Thursday, October 30, 2008

What The Heck is Phillys Best?

-The Sammy's of Chi

What the heck is Phillys Best?

Philly's Best has four Chicagoland locations

"The only Philly steak in Chicago" - Chicago Tribune

"Best sub in Chicago" - Channel 2 News

"The place to get a Philly steak in Chicago" - Philadelphia Magazine

"In Chicago, the place for steaks" - Philadelphia Inquirer

Cheesesteak from Phillys Best--Read about below & click pic to see just how serious they are.

The Philadelphia Phillies are your 2008 MLB champions. Hey Cubs fans, you think we got it hard? Philadelphia hadn't won a championship in 100 years when you combine the four major teams together. Congrats to the city and its fans. I never had any beefs with Philly fans and I even had a few as roommates thru the years and they are pretty knowledgeable and definitely passionate about their sports teams. We also have a little connection as a state to Philly sports with Mt. Carmel's Donovon McNabb QB of the Eagles and the 76'ers rising star Andre Iguodala is from Springfield.

No one really picked the Phillies when the year started and many didn't even pick them when the playoffs started. Baseball has really become a two season sport just like NCAA basketball. Everything you accomplished in the regular season is thrown out the door when MLB playoffs start. When the Cardinals beat the Tigers in '06, they were the two worst teams in the playoffs. The only other sport where that is really like this is mens basketball with March Madness.

Here is an interesting little fact about the world series and how bad it has been for viewers that have no affiliation with the winning team--The losing team has now won a total of two games the last five years. The Rays took one from Philly this year and the Tigers beat the Cardinals once in that series. Not so entertaining for the fans, huh?

Anyways since Philly is the best in baseball its time to introduce you to Philly's best. I gave you a peak into PB in my World Series preview. PB was started by a Greek family from Philly who moved to Chicago and couldn't get their beloved cheesesteaks anymore. What do you do when you cant get a certain food in a certain area? make it yourself and that's just what they did. Their first location was and is on Belmont a half block from the red line station. They now have four locations which you can find on their website.

Cheesesteak with Greek fried cheese balls

When it comes to authentic cheesesteaks in Chicago, this is where it starts and ends. The brothers fly in the meat from Philly and offer them "wit" onions and cheese whiz for that authentic Philly flair. No worries if that doesn't sound appealing to you they also have regular cheese, peppers and other toppings for your steak. They offer a bunch of different oven grinders and other stuff like pizza and fried appetizers. There are four things I order from PB...that's it.

I mentioned it was a Greek family that owned this place and for an appetizer you have to try the fried cheese, its da bomb. Obviously they have an awesome cheesesteak and I get that 90% of the time and I always go footlong. But the lesser known Philly chicken is just as good for all you chicken heads. When you order a Philly chicken go with green peppers, onions and white American cheese. The other item you have to try is the Greek fried dough which is lightly fried dough served with honey lemon sauce and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Great for dessert. This is one of Chicago's best chicken sandwiches. Its also one of the best delivery options in the Wrigleyville Lincoln Park area. It's the perfect poker food too. Whether it's internet poker or the real deal, it's not a true poker game without cheesesteaks and beer!

Trust me boys, she's pretty on the inside.

So for for all you people that have transplanted to Chicago from Philly, you have a spot that tastes like home and its called Philly's Best. They also have Tastykakes for all you Philly stoners. If you've been eating at PB as long as I have then you probably remember those funny commercials on during daytime trash TV of the guy yelling "What the heck is Phillys Best?" Well its the best cheesesteak sandwich you can find outside that region. Get at it. Now hows that for showing love Philly?

Philly's Best (four locations)
907 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 525-7900

Philly's Best on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

el gallo bravo #5

-Got Beef? taco's de carne asada

If el gallo bravo sounds familiar it probably is. They are a family owned operation with numerous locations throughout the city and they stay open 24 hours at most of them. EGB is an above average taqueria, the steak tacos and burritos are the most popular menu items. It has a steady flow of traffic and does a good business in both dine in and take out. If you choose to eat there chips and homemade salsa are are served complementary. There is a large bowl of fire roasted jalapeños and onions that is also available free of charge.

