Monday, July 30, 2018

A Place By Damao

-Grubbing in Chicago
Chengdu Street Food in Bridgeport

One of the more buzzed about restaurants in 2017 was a Place By Damao. It's located on Halsted in Bridgeport in a strip mall that's all Chinese businesses including a few restaurants. I'd thought about doing a post showcasing all three spots worth dining but then I went to Damao and realized it deserves it's own post. Chicago's Chinatown is the only in the country to be still growing and not with gentrification but rather with new Chinese restaurants and businesses. It's seeing more new restaurants than ever before. In fact it's kind of spreading into Bridgeport where Halsted street is seeing a steady uptick in Chinese restaurants opening. A Place By Damao is the cream of the crop.



They specialize in the regional street food of Chengdu, China. Aside from maybe Mexican there's no food that's more regional than Chinese. Of late the spicy delights from Chengdu have been gaining popularity in the States. But why? My guess is kids are now getting into the restaurant business instead of avoiding it all completely. It used to be you worked at your parents restaurant in Chinatown excited for the day you finally got to switch careers after college. But what I'm seeing now is younger people in the Chinese community opening restaurants. Damao is one of them. We were greeted with enthusiastic hello's by the young staff who was excited to have us. There's very good energy here.

Spicy Potatoes, Handmade Bell Dumplings, Handmade Spicy Noodles with Peanuts 

The menu has a section of exotic stuff such as roasted pig feet and also duck neck. But I'm not big on gelatinous foods. So I'll save those for if Mark Wiens ever calls me asking me to show him Chicago's food scene. We kind of stuck with stuff we knew and were pretty much blown away by the fantastic flavors and the heat that came with them. The spicy potatoes with secret seasoning are said to be a favorite on the streets in Chengdu and man were they addictive. They just need to learn the art of the double fry. Those will be some of the best fries anywhere when they do. Handmade dumplings were so soft and tender yet amazingly sturdy not breaking apart when picked up. The noodle dish is served cold with lots of spicy oil sitting underneath with chopped peanuts. It's one of those dishes that's perfect on a hot summer night. Crispy fried rib bits were lip smacking good. But also lip licking spicy. Still I couldn't stop eating them popping one after the other like I was enjoying popcorn at the movies. All in all it was one of my favorite meals this year. I plan on putting them in my regular rotation. Check out the Fooditor Southside Food Tour for a chance to eat here amongst other spots.

Spicy Rib Bits at A Place By Damao

A Place By Damao
2621 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 929-2088

Friday, July 27, 2018

Pacific Standard Time

-Grubbing in Chicago
New to the 'Scene'

Bill Addison from Eater just released his 2018 'Best New Restaurants in America' list and Chicago has a participant. It's Pacific Standard Time in River North. An ode to California cuisine. It's the child of two different Chicago hospitality groups and one of the city's hottest restaurants. Of course location plays a part in that. But I had the chance to choose a place I'd like to try courtesy of my uncle who wanted to take my family out for my Bday. Might as well go here and see what all the hype is about. 

Newly Opened in River North

As you all know by now I'm not a critic by any means. That takes writing skill of which I have very little. However our fine city has a few really good ones and I suggest checking out either Mike Sula or Michael Nagrant's reviews of PST to get a better overall idea. I'm just here to share my meal in pics.

a peek inside

One thing I really liked right away was the space itself. it's large and light. I hate dark ass places especially when it's light outside and bc we had an early reservation it was nice and light when we arrived. We were dining with 6 total people so I pretty much got to try a little bit of everything with the exception of he pizza. I heard they serve it with ranch, must be a Cali thing, and admit I was looking forward to trying it. But instead of pizza I started us off with their super popular pitas.

Wood Roasted Pita, Avocado Salad, Beet Salad 

The pitas which are cooked in the same wood burning oven as the pizzas were what i most wanted to try. So much so I got us two different varieties of the three they offer. First up was one with eggplant, roasted pepper, basil, whipped robiolina and then came the tuna option everyone loves. That's made with marinated ahi tuna, green chickpea hummus, urfa, mint. Let me nominate myself for hype man for this dish. I really liked he pitas themselves which were scorching hot and super airy with lots of flavor going on. I might be back one night just for that dish. I envision it ending up on some lists.

Ahi Tuna for Pitas

Moving on I got an order of dumplings with a Chinese flavor profile. These were made with shrimp and pork and I liked them not loved them. I love dumplings pretty easily but these just weren't as good as a recent set we had at Proxi a few nights before. Texturally they could've been softer.

