Thursday, May 30, 2013

Greek Islands

Location: 200 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60661
Greek Islands on UrbanspoonGreek Islands Restaurant on Foodio54
A Quick Word:
With Greektown so close to my apartment, it is difficult not to always consider eating here at any time during the day.  But, with so many restaurants, which one to choose?  Personally, I frequent many of the restaurants, and this time we chose Greek Islands.  After leaving my car with the complimentary valet parkers, we were led to the top of a village-like dining room.  The menu is extensive... with almost too many options.  The food is all very authentic (according to my Greek friends), but the prices in my opinion are definitely on the higher side.  And the portions... they are only moderate.  For these reasons, I could only rate them 3.5 miles even if I frequent this restaurant several times per year.

What We Ate:


One of the most famous Greek appetizers is saganaki.  For this dish, a slab of imported Greek cheese is flambeed table side.  Yes, that means it is LIT ON FIRE!  A little fresh lemon juice is squeezed on top giving a nice acidity to the dish.  I prefer eating the first couple of bites with bread and then towards the end of the dish, I just eat it plain.  I love this dish.

Dolmades and Mousaka Combo Plate

Whenever dining at a greek restaurant, it is difficult for me to choose an entree.  A great option at Greek Islands is the "Create-your-own Combination Plate."  I chose to do a 1/2 order of dolmades and a 1/2 order of mousaka.  The meal also came with oven roasted potatoes.  The dolmades were incredible.  Dolmades are grape leaves stuffed with rice and ground meat.  They are covered in a egg-lemon sauce. The mousaka is an eggplant casserole that is layered with ground meat and topped with a rich béchamel sauce.  The size of each half order is plenty for a meal but a little pricey for my liking.

Gyros Dinner

My friend ordered the gyros dinner.  It is hard to go wrong when having gyros, but unfortunately, the gyros meat is shaved off of a pre-made slab rather than having fresh meat layered on the rotisserie.  Not many places do this... so I can't really complain.   The meat is a mixture of lamb and beef and it is served on a bed of onions and tomatoes.  A nice helping of tzatiki sauce and a warmed pita also comes with the order.  My biggest suggestion is they should double the pita order because there is too much meat.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Free Valet Parking.
- Everyone must order the Saganaki... aka flaming cheese.

- Not a big fan of their outdoor seating area.  It is right next to the valet parkers and is not a pleasant experience.

How far would I walk for this food?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Location: 465 E. Illinois St., Chicago, IL 60611
Quay on Urbanspoon
A Quick Word:
With billboards posted throughout the city, I always wondered where Quay was and how good their food could be.  The restaurant is located just minutes from Navy Pier and a few blocks from the Mag Mile.  It is a little bit of a trek, but their prices definitely make up for the distance.  We dined at Quay for Mother's Day brunch and were greeted by an empty dining room.  Thankfully, after a few minutes, the dining room started filling up... I guess we were a few minutes early.  Anyway, the menu is filled with a large variety of breakfast dishes (and I checked out the dinner menu and noticed a similar assortment).  The prices were extremely FRIENDLY, even for budget-minded students.  Unfortunately, I don't think any of the dishes were perfect or close to memorable.  Some were delicious, but still lacked that extra effort to make it amazing.  For that reason, I could only give Quay a 3.5 mile rating.

What We Ate:

House Smoked Salmon Benny

For brunch on Mother's Day, my mom looked through the menu and was instantly stuck on the smoked salmon eggs benedict.  This dish is comprised of two english muffins topped with house smoked salmon, oven roasted tomatoes, pickled red onions, two poached eggs, and of course, a rich hollandaise sauce.  Just imagine a typical eggs benedict that is kicked up a notch with smoked salmon.  The pickled red onion added the acidity and along with the sweetness from the tomato, this dish was great.  A side of sliced cucumber accompanied the dish rather than starch making for a light start to the day.

Breakfast Pizza

I tend to see what all my family is ordering before I choose my dish.  After hearing all of their choices, I decided the only other entree that seemed appetizing was their breakfast pizza.  This thin crust personal pizza was topped with fresh mozzarella, applewood smoked bacon, a creamy sauce, and an egg cracked in the center.  Everything is melted together and oozing with rich flavors.  The cheese is a little on the heavy side so just be aware.  Plenty of bacon flavor throughout and the crust is nice and crispy.  I would definitely order it again.