There isnt much to say about this place except it passes the taco test. The portions are always done right and the steak tacos are more than passable. This is why we are so lucky living in Chicago with all of our selection, a place like this would be a goldmine elsewhere. The Steak is finely chopped and griddled into small pieces and loaded into a tortilla. If you like your tacos done old school (onions and cilantro with some salsa is how tacos are supposed to be eaten) you have to request that here, otherwise you get lettuce, tomato etcetera. EGB might be my favorite steak taco place where they cook the steak on a flattop.

Steak taco from el gallo bravo

Rating Scale 5/5

steak: 4
cilantro/onions: 3
tortilla: 3
salsa: 3

Score: 13/20

El Gallo Bravo #5
1429 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60613

Monday, October 27, 2008

KingT's Wings & DRose For Real (Combo)

Dish me out a combo: Food & Sports


The 2008-2009 NBA Basketball season is upon us. Let me start out by saying that basketball is by far the sport that I am most knowledgeable about. There were a few years when the NBA was on a decline and it just wasn't as entertaining as it was during its heyday of MJ and the Bulls and the rest of the greats that played during that era. So the league went thru a little recession period and there weren't any super-superstars and talent was weak and it wasnt entertaining to watch. Players like Eddie Robinson, Eddy Curry and Erick Dampier got insane contracts because there just wasn't much natural ability around the league. Well thats all changed because the way I see it is that the league might be at a new all time highpoint. We haven't had this many superstars and players on the verge of Hall of Fame careers to watch ball since the days of MJ and his peers.

You got Lebron James who has arrived and is just amazing to watch play. Like he said we are all witness'. Kobe Bryant is still trying to get that title without Shaq and he is playing at a peak that establishes him as one of the greatest ever and the Lakers are deep and ready to get back into the finals.

The Celtics are meaningful again and they come back as the favorites to defend the title with Kevin Garnett who sealed his legacy as one of the greats with a ring last year.

Dwayne Wade is back and healthy and showed over the summer in Beijing that he is still one of the games best. They lost Wade for the year last year and won Michael Beasley for years to come this year.

How will a young stacked Portland team do with last years #1 Greg Oden 's arrival and Rudy Fernandez coming in from overseas? I was most impressed with Rudy of all the players in the Olympics.

What about the Atlanta Hawks...who? Thats right ATL is stacked with young talent that is actually panning out and after taking Boston to seven last year in the first the only way to go is up.

There are so many story lines it would take a day to write them all. Was there a better city to see a revival of a team than in New Orleans after what happened to the city? Chris Paul is the leader in a line of future stars that is as long as I can remember.

Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Josh Smith, Kevin Durant, Danny Granger, Brandon Roy, David West, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Lamarcus Aldridge, Mike Conley, Jose Calderon, Joe Johnson, Kevin Martin, Al Horford, Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson and not to mention quite a rookie class lead by Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley and O.J Mayo.

As for the 2008 Bulls preview and what we can expect ill keep it short and sweet. Derrick Rose is the best talent to come to Chicago since 23. Im not saying he is going to be better or anything like that because they are two totally different players. However an important trait that they do share is the fire and passion to win and to not accept losing and when you combine that with the talent they have it makes for a scary player. Not even MJ was this talented out of college as far as raw athleticism and skills go.

He wont wear #23 (he wears #1) but Derrick Rose has Bulls fans as excited as they were during the heydays

There are years when teams luck out and win the draft lottery in the right year to do so. The Spurs won it in '97 and got Tim Duncan--the Clippers won it the next year and got Michael Olowokandi. The Cavs won it in '03 and got Lebron and then Orlando got Dwight in '04. Milwaukee then won in '05 and got Bogut and Toronto got Bargnani in '06. Its all about luck and having that luck in the right year. The Bulls lucked out and we won the lottery and if there was ever a year to do so...we did it. Next years top draft prospect is Ricky Rubio. While the PG from Barcelona is said to be skilled he has no where near the game of this years number one, DRose. With Rose being selected number one and Rubio projected as next years top talent and the emergence of Chris Paul and Deron Williams the league is clearly going the way of the point guard.