Pork and Shrimp Dumplings with Napa cabbage, scallop broth 

The chicken wings were better but shame on them for letting the little wing on the right side of the pic get onto the plate. It was as small as the wing tips most people dispose of. That said they were sticky and delicious I was tempted to order another round of the table as we each settled for one.

Chicken Wings with fish sauce, crispy salad 

PST makes all of their pastas in-house. We tried a bowl of the rigatoni that had merquez and squid in a light vodka cream sauce. As far as portions go the was the biggest sized dish of the night. I liked this one though I'm glad there were others to share in it. It was pretty rich and filling. But delicious. 

Rigatoni with merquez, squid, sungold tomato, fennel 

For our main entrees we got two of the dishes listed under Collectives which are the shared plates for a few to a handful of people. First out was the Whole Roasted Duck. The name was a bit misleading bc no way this was a whole duck. It came with a breast that was cooked wonderfully with Middle Eastern flavors and then next to that was a hot bowl of meatballs swimming in chickpeas. The pita served on top of the meatball was to be used to make little tacos as they called them. Pretty good.

Whole Roasted Duck with glazed breast with muhammara & yogurt; served with pita, fresh herbs & pickles

Next up was the Slagel Farms Ribeye with roasted onion, marinated pepper, grilled wedge salad, miso bagna cauda. I never did get to try the wedge salad but the ribeye was pretty bomb. Yeah I just used the word bomb in 2018. That miso whatever it was was full of umami. The steak itself was a tad fatty in that the back pieces were mostly mush but it was the good mush that melts in your mouth.

 Slagel Farm Ribeye with roasted onion, marinated pepper,grilled wedge salad, miso bagna cauda

Last up is dessert. Usually not the case with me this may have been the my favorite bite of the night. I saw lots of people raving about it on social media and must admit it really looked good. They call it Burnt Olive Oil cake served with lemon curd, cara cara orange, crème fraîche ice cream. This was a perfect summer dish. I thought it was extra refreshing and loved the texture. Like butter. Thus ends our meal. My thoughts? Pretty damn good. The highlights were real high. Nothing was too low.

Burnt Olive Oil Cake with lemon curd, cara cara orange,crème fraîche ice cream


Pacific Standard Time
141 W Erie St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 736-1778
Website

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Yamon Jerk Grill

-Grubbing in Chicago
Wood Fired Jerk on Howard street

Over on instagram (@chibbqking) I'm showcasing a different immigrant owned business each day this week. Yesterday I profiled this new jerk spot up on Howard street. I'd heard about it over on LTHforum where it received a glowing review from someone who knew what they were talking about as far as Jamaican food goes. So I met up with a couple old timers from the forum for lunch at Yamon Jerk Grill. Run by a Jamaican from Ochos Rios they're bringing real deal jerk chicken to the Northside.

 Newly Opened on Howard street 

I could smell real smoke as soon as I stepped inside Yamon. That's bc they're grilling over live charcoal and stuffing pimento wood chips underneath it. Pimento wood being the traditional West Indies wood used to cook the meat over going all the way back to the 1400's when local tribes basically invented grilling. So we knew we were getting jerk chicken and we also decided to try some jerk pork as well as saltfish festival which is a type of bread dumpling stuffed with dried saltfish that's very popular on the island. The pork came loaded with BBQ sauce even though we asked for it on the side we were told it comes with it on already. I knew then and there it would be average at best.

 Saltfish Festival 

The festival was a better than the tips but I got the feeling that the jerk chicken is where it's at. After the standard on Caribbean time wait our lunch specials arrived. I popped it open and the sweet smell of wood grilled jerk chicken hit me. Housemade jerk sauce is served on the side in the standard smallest cup possible. Haha. What is it about that? But the sauce makes for a delicious dip for some really good chicken. In fact it's as good as I've had in the States and reminded me a bit of a spot down in South Florida I've been to a couple times. The chicken came with really nice rice and peas as well as a warm cabbage, plantains, bread, and also a drink. All for $7.50 making it one of the best lunch specials in the city. I suspect I'll be back here the next time the taste for jerk chicken calls.