Chicken Hash

One of the more southern dishes was the chicken hash.  This is no orderly hash as my older brother soon found out.  Rather, it was a crispy chicken and potato hash CAKE aka a croquette.  It was served with two eggs, applewood smoked bacon, and home fries.  The hash cake was actually amazing.  I personally love croquettes so this was essentially a croquette on steroids.  The only unfortunate part about the dish was the lack of chicken.  The croquette was majority potato.  Also, the home fries were simply over roasted potatoes with a little seasoning.  Nothing special... but not bad.

Country Fried Steak

My dad took the best country or southern dish offered.  The country fried steak is a steak pounded thin, lightly breaded, and pan fried to a crisp.  It was topped with a sausage gravy and a fried egg and served with a green bean salad.  The steak was not as tender as I would have liked despite being pounded to death.  But the gravy did add some great flavor to the meal.  I really enjoyed the bite of green bean salad I tried.  This dish was a bit on the smaller side... maybe a starch should be added?

Quay Prime Burger

My little brother immediately claimed the burger option at Quay.  His prime beef patty was cooked medium and served on a pretzel bun.  It was topped with a fried egg and applewood smoked bacon to give it that breakfast feel.  Aged cheddar cheese was also added.  The size of this burger was huge... the pretzel bun was once again key in differentiating this great burger from an OK burger.  The cheese wasn't sharp (disappointing), but the egg... that added plenty of richness with the liquid yolk.  It came with a side of french fries.

Assorted Brunch Cocktails
(Left to Right: Blood Mary, Bellini, Mimosa)

For Mother's Day, we convinced my mom to get a brunch time cocktail.  And rather than having her drink alone, one of my brothers and I also ordered a drink.  I chose the bloody mary which was served spicy but a little salty for my liking.  My mom had the bellini which was peach flavored and she said delicious.  And my little brother a mimosa just to get that orange juice feel.  There drinks are a little on the stronger side so I can't complain.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Brunch menu is reasonably priced.  Menu online is nothing similar to restaurant menu.

- If you want to be in the more mainstream area, don't come eat here.  It is a bit of a trek from the shopping areas of Michigan Ave.
- Don't come during non-peak hours... you may be the only family/people in the restaurant.

How far would I walk for this food?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Maude's Liquor Bar

Location: 840 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607
Maude's Liquor Bar on UrbanspoonMaudes liquor bar on Foodio54
A Quick Word:
After roaming around on Randolph Street, aka "restaurant row," Maude's Liquor Bar was the choice for dinner.  This mixology bar features both creative cocktails and French cuisine... could it get any better?  After sitting in the small dining area, my friend and I ordered a handful of dishes and were extremely impressed with everything.  From the drinks to the dessert, it was all incredible.  Their dishes are meant for sharing, so definitely bring at least a friend... preferably two or three.  The atmosphere is very fun.  Hawks fans were mixed in with hipsters and businessman.  After dining here, I definitely like it much better than their sister restaurant, Gilt Bar.  But because of the size of each dish and the need for at least three people to enjoy several dishes, I decided to give them a 4.5 mile rating... just short of perfect.

What We Ate:

Country Terrine

Under the "almost French" category was the country terrine.  This dish is a bacon-wrapped pork shoulder pate that is served with toast, whole grain mustard, and pickles.  Personally, this was my favorite dish of the night.  The pate is a cold dish and has just enough liver mixed in to give it a mild iron note.  Spread a nice chunk of pate on the toast, top it with the mustard, and bite a piece of the pickle.  The combination of all has the best flavor... richness, acidity, and of course that classic mustard flavor.  This is definitely enough to share between 3 or 4 people so enjoy!


My friend never tried oysters before so we decided on ordering just a few east coast oysters to taste.  The oysters arrived with a side of hot sauce, a side of cocktail sauce, horseradish, and lemon.  Add a few drops of everything to the top of the oyster and slurp it back.  These were very fresh, not briny at all so just double check with the waiter for milder oysters if it is your first time.  My friend loved them.


Every time I have French food, I always order escargot.  This dish came with six burgundy snails cooked in a steaming hot herbed garlic butter and seasoned lightly with sea salt.  A side of lemon is served as optional.  Be careful when eating because the snails are so hot they will burn your mouth.  After downing a snail, soak up the herbed butter with a piece of the french bread.  I think that may be my favorite bite... all of that rich, seasoned butter softens the bread and packs tons of flavor.  A must try!