Rick Rubio got a taste of NBA "D" in Beijing this summer

I dont know what to expect from the Bulls this season but all that matters is the growing of Derrick Rose into NBA superstar and best point guard in the league for years to come. thats all I care about and that is all I will be watching. Something tells me that the Bulls could make some noise and turn some heads and sneak into the 7th or 8th slot in the east. I think DRose will go through some growing pains but will catch on much faster than anticipated and the rest of the team and its players will benefit greatly. We haven't had a leader on offense like this since MJ and we haven't had such a pesky one on one defender since ScoPip.

My 2008-2009 bold prediction: The Knicks will average 110 points per game under new Coach Mike D'Antoni...but will give up 125 ppg.

Somebody is going to get it worse from DRose than Scottie did

I share the same passion for wings as I do for BBall and so before it gets too cold to enjoy some amazing wings on the grill, get at these. When it comes to consuming food while watching sports is there anything more widely eaten then chicken wings? They seem to go hand in hand. I will start my wing-ding (reviews of the best wings in Chicago) next week with an article about my favorite bar to get them at...stay tuned.

For any of you that love hearing the snap, crackle and pop of wings on the grill but have trouble finding the right wings, I got you covered. Over at Strack & Van Til they carry wings from Rosebud Farms that are labeled "wing drummettes" They come with just the drumette part so there is no cutting of the whole wing with your worn down shears and they are the perfect size, not to small and too big either. Yes there is such thing as to big of wings. Jumbo wing's tend to be rubbery because they dont have the same skin to meat ratio that medium sized wings do. Two of my favorite preparations for these wings....

Heavily Jerked with Boston Bay jerk marinade/paste from Danny's old world Caribbean market on Broadway and grilled over hickory.

Wings rubbed with Mike Mills' "magic dust" and also grilled over charcoal and hickory and when done thrown in a bowl and tossed with Rupert Johnson's BBQ sauce.

These are so easy to do that even some NBA players could do it. Just kidding--I love this game. I just wish its players would stop loving the cheesecake factory. One taste of these wings and they'll love me and ditch the cheesecake factory for good.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Now that's a burger!

-Got Beef?
The Burgers of Chi

It is time to introduce you to my favorite burger joint in the city. You've heard of Billy Goats, Top Notch, Kuma's, Moody's Pub, Fat Burger has arrived in Chi and all sorts of other various well publicized hamburger spots around Chicago. Now its time for me to share a little secret with you. My favorite burger joint in Chicago goes by the name "Thats-A-Burger" or TAB or "Thatsa" as we call it. The little burger joint that slang's perfect, juicy-burgers from behind bullet proof glass in a little storefront on 71st in the South Shore neighborhood might be Chicago's best little culinary treasure. If you want a cocktail and some truffle fries with your burger then forget about this place, go to Rockit, or somewhere Chicago Scene told you to go. If you want a real hand formed burger that is just that...a burger, then get over there.

TAB does the bare minimum when it comes to decor and ambiance but who gives a hoot, the burger is the best in the city. Ive been to TAB countless times and still drive by it sometimes because it can be really hard to spot, they have a little sign in the window that is half torn off, that's it. Along with their top notch hand made burgers they are said to make an amazing turkey burger, I don't doubt that it is by far the best TB in the city.

You gotta love any place with house specials. They dont disappoint

The chili is some of my favorite in the city as well

TAB is a very popular neighborhood stop for hungry locals, there is always going to be a wait, even if your the only person in there. It takes time to form the patty and cook it, its a sign of good things to come when you have to wait 10-15 at a burger joint. The only downer I ever had is the wait, but whats wrong with waiting for your burger to be made, they aren't taken out of a freezer and thrown on the flames and they aren't thin either so it takes some time to grill them. The fresh cut fries are also the perfect compliment to your cheeseburger and are included with each burger. Locals will usually call in their order because they know that at peak hours it can take up 45 minutes, so you do the same. Put the number in your phone and place your order when your 10-15 minutes away.