Jerk Chicken Lunch Special at Yamon Jerk Grill 

Yamon Jerk Grill
1636 Howard St
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 654-3750

Monday, July 23, 2018

Guatelinda Bakery

-Grubbing in Chicago
Guatemalan Snacks in Logan Square

The food world lost an icon this past weekend. RIP to Jonathan Gold of the LA Times. Out of all the well known people in the food writing world he felt the most relatable to me. His love wasn't the Michelin starred spots or the places featured on Eater's heat list. He loved the far off spots hiding between a dry cleaners and convenience store in a less traveled neighborhood. He showed the people of LA countless food gems he found by venturing out to areas where most Angeleno's didn't go. As regular readers know this has always been my M-O. So today I share my most recent love when it comes to the Mom and Pop spots. Guatelinda Bakery is an immigrant owned Bakery on Diversey in Logan Square. I passed by here many a time while driving by or entering Lost Lake across the street.

Locals Favorite in Logan Square 

The blue awning at Guatelinda always caught my eye but for whatever reason it took me a while to try them. Probably the same reason this site is still going strong 10+ years later. Which is bc of the fact there will always be hidden gems in Chicago. Guatelinda Bakery qualifies as one hiding in plain sight. When you enter you'll be greeted by one of the family members. Mom and Dad immigrated to LA from Guatemala before moving to Rockford and then settling in Chicago. The bakery was opened in 2005 and today they supply most of the city's Guatemalan's with tastes of home. Even though they call themselves a bakery they also serve a handful of savory Guatemalan snacks such as Chuchitos. Kind of like a tamale but not. Tamales in Guatemala are wrapped in banana leaves but chuchitos are wrapped in corn husks. These are tomato based with pork and they're so good. Lots of flavor in there.

Chuchito at Guatelinda Bakery

My favorite item from the menu board is the Pan con Chile sandwich. I wasn't aware of it's existence until I saw it on the menu then looked it up on google. Turns out that putting a chile rellano in between some bread is a popular form of lunch in Guatemala. Guatelinda Bakery bakes fresh bread on site and it works great for this sandwich. Fantastic lunch if you're looking for something quick. The rellano itself was a bit different than the Mexican version. I noticed lots of red peppers inside with the cheese.

Pan con Chile Sandwich

The bakery case is also a great place to explore. There's always been something new on my visits. One of the items I loved was that which you see below. Sorry but I forgot what the daughter told me it was when I asked her for a suggestion. All I know is if you like really flaky pasties, which I do, these are for you. No picture but I sampled a Rellanito which is a dish made with sweet mashed plantains stuffed with refried beans, chocolate, and cinnamon. The assembled balls are deep-fried and and then served with powdered sugar on top. I love trying new to me things for the very first time. It's exciting.

Pastry at Guatelinda Bakery

Also of note is the fact they carry a small supply of Guatemalan groceries. Stuff like soda, hot sauce, chips, and even a few Chino-Guatemalan supplies. Turns out Chinese food is big in Guatemala and the Guatemalan people love chow mein the way Peruvians love fried rice. One day I'm going to take a stab at Guatemalan style Chow Mein in my own kitchen with supplies from here. Check them out.

Groceries at Guatelinda Bakery

Guatelinda Bakery
3149 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 278-9999

Friday, July 20, 2018

Stopping in at three Columbus (IN) Favorites

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties
 
- Exploring 'Athens on the Prairie' 

Today we stop through the beautiful town of Columbus, Indiana. Birthplace of the Good (Chicago Trib Food guide Nick Kindelsperger), the Bad (VP Mike Pence) and the Ugly (NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart). It's a town I've driven through many a time mostly on the way to and from Louisville. Last summer I had work obligations back to back weekends in Louisville so I was able to stop in Columbus twice and try a couple spots long on my hit list. While I haven't explored Columbus much past these three places (and Zaharakos) it always reminds me of a prototypical Indiana town when stopping through. Having grown up in the city it's a different life there and I like peeking in on it now and then. Indiana is an interesting state. One that's filled with Roadfood similar to today's stops.
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Ye Olde Fish House

There's a big fish sandwich culture in Indiana. Which is kind of weird bc it's the heartland and nowhere near the ocean. This is probably due to lent diets or something like that as the fish sandwich is popular in many other landlocked spots like Louisville and Western Pennsylvania. Heck the McDonalds filet o' fish was born in Cincinnati. There's a couple "fish houses" as they're called on my radar but odd hours had prevented me from trying either until now.