This dish was the special for the night.  And, WOW, I am so glad we order it.  The cassoulet is a stew-like dish made with garlic sausage, pork belly, duck confit, bone marrow, white beans and carrots.  It is all cooked together in a cast iron pan.  We asked for extra bread to dip into the stew.  Where to start... the garlic sausage was incredible; it had a very strong garlic flavor which was complemented nicely by all the other meats. The pork belly added the perfect amount of fat and the white beans and carrots gave more substance.  The duck confit was an entire duck leg, adding even more meat to the dish.  A bone was cooked and split down the middle so we could access the marrow.  Spread a little marrow on some bread and enjoy.  This dish is enough for easily four people.  Definitely worth sharing despite the higher price.

Creme Brûlée

Who can ever pass up creme brûlée when dining at a French restaurant?  I know I could never.  The creme brûlée from Maude's is simple... custard flavored with a little vanilla bean and topped with a caramelized sugar crust.  The custard was extremely smooth and not too sweet.  The predominant flavor was a mixture of burnt sugar and vanilla bean... perfect.  The dessert was a little on the large side especially for two people.  Maybe a smaller version at a lower cost?  Just a suggestion.


Some people describe Maude's as a mixology bar with good food while others describe it as a gourmet restaurant with an ok bar.  Regardless, I think the drinks are amazing.  I ordered a sazerac.  It was made with rittenhouse rye, asbinthe, demerara, and peychaud's.  It is served in a frosted glass.  I personally don't know all the ingredients in this drink, but it tasted great.  I would order it again.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Make reservations if possible.  This place gets busy fast.  Even on a random Wednesday night.
- I would suggest coming here with 4 people.  Dishes are on the larger side and are meant for sharing.
- Valet Parking available for $10 on weeknights

- Don't come here on your own.  You need to share.

How far would I walk for this food?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

JJ Fish & Chicken

Location: 201 E. 43rd St., Chicago, IL 60653
Jj Fish & Chicken on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
As I drive throughout Chicago, I have spotted several JJ Fish & Chicken restaurants.  I assumed they would be decent if so many locations were present.  Then I started realizing some are closing and then more are closing.  Anyway, I decided to give it a try... WHAT A MISTAKE.  Very minimal seating is seen in most of these establishments and the atmosphere is not very clean.  I found the menus to be inaccurate, yet the prices to be very reasonable.  After trying the food, I realized immediately that I will never be back.  There was minimal meat on the catfish dinner.  Everything was bland.  I actually felt sick after eating this meal... maybe because they make you wash it down with huge 1L bottles of coke or maybe because of the inconsistent cooking technique.  0.5 miles was generous--probably because I don't have a lower rating.

What I ate:

Catfish Dinner

After sifting through the long list of different types of fish, seafood combinations, and chicken combos, I decided to keep it simple and order the regular-size catfish dinner.  This meal came with three pieces of catfish cooked to order and served on top of a bed of french fries and texas toast.  It comes with a side of coleslaw and a cup of buffalo sauce.  The meal was awful in EVERY WAY possible. First of all, the fish had huge bones (not specified on the menu).  I would have rather ordered catfish nuggets of fillets, but there was not option or specification of what comes with the dinner.  Second, the fish was cooked unevenly... some areas overcooked while other parts were slimy.  The fries were extremely bland (no salt at all) and the coleslaw reminded me of wet cabbage aka a poor-poor attempt at such an easy side dish.  Hot sauce wasn't even spicy.  The toast I guess was all right, but that came out of pre-made loaf.  If they messed that up, then something would definitely be wrong.  I couldn't even finish this meal... I hate wasting food, but was this even food?

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Do yourself a favor and try Harold's Chicken.  That place is significantly better!

- Don't come here.  If you do, definitely get a fish without bones.

How far would I walk for this food?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Garifuna Flava

Location: 2518 W. 63rd St., Chicago, IL 60629
Garifuna Flava Caribbean: A Taste of Belize on Urbanspoon
A Quick Word:
Garifuna Flava is one of only a handful of Caribbean restaurants in the city and maybe the only one that features foods from Belize.  Located on the south side near the neighborhood of Englewood, Garifuna may be a trek for most people living in the city, but it is WELL WORTH the trip.  I mean, where else could you try conch soup, jerk chicken, and stewed pigtails in the city?  Not only is the food unique and delicious, the staff is extremely friendly and are definitely willing to walk you through several dishes until you find the one you want.  Even though the location is a little far and each dish had a flaw or two, all the food was memorable; therefore, I decided on a 4 mile rating for Garifuna Flava.

What I Ate:

3-3-1 Appetizer Platter

The 3-3-1 platter was a sampler of their more popular appetizers.  Each platter comes with 3 panades, 3 jerk wings, and 1 garanaches.