Burgers are what they do here and they don't bother with much else (1/2 lb) you can make it a double if you dare, the standard comes with onions (grilled or raw) lettuce, pickle, mustard, and ketchup. Other toppings available for extra include includes choice of sport, jalapeño, or giardinara peppers, American, Swiss, or Cheddar cheese, chili, bacon, or a fried egg. In my book the only way to go is with a egg on top. So here ladies and gentleman is what you've been waiting for.

Thats a not miss this place.

Overall Grade: A+

Strengths--This is what every burger place ought to be. They dont do anything wrong here. Hows that for a strength?

Weakness--Take-out only, if that even is one, you have to eat the burger on the hood of your car or in your car. Also there is always a wait. Decide if you want a beef or turkey burger and what you want on it and call in your order 15-20 minutes prior to your arrival.

2134 E 71st St
Chicago, IL 60649
(773) 493-2080
take-out only

That's a Burger on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

24 hour eats @ El Presidente

Eating like a Mayan King in the Windy City
...mamá's home cooking from the ladies at El Presidente

If you lived/live in the Lincoln Park/ashland area at any time over the last 30 years then odds are you have eaten at El Presidente. Chicago has its fair share of 24 hour joints and Presidente is by far my favorite. In a city that has some of the best Mexican eats anywhere, El Presidente is one of the best examples of homestyle Mexican grub. It is actually in the bottom of a house and the owners/employees live above so that they can serve Chicago at every hour of the day. It is BYOB in case you wanted to drank more. Talk about homey.

The sign at Ashland/Wrightwood

Like alot of other 24 hour spots, el presidente serves up all sorts of clientèle. The menu has all the basic offerings of a Mexican restaurant and a nice selection of combos along with meat/seafood selection and breakfast is available all day/night. But what puts this place on the radar is the homestyle cooking from the ladies of the kitchen. Ive been here countless times over the past 15 years and every time im in there you will see the mothers/grandmas back in the kitchen dishing out their amazing family recipes.

Homemade chips and salsa (free with dinner) are among the better

If you haven't had the nachos from El Presidente then you are missing out on some of the best nachos in town. Homer Simpson would singing "nacho, nacho man" into the late night if he had a taste of these. These are how nachos used to be back in the day, I remember them as a kid and nachos like this are what turned me onto Mexican food at such a young age. They take their fresh fried tortilla strips and load them with beans, homemade ranchero sauce and then cover the entire plate in chihuahua cheese and put it under the broiler until the cheese browns. Served with guacamole and sour cream. Folks I am telling you these are amazing at 2pm and heaven on a plate at 4am. Make sure you get these dining in, they have to be eaten fresh from the broiler.

Close up of el presidente's nachos (click for closer up view)

The best nachos in Chicago (el presidente)

The ladies of presidente also do some of the better flauta's I have had around town. They are large overstuffed fresh fried and loaded with toppings. I also like the enchilada's and breakfast items. Combos are never a bad choice if you cant figure out what to get. I am not a big fan of the tacos however. So if you want some late night food but don't want to deal with the pathetic starbucks in the morning-preppie-yuppie's eating at Wiener circle and TBP singing "I kissed a girl and I liked it" then try this place out. If your eating at la bamba then I'm assuming the only other Mexican food you ever ate was at the Taco Bell back home in Wasilla, Alaska. Sorry but that place taste so bad I dont care how much Jameson I drank, Id rather eat moose meat stew with Mz. Palin.

flauta, enchilada combo

El Presidente
2558 N Ashland ave
Chicago, IL 60614

El Presidente on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hog Heaven

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties

--Peace, love and BBQ in Southern Illinois

If there is a single food that sums up regional eating and everything it is, BBQ would have to be it. When people travel the country there are different specialties of BBQ at every corner. Go to Memphis and you will find the amazing dry rubbed ribs, in Texas, beef is king and the brisket and sausage from the eastern European settlers is legendary. Go to the Carolina's and you will find pit's of pork with people making their family's traditional pulled pork sandwiches that are millions of Americans "last meal on earth."Owensboro, Kentucky gets the most unique BBQ for their mutton. In Baltimore they do the pit beef sandwich, Chicago is the land of rib tips, Cali the tri-tip, Kansas City has the sauce and those to die for burnt ends, St. Louis got that snoot and it goes on and on.