The Days Pie Selection

Ye Olde Fish House is definitely a Roadfood type treasure in that they dont make them like this anymore. A 75+ year old town institution. The days fresh pie greets you upon arrival so the first decision you're going to have make is the hardest one of the visit. All pies are made in house as is pretty common throughout the state. They have a great pie culture. As far as what you're ordering to go with that piece of pie that would be a fish sandwich. They're piled high with fresh hand battered Alaskan Whitefish filets that are seasoned with their secret house recipe. They also have BPT's for the meat eaters in your group. Open M-F 10:30a-2:30p. I downed my sandwich quick on this visit.

Fish Sandwich from Ye Olde Fish House
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Mussillami's Drive-In 

I don't know his name but I read about this Jewish guy here in the States who's visited over 6000 Chinese American restaurants and has documented them all. I'm trying to do something like that but with food drive-in's. I'm nowhere near 6000 but you have to start somewhere. I got to check Mussillami's Drive-In off the list a few years back on the way home from a roadtrip to Nashville.

Classic Menu Signage

They've been at it since 1957 and according to an article I read somewhere online they're the last of Columbus's old time drive-in's. Apparently there were a more than a few back when which doesnt surprise as I said this seems like a prototypical American town. They advertise a pizza burger on their sign and it's also listed on the menu before even the hamburger. You know the drill. Gotta try the specialties of the house. I'm not the biggest fan of pizza burgers but I liked this one. It was melded together really well.

Pizza Burger at Mussillami's Drive-In
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Shorty's Lunch

Here's another place that evaded me due to limited hours. I was always so intrigued of Shorty's Place bc 1) the picture online made it look like a classic Roadfood shack type establishment and 2) there were very limited reviews. I'm not sure many people in Columbus know about this place as it's off on it's own in a run down area with not much else going on. But you cant hide from me for too long.

At the Counter

Shorty's is a counter lunch type spot. You walk in and take a look at the days menu. One thing you're always going to find on there is a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich aka the BPT. They made ours fresh to order and even though this wasn't even close to one of the biggest BPT's I've had it was up there with the best. Plain and simple these guys know how to season and fry. Stay tuned for more BPT's and other Indiana eats as the days go on. I'm always on the prowl for the good stuff.

BPT at Shorty's Lunch
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Ye Olde Fish House
2024 17th St
Columbus, IN 47201
(812) 378-2921

Musillami's Drive-In
855 Jonesville Rd
Columbus, IN 47201
(812) 372-7565

Shorty's Lunch
601 Reeves Way
Columbus, IN 47201
(812) 603-7323

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Jibarito Time

-Grubbing in Chicago (land)
Jibaritos in Des Plaines

While driving down Oakton I spied a new to me spot specializing in jibaritos. You know how I am about places that pick something and focus on doing that something right. So I pulled into the little strip mall where Jibarito Time rests. I was aware of another place in the area called Santiago's that gets lots of love over on LTHforum but I was unaware this was the new incarnation of Santiago's.

Newly Opened in Des Plaines

Santiago's is/was a family owned Puerto Rican spot that people really took a liking too. They talked of delicious homemade Puerto Rican recipes and big plates of food. For whatever reason the family behind Santiago's went for a bit of a mix-up and decided to change the name of their place to Jibarito Time while focusing on the popular plantain sandwich that was born in Chicago. The menu sports a couple handfuls worth of jibarito options. Some like the Cuban sandwich jibarito were tempting but there's really no reason to mess with a classic so I got a steak with cheese. This was one of the best jibaritos I've had first and foremost due to the plantains themselves. They were perfectly crispy and extra thin with little to no grease clinging on. While there wasn't a ton of steak in between I found it to be the perfect balance to the "bread" while the rest of the components (lettuce, tomato, mayo, cheese) did their magic. I dont eat jibaritos often but I love them when I do and this was a good one.

Steak Jibarito at Jibarito Time

Jibarito Time
935 E Oakton St
Des Plaines, IL 60018
(224) 938-9115
Website

Monday, July 16, 2018

Sano's Pizza

-The other Chicago-style pizza: Tavern Style

You may have seen something recently on Steve Dolinsky's (aka The Hungry Hound) new pizza tours here in Chicago. He also has a book titled Pizza City, USA set to be released soon. During his research for the book I followed on instagram as he hit up spot after spot in the Chicagoland area trying as many recommendations as he could. He got to alot of spots and I look forward to reading his thoughts when they come out. Chicago is after all a great pizza town. Today's post is more proof as it's a place he happened to miss by which I mean just wasnt aware of as it's impossible to try them all. Still I was surprised to find how little there is online about Sano's on Lawrence in Jeff Park.