Panades are corn patties that are stuffed with a chopped up buffalo fish and served with a sweet vegetable sauce.  The outer shell is soft and soggy rather than crisp (may be because I ordered to go).  The filling is not very flavorful.  I honestly only tasted the vegetable sauce which seemed like a vinegar based coleslaw to me.  It may be popular, but I wasn't a big fan.

The jerk wings are simply baked chicken wings covered in a spicy jerk seasoning and sauce.  The wings each include the "wing" and the "drummette", making them more filling than the sound.  The spice was delicious.  Not too spicy, but still typical bold, jerk flavors.  A nice char taste was also present.

Finally, the garanches is the Belizean spin on a Mexican tostada.  In fact, they are the exact same dish.  A fried corn tortilla is topped with refried beans, lettuce, cheese, and a sweet ketchup sauce.  I added salsa to the top of mine and some chicken... otherwise it is too plain.  Nothing too special.

Belizean Stew Chicken

For my main entree, I decided on the Belizean stew chicken dinner.  First of all, this meal is INCREDIBLE.  The stewed chicken dinner comes with a half of a chicken chopped into smaller pieces and stewed with bell peppers and onion.  The use a vinegar base in the stew and heavily season with paprika and pepper.  The chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and extremely moist.  The flavors were unreal and everything tied well together.  The dinner comes with a side of spicy cabbage, fried plantains, and rice/beans.  The plantains added a nice sweetness, which contrasted the vinegary cabbage.  The rice was the only disappointing part.  There was a coconut flavor that dominated every bite because of the rice.  If I could change one thing... just serve plain white rice please. 

Stewed Beans & Pigtail 

I always enjoy trying to weirdest menu item... at Garifuna, this happened to be a side order of stewed beans with pigtail.  Immediately, I thought of the curly pig tail seen in children's books.  When the dish arrived, I was surprised to see more of a cartilaginous tail that reminded me of a turkey neck from Thanksgiving.  Anyway, the pigtail was stewed with Belizean spiced beans.  The pig tail had a little meat, but was mostly fat and skin.  It had a stronger pork flavor, which is a little overwhelming.  I could never eat a full meal of pigtails, but it was definitely worth trying.

Belizean Milk Cake

For dessert, I tried a piece of the milk cake... it is a pound cake that is covered in a thick caramel sauce. The cake was nothing special.  But, the caramel on top adding the necessary sweetness to make me think dessert.  It was more on the dense side of the spectrum.  I would probably share a slice with someone else, otherwise, it would be too much.

The DOs/DONT's:
- They have a free parking lot attached to the side of the restaurant.  If that is packed, plenty of street parking.
- They sometimes serve food at the K Alta building in the city.  This way you don't have to drive to Englewood to experience Belizean cuisine.

- I wasn't too impressed with appetizers.  So my suggestion:  Don't order these dishes, just save room for more entrees or side orders.

How far would I walk for this food?

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Location:  212 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60661
Athena on Urbanspoon
A Quick Word:
When coming to Greektown in Chicago, I choose between two primary dining experiences--most authentic food vs. best ambiance.  Athena definitely wins the latter... with easily the best outdoor dining experience in the Greektown/UIC area.  Their patio is beautiful, lined with flowers and vines and flowing water pieces.  There is a clear roof for whenever rain hits, but during the summer months, that roof is retracted.  The food here is OK.  The portions are definitely worth the price, but some dishes lack spices, while others are just difficult to eat.  While sitting outside, definitely split a bottle of Greek wine and remember Free Valet Parking.  Because the waiters tend to rush their customers and the minor misses on food preparation, I decided to give them a 3 mile rating.  Amazing patio area, good wine, and average food.  Just please, learn to leave tables along for longer than 5 minute spans.

What We Ate:


This classic greek dish is not for everyone.  The dish is made by mixing mashed potatoes with a large amount of fish roe.  It is garnished with a couple olives, a few cubes of cucumber, and served with pita bread.  The dish is extremely fishy... for anyone that dislikes that fishy flavor, definitely do not order this appetizer.  If you cannot imagine what this dish is like, think fishy hummus.  The olives are a good contrasting flavor, but overall the dish is pretty one-noted--fish.


Whenever one of my buddies thinks Greek food, he thinks spanakopita or what he calls "spankatopia". This baked pastry is filled with spinach and feta cheese and wrapped in filo dough.  The spanakopita at Athena is huge and generously stuffed.  After being baked, the filo dough crust becomes crispy and flaky.  The spinach and feta filling is almost too rich from all that cheese.  I suggest adding a little spice or at least black pepper to cut some of the cheese flavor.

