Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Maxwell Street Market

-Eating like a Mayan King in the Windy City

Chicagoland is an international melting pot with a heavy Mexican influence these days. The area is flooded with taqueria's and family owned sit-downs where you can sample some cusine that wasnt all that popular some 30 years ago. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo this year we eat Mexican food all month long. If you were wondering where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year in Chicago, I got the spot.

Maxwell Street Market on a Sunday

Instead of jumping from bar to bar drinking Corona and cheap shots of tequila and not remembering any of it or the Papa Johns pizza you consumed afterwards you can go check out Chicago's Maxwell Street Market. Eat some authentic Mexican food and explore a part of Chicago's history. Maxwell Street Market has changed over it's 100+ years as new rushes of people come to Chicago.  These days it provides an authentic feel of Mexico without ever leaving the city.

You can sample popular street foods, buy and barter for fresh groceries and ingredients for Mexican inspired dishes. Need some new socks? A lawnmower? Sonic the Hedgehog for Sega Genesis? Candy Cigarettes? All that is there. I'm guessing this is where the guy who sent that goat head to Tom Ricketts got it.

For Sale

The food though! Now that's what draws so many from all different backgrounds and keeps them coming back. Maxwell Street Market is a great place to eat Mexican food in one of the best cities you can eat it in. So you know you're going to be eating well when you do. You're not going to find many burritos and there are no Doritos Locos Tacos here. Well you may see a really nice old lady selling burrittos but if you do they'll be like those found in the Northern Mexico state of Durango. There's no lettuce, sour cream and tomatoes served there. Just beautiful small handmade flour tortillas filled with authentic Mexican dishes like chicharrons or birria. You wont find any tacos topped with cheddar cheese but you may indulge in a quesadilla made with Oaxaca cheese. So much better!

You never know who might be there vending their old family recipes on any given Sunday but you're sure to see the cuisine from most of Mexico's 31 states represented. There's so much more to Mexican food than tacos and nachos. Juts like here in America, the food varies by region in Mexico. Any Mexican street dish you can think of such as tamales and elotes are served at Maxwell Street Sunday's plus all the things you might not of ever seen or eaten are too. All made right there like you're at the fair and this means the prices are more than fair. Rubi's is a popular place for their homemade tortillas and unique topping like squash blossoms and cactus to fill quesadillas and tacos with. They also put out some top notch al pastor.

Rubi's Tacos at Maxwell Street market

Since Cinco de mayo falls on a Sunday this year, the Market is sure to be extra special. Performances will be given and people will be jolly. Maybe I'll see you there! Free parking on Sundays soon! Chicago is one of the top 5 cities with a heavy population of Mexican immigrants in America. I've long argued it's one of the best places to eat Mexican food in the world. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo we will have features on it all month long. So please stay tuned. Plenty of tacos and some surprises to come.

Oaxacan Tamale

Maxwell Street Market
800 S. Desplaines 
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 745-4676

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