Southern Illinois might not be on your BBQ trail...if so your missing out.

What if I told you there was a place where you could get real bbq pork sandwich's as good as those in the Carolina's? and in this same area you will find BBQ sauce as good as anything in Kansas City but it doesn't end there, Ill lead you to some of the best rib tips in the state of Illinois (land of the tip) and along with those sandwiches and sauce you will find the best ribs in the entire world including Memphis. If I told you all of this was all together in Southern Illinois of all places you might say to me "sure and pigs are flying down there too right?" Guess what? pigs are flying.

17th St. bar & grill and the surrounding area is heaven for smoke heads

On a recent trip down to Southern-Illinois, I got to experience peace, love and barbecue all rolled into a little area of the state that hasn't changed much with time. They still do alot of things old school down there and BBQ is one of them. The true definition of barbecue is a hunk of meat cooked low and slow with indirect heat and usually a combination of charcoal and wood. Anything else is just grilled or BBQ flavored whatever. Down in southern Illinois they take great pride in their BBQ and most of it is a family tradition that has been passed along and kept alive due to the areas unwillingness to take easier less time consuming ways of creating perfect BBQ. Its an art that is slowly disappearing thru time but will never go away in this part of the Land of Lincoln. Some might say it is America's best kept culinary secret. If you dont dine with swine, stop reading now...I am about to take you to hog heaven.

Land of Lincoln and Porky the Pig

Johnson's BBQ (Harrisburg, IL)

Our first stop on this euphoric journey was in Harrisburg, where we stopped at Johnson's Southern Style Barbecue. Rupert Johnson is a fourth generation BBQ'er who has perfected the art of the sauce. Ladies and gentleman, over the years I have sampled 100's of different sauces of every background imaginable. I am hear to tell you that me and you no longer need to look any further. Johnson's southern style BBQ sauce is the best sauce in the world.

Rupert Johnson's BBQ sauce is a fourth generation recipe that continues to be handed down

As mentioned above the pig is king down south and one of the locals favorite ways to enjoy it is "a barbecue." The popular lunch item for folks of the area are smoked pork sandwiches with the places signature BBQ sauce. They are available at different pits all over the area. Rupert uses the best fresh pork he can get his hands. Him and his people rub the butts all over with their secret rub and then proceed to cook it low and slow on one of his mammoth pits using just charcoal. Johnson's serves their amazing barbecues sliced instead of chopped or shredded and the pig combined with his top notch sauce is one heavenly combo. Check below for online ordering information. Makes a great gift for any grillmaster.

Johnson's barbecue sandwich with its blue ribbon BBQ sauce

John Johns BBQ (Colp, IL)

About 35 miles to the west of Johnson's Southern BBQ is John Johns BBQ in the town of Colp, IL. JJs is all in the family. I am going to proclaim this super friendly group as Illinois "first family of barbecue." JJ is the pitmaster and helping him run the show are his mother who you know can cook, his brothers and his little nephew Andrew provides the customers with entertainment putting a smile on everyones face. The food here will keep that smile on your face all day long. The star of the show is the best barbecue sandwich I have ever had. JJ uses hickory to slow cook the house spice rubbed pig and they top off the perfectly smoked meat with yet another amazing BBQ sauce I found on my trip down there. The result is perfection-both crispy and juicy pieces of pulled pork with perfect smoke flavor and BBQ sauce that compliments it all. This family takes great pride in their cooking as I was told by one of JJ's brothers and it sure does show. JJ's brother does up rib tips (pic at bottom) that are as good and probably better than anything I have found in Chicago and those in the know will agree that Chicago is a rib-tip town. I would have liked to have tried moms fried blue gill which you just know is good. There will be a next time, thats for sure.

John Johns does one of the best sandwiches I have had...period.

17th ST. Bar & Grill is a living legend on the BBQ trail (Muphysboro, IL)

ATTN: Residents of Chicago. The last place im