Combination Plate

The combination plate is definitely my favorite dish to order.  One of my friends and I split this dish along with with taramosalata and had plenty of food.  Both her and I weren't starving so it worked out well.  The combination plate consists of a small portion of mousakas, pastitsio, dolmades, roasted leg of lamb, rice pilaf, roasted potatoes, and peas.  My favorite part of the dish was the dolmades.  Ground beef and rice is wrapped in grapevine leaves and topped with an egg-lemon sauce.  The acidity from the lemon and grapevine leaves is the addicting part for me.  Mousakas and pastitsio are very similar dishes--both remind me of lasagna with mousaka being layered with eggplant, zucchini, potato, ground beef and cheese, while pastitsio is baked macaroni instead of the vegetables.  Both are topped with a rich béchamel sauce.  The roasted leg of lamb is extremely tender and well flavored.  Definitely mix the peas, rice, and lamb into one huge bite.  With the combination plate... you will not be disappointed.


On of my other friends had the ortikia.  This dish consists of three char-broiled quails that have been seasoned simply with lemon and oregano.  The dish also comes with that amazing rice pilaf and oven roasted potatoes.  The quails had a nice char crust to them, but unfortunately, these were extremely hard to eat.  The quails have to be eaten using your hands, especially with all the small bones.  The price is reasonable, the the quails are on the smaller side.  I would rather have a similar quail dish in Chinatown.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- FREE Valet Parking.  Just pull up in front of the restaurant.  Remember to tip!
- One of the best outdoor dining spots in the city.  Huge porch that can be converted to indoor if the weather gets bad.

- Sometimes I feel rushed when eating here... so don't be surprised in waiters come around several times to check on how the meal is going.
- No flamed saganaki outdoors... well, that is disappointing.

How far would I walk for this food?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Three Aces

Location: 1321 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607
Three Aces on Urbanspoon
A Quick Word:
Three Aces is one of the main neighborhood bars in the UIC area.  With a huge outdoor patio, this bar tends to fill up more on warm, summer nights.  Besides offering a nice, yet smaller selection of beers, Three Aces offers a large variety of both bar snacks and full dinners.  Most of their entrees appear to be bar twists on classic dinners.  For instance, rather than serving your typical buttered popcorn, Three Aces has a gourmet approach using parmesan cheese and a garlic hot sauce.  The service at the bar is just OK... the bartenders rotate frequently so more than one seems to be serving you at all times.  I was extremely disappointed in how long the food took to arrive.  The burger was brought out last and nearly 25 minutes after the pizza.  Luckily, my friend and I were sharing some of the dishes so it wasn't awful. Because of this random service flaw, I decided a 3.5 mile rating was sufficient, if not generous.

What We Ate:


Everyone always says to order the popcorn at Three Aces, and at $2.00, how couldn't you?  Anyway, I would vote against ordering the popcorn.  It is honestly the most bland bar food dish I have had in a while.  The only saving grace was the roasted garlic hot sauce, which tasted good, but made the popcorn either soggy from pouring it over the top or messy if you dipped popcorn into the small dish.  The scallions and parmesan cheese added NOTHING to the popcorn.  Stick with movie popcorn please.

Short Rib Pizzetta

After scanning through the pizzettas (small pizzas), the one that caught my eye was their short rib version.  This Neapolitan style pizza was topped with short rib, mushrooms, a mild blue cheese (not sure how this is possible), and rather than typical tomato sauce, a roasted garlic cream sauce.  A little bit of the beef jus was splashed on for added saltiness.  The pizzettas are served on huge disks of a tree trunk (just see picture to understand).  The crust is not uniformly cooked with some areas more burnt than others.  The blue cheese was a nice compliment to the rest of the ingredients.  I just found the other ingredients to be a little scarce in some areas.  Overall, it was pretty good pizza.

Ace Burger

My friend was dead set on ordering the ace burger.  Something I wanted to order, but I knew it was going to be too heavy prior to a night of drinking.  This burger, served on a pretzel roll, was thick cut and topped with aged cheddar cheese, a bacon jam, and garlic pickles.  It came with a side of some rich aioli with no prominent flavor except oil and of course french fries.  The burger was pretty good size.  She preferred to have it cooked medium well, which is way too overdone for me.  The burger did have a good charred flavor and was surprisingly moist for its cooking temperature.  Definitely dip the fries in the aioli.  It is addicting.  Not the best burger in Chicago... but not bad at all.

