrijo for sure!

DON'Ts:
- It gets quite busy so make sure you have time to spare just in case there is a wait.
- Don't forget to order one of their speciality shakes/drinks.  I did, and when walking out I regretted it when seeing everyones shake (oatmeal).

How far would I walk for this food?



Waffles

1400 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
Waffles on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
One of the newer restaurants on the brunch scene... I enjoy coming here on weekends because the wait is usually minimal (20 minutes max).. as opposed to the other places around the city that can wait upwards of 40 to 50 minutes.  They have waffle combinations that are unheard of anywhere else in the city.  Despite the interesting combinations, I couldn't look past the major flaws in some of their "most popular waffles" and therefore could only give it a generous 3 mile rating on my blog.

What I ate:

Waffles Benedict

My personal favorite at this new breakfast/brunch restaurant in Chicago.  Just imagine a sweet, not-too-dense waffle topped with pulled pork and poached egg.  This entire creation covered in their hollandaise sauce and served with a side salad. The dish is extremely rich with the hollandaise sauce and the runny egg yolks.  But that semi-sweet waffle helps to break everything up.  I think the side salad needs to be dressed more as a vinegar based slaw rather than just a side salad.  It would help bring that BBQ presence that I think this waffle was going for.

Red Velvet Waffles

Another crazy creation from Waffles.  A red velvet pancake topped with a homemade strawberry like jam and a strawberry cream cheese.  The cream cheese is extremely rich and almost overwhelming.  It definitely overpowered any of the nearly non-existent chocolate flavor this red velvet waffle was going for.  It is a neat concept, would be a great dessert, but not a breakfast item for me.

Albondigas

Another good creation at waffles. This is definitely NOT a first choice if you come to this restaurant. Anyway... It's a chihuahua cheese waffle sitting on top of a cluster of pork and lamb meatballs in a spicy tomatoes stew. First the waffle was extremely light, almost too light and airy. It has a subtle cheese flavoring but without much substance to it, it was difficult to taste. For a place being called waffles, I still expect so much more from them.  The meatballs on the other hand were great. Not much breading to hold it together means you actually are eating a meatball. The tomato stew tasted like it was cooked for hours... it almost reminded me of a spicy tomato cream served on pastas.   Unfortunately, despite tasting great, the sauce made the waffle extremely soggy after a couple bites.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
DO:
- Ask for cucumber water... They have both cucumber and lemon water.
- Also, share the red velvet waffles for a dessert if you really want it.  Otherwise, I would recommend to stay away.

DON'T:
- Don't order sweet waffles for breakfast unless you order bacon or sausage.  They go a little overboard with the sweetness and it becomes too much for even people with a huge sweet tooth

How far would I walk for this food?




Pollo Express

1315 W. 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60608
Pollo Express on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
Located on the edge of Pilsen, Pollo Express has a huge Mexican influence when it comes to their food preparation.  The specialty, their abodabo chicken, has hints of Mexican seasoning and is served primarily with the typical rice and bean sides.  The restaurant is essentially a huge grill with a few tables scattered around.  Chicken is placed on the grill one after another and constantly kept warm for when customers arrive.  I do wish the menu was more extensive and there was better air circulation.  Definitely leave your coat in the car otherwise that smoke smell may follow you all the way back home.

What I ate:

Adobado Chicken (with 2 sides)



















This is some of the fastest food you will ever get!  But when I say fast, that doesn't sacrifice quality... The chicken has mexican spices throughout and is grilled till the skin has a nice char on it.  It is served with mexican rice, refried beans, tortillas, and pickled onions.  The pickled onions are incredible... adding the much needed acidity to the meat rather than covering every bite with salsa.  It is such a great deal that customers keep coming back for more.  The beans are simple... but the consistency is perfect for spreading on the tortillas.  My brothers and I will definitely be back.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
DO:
-Order out on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays - I believe - are Buy One Chicken Get 1/2 Chicken Free!
-If you eat there... just have a seat and someone will come over to you.  Not much on the menu so just order a whole chicken and two sides (for 2 people).  You won't be disappointed!

DON'T:
- Don't wear your "Sundays Best" here... your clothes will most likely smell like a grill (smokey and charred) when you leave!

How far would I walk for this place?


Chicago's Dog House

(May 6, 2011)
816 W. Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Chicago's Dog House on Urbanspoon


A Quick Word:
I understand that people are skeptical when trying new foods, new meats, or just trying vegetarian for the first time.  If you are one of those people, come to Chicago's Dog House and get one of their unique hot dogs... like Alligator.  A different meat in a totally classic meal... a great way to be adventurous without stepping too much out of your comfort zone!  Though interesting... I wouldn't be back for the speciality dogs all the time.. I can't rate it too high or too low since I haven't had other items on the list so Ill go ahead and give it a fairly neutral rating.  Just be careful on what you choose and hope there is enough seating for your friends. 

What I ate:
"Alligators Gone Wild"

Alligator corn dog served on a French roll with fried potato chips, bacon, chili, cheese, and gardinera.... It's half eaten before I remembered to take a picture... This was one of the messiest hot dog creations I have ever tried.  If you actually want to taste anything I wouldn't suggest getting this hot dog because you could have put a normal hot dog instead of alligator and I wouldn't know the difference.  Also, the chips make the entire meal very greasy so watch out.

The DOs/DON'Ts
Simple laid back restaurant... Kind of hard to mess up ordering.  

DO:
Be sure though to ask about this menu item because when I went, it was UNLISTED.

How far would I walk for this food?






Finally Starting This....

Looks like I am finally going to start a food blog...

I will be back logging for a while.. so bare with me.

This blog is going to focus on the specific dishes I wanted to try and also a small DOs/DON'Ts section so that you won't miss their signature dish and definitely won't experience that feeling of "where do I order or what do I do?".