 Locals Favorite in Jefferson park

Mike Gebert at Fooditor (and Sky Full of Bacon) used to do an ongoing series called "Great Unknown Pizzas of the (insert Chicago area here)" and I feel like Sano's is the type of spot he seeked out when doing so. It's a classic establishment that has the feel of a 1970's Chicago pizzeria. The space inside is narrow and long. Almost like that of a diner. Greeting you on your right when you enter is an old school Fauld's Pizza Oven which I learned about in the aforementioned unknown pizzeria series. Fauld's is a now defunct company out of Chicago that used to build pizza ovens for pizzerias around the country. There's still a handful in use including one at Pat's Pizza which is what I grew up on. The namesake Frank is always at the oven making pizzas. It's an open air kitchen so to say.

 Faulds Pizza Oven (top) - A peek inside (bottom)

Sano's has been around since 1977 so you know they're a neighborhood favorite. On my visit they were doing a real nice delivery and pick up business with a few folks dining in. I decided to try a medium sausage and asked them to leave it in a bit longer as I witnessed a regular do the same as he placed an order. The pizza came out looking and smelling wonderful. The sausage which came from a big bucket of fresh locally made stuff was fantastic as was the placing of it. The pizza was a bit thicker than I like with a tad too much cheese but the fennel sausage was delicious and I always like a little bit of cornmeal at the bottom of a tavern thin. You could tell this pizza was made by a pro.

Sausage Pizza at Sano's Pizzeria

Sano's Pizzeria
4469 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
(773) 725-9863

Monday, July 9, 2018

Northside Taco Tour

- On the road with the 'Chicago Taco Tour'

The Chicago Taco Tour lives on! It will always be alive as long as I'm in Chicago. So while the old site might be out of date I'm still getting around town trying new to me spots when I see them. That said when you're approaching 1100 visited in the Chicagoland area there's not quite as many new ones as there once was. But in the last 4/5 months I've noticed an onslaught of taco focused shops open up in Chicago, specifically on the Northside. Of course I made my way to just about all of them. One of them (Pink Taco) I didn't think was worth my time. Another spot (Zombie Taco) I dont think is worth your time so I wont bother with it in this post. As my guy Mike Sula pointed out in a recent cover story for the Reader - taco trucks might not be taking over every corner but taco shops seem to be.
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Tata's Tacos

First stop up is Tata's Tacos on the 4900 block of Irving Park. You'll see as we go on that this area is booming with taco shops. Tata's was just getting going when I stopped in last month. It seems to be a female team of workers putting together family recipes for the neighborhood to enjoy. Tortillas are made in house here and out of all the stops on this round-up I thought they had the most interesting selection of tacos. Starting with the lengua - it might've been the best taco of all those featured today. The most interesting taco of all those tried might've been the 'Sirena' which was grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon and served with cabbage, lettuce, chipotle aioli. They also offer a guisado of the day taco which was chicken mole on the day I visited. My only complaint was no rice under the mole.

Trio of Tacos at Tata's Tacos
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Chicago Taco Authority 

This spot is on the 4200 block of Irving Park and it's gotten some good press since opening. It's a CTA themed taqueria which I'm pretty sure is a first. They really did a nice job with the inside as it's nice and colorful and filled with murals and old relics from the CTA's past. I'd read they were doing a puffy taco and that really got me in quick. We dont have any legit spots doing San Antonio style puffy tacos in the city. Well we still don't. That said the crispy chicken taco that I got which was really just a tostada was still really good. The shell being fried fresh makes a huge difference. A fish taco served on flour was also enjoyed. No pic but the carne asada is in the running for Top 5 in city. Also of note is the fact they have a fresh salsa bar which isn't something you see often in the city and or suburbs.

Tacos at Chicago Taco Authority
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Tomatillo Tacoville 

Continuing along on Irving Park we head down to the 2900 block. That's where you'll find Tomatillo Taco-ville. When I first stopped in here I couldn't help but feel like I've been here before. After some looking around I saw they were selling bottles of Cilantro Taco Grill's popular avocado salsa. Now it made sense in that this place is related to Cilantro Taco Grill which has a handful of locations in the suburbs. I'd describe Tomatillo Taco-ville as a good representation of the others which I always thought were above average as far as a neighborhood taco shop goes. They do a grilled fish that gets crisped up real nice on a flattop and cecina with beans spread underneath is always a tasty combo.

Tacos at Tomatillo Taco-ville
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Tacotlan

Moving over to the 4300 block of Fullerton is the newly opened Tacotlan. This is a classic family style taqueria where the mother, father, and kids are helping get stuff done. It's just a bit more colorful than most and they also have a social media presence. That's how you know the kids are involved. The tacos here are super solid. Specifically the 'Lalo' which comes with a mound of outer cut skirt steak and your choice of toppings. I suggest refried beans, onion, cilantro, and avocado. Just excellent.

The Lalo Taco at Tacotlan
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El Santo Taqueria

Over in Albany Park on the 3300 block of Foster is the newly opened El Santo Taqueria. It's a trendy looking spot looking to break into a market over there that includes students from Northeastern Illinois University, North Park University, and Northside College Preparatory High School. They call themselves an LA inspired taqueria. Crispy fried shrimp tacos like those at Mariscos Jaliscos?!?!?! Not quite. They use blue corn tortillas (So LA! (sarcasm)) and offer interesting combinations of fillings. I tried two on my visit. First was sweet shredded pork, bacon, grilled pineapple, pickled onion, Chipotle sour cream and then came the Steak & Bacon which was a bit misleading in that it was braised beef, smoked bacon, Asian slaw and queso fresco. Those tortillas were pretty good though.

Tacos at El Santo Taqueria
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 Disco Taco

Disco Taco just opened in the last month or so on Montrose just west of Ashland. That red and yellow sign caught my eye and the fact it was a taco shop got me in. I was greeted by a nice trompo of al pastor up and running. But I could tell by the way they'd been slicing it that they're cutting it off in chunks and frying the meat on the flattop. Still I tried one and if anything they crisped up the meat really nice. My steak taco was less enjoyable as it was just kind of plain. They sell salchipapas!

Tacos at Disco Taco
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 Edgewater Tacos

Next stop up is Edgewater Tacos on the 5600 block of Broadway. I saw them on yelp and made a note to get up there to check them out when I had the chance. This too is a family style taqueria slightly elevated with art and stuff to make you comfortable to stay and eat. Though the only reason I need to stay is tacos. They offer a pretty good variety albeit of the usual suspects. I tried a fried fish that hit the spot and a chicken taco that did not. I rarely order chicken due to how boring it is and this proved my opinion on that. Said to be smokey grilled thigh meat it was typical shredded chicken.

Fish Taco at Edgewater Tacos
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 Cafe Tola

Ever since opening up in that small former pest control shop on Southport, Cafe Tola has really took off. They now have three locations with their most recent being on the 1600 block of West Addison. This location seems to be geared specifically towards tacos. They do sell their famous empanadas here but the case is pretty small. The taco menu is larger than the other spot on California. Still they have a nice section dedicated to breakfast tacos and their machaca con huevos never disappoints.

Machaca con Huevos taco at Cafe Tola
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 Kite String Cantina 

Staying on Addison we head to the 1800 west block which is home to Kite String Cantina. I'm not sure what this bar used to be called but it's a classic Chicago corner bar that decided to go trendy. By which I mean they threw up some neon and put together a cocktail menu as well as a food program. I wasn't sure what I would think of this place but I gotta say I really like what they did. It's not to eccentric and the prices are more than fair at this Mexican inspired cantina. Booze wise they offer a variety of bubblers as well as options like margaritas and shot and a beer. Food wise they serve flautas and I got to say I really liked them as a bar snack. They offer a few kinds all made with fresh El Milagro masa. They're then fried and left to stay warm on those little rollers you see for hot dogs at places like 7-11. Just $6 for 3. I thought this made for a good place to Cubs post game.

Flautas, Beer, and Shot at Kite String Cantina
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 Taco Boy

Last stop of this trip takes us over to the Mobil Gas Station complex on Halsted just north of Division. Taco Boy is the newest resident of the little strip mall of spots that share a space with a Mobil gas outlet. Gas station tacos are nowhere near as prevalent in Chicago as they are in other places like Dallas, Texas. But I've noticed a few new ones lately and Taco Boy is the best of the bunch. No head turners on their menu though both the carnitas and the steak had just the right amount of grease needed to qualify these tacos as gas station grub. The well oiled tortillas were loaded with meat.

Tacos at Taco Boy
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