S'more Doughnuts

Three Aces has a rotating doughnut selection... this day happened to be S'more Doughnuts.  Each order came with two doughnuts (and their doughnut holes) topped with a white russian fluff, crushed graham crackers and drizzled with chocolate sauce.  A small glass of milk accompanied the dish.  I always love the rotating selection... they even featured a peanut brittle-bacon doughnut in the past.  The s'more doughnut was a little more dense than I like.  It kind of reminded me of an old fashioned cake doughnut in terms of consistency.  The fluff was amazing.  Overall, it was extremely sweet so two huge doughnuts is sort of overkill.  I don't drink milk... but the small glass was definitely a creative touch.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- You can make reservations here.  I suggest doing that if you are going on a weekend.
- We sat at the bar which is always a solid option.

- Service is kind of weird... food comes out as it is ready.  Are they trying to share meals?  Don't be alarmed if someone gets their burger 20 minutes after a pizza is delivered.

How far would I walk for this food?

Monday, May 13, 2013

La Casa Del Pueblo Taqueria

Location: 1834 S. Blue Island Ave., Chicago, IL 60608
La Casa Del Pueblo on Urbanspoon
A Quick Word:
After many years of dining in Pilsen, I couldn't believe I never tried La Casa Del Pueblo Taqueria.  This not-so-main-stream restaurant serves their food cafeteria style, allowing customers to look at all the meals before they are quickly plated and brought to your table.  Offerings include, but are not limited to their famous tamales, albondigas, stewed chicken, and of course rice/beans.  Dozens of other dishes look tempting, but my I always know my eyes are too big for my stomach.  The atmosphere feels like home, but the ordering is a little confusing at first.  The waitresses were very nice and slowly walked me through each of the dishes.  Because of the huge miss on one of the dishes and the lack of detail on some of the other dishes (see the chile relleno below), I could only warrant giving them a 4 mile rating.

Cafeteria style ordering.  Just point and they will get everything together!
What I Ate:

Chicken Tamales Dinner

Hearing rave reviews about La Casa Del Pueblo's tamales, I knew I had to order the tamale dinner.  At first I wasn't sure how to order (explained in the DO section below), but after understanding the different options of tamales, I decided on the chicken ones.  The tamales were incredible.  They were extremely moist and had plenty of chicken.  I added a container of the jalapeño salsa to the tamales to give them a spice.  The dish came with rice and beans... which were definitely above par.  The dinner is a huge meal, so either share and order other dishes or get ready for a full stomach!

(Just so you know... they offer other variations of tamales including a poblano and cheese tamale , a pork option, and also a sweet one.)

Taco - Pollo en Chile Chipotle

I like to describe this dish by saying... LOOK AT THE PICTURE.  I have never had a taco like this before and now I think it is amazing.  After deciding on ordering a couple of tacos, I saw that one of the options was chicken in a spicy chipotle sauce.  I assumed it would be shredded chicken... but I assumed wrong.  Rather, the taco was made using two corn tortillas and an entire chicken drumstick, including the bone and skin.  It looked hilarious, but the concept is actually amazing.  First of all, you understand which part of the chicken you are eating.  Also, there was so much meat on the drumstick that you could have made two tacos from it.  The sauce wasn't too spicy and there was no added toppings... it would have been nice to have a little cilantro and chopped onion.

Taco - Chile Relleno

After thoroughly enjoying the chicken taco, I bit into the chile relleno version.  And immediately I knew... this is the last time I order a chile relleno taco.  For the second time in a row, I was extremely disappointed in the one vegetarian option other than rice and beans.  The chile relleno was the typical poblano pepper stuffed with cheese, breaded, and deep fried.  Unfortunately, there was an odd smell to the poblano and the cheese wasn't heated enough to melt it.  The breading was soggy and didn't add anything to the taco.  To be honest, this without question is the 2nd worst taco I have ever tasted.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- How to Order:  The set up appears to be cafeteria style... so just walk up to the sign that says "Order Here" and then either point to the dishes or just order something off the menu.  There are no names or descriptions of the dishes so it helps to ask or just know what you want prior to staring at all the food.  Also, it appears you can turn any of the dishes into tacos.  And, the tamales can either be purchased by the dozen for $11.00 or individual for $1.00.  I guess that means you can mix and match.

- Don't get confused... There is a grocery store next door which is NOT the restaurant.  Walk a few more feet down Blue Island and you will see the restaurant.

How far would I walk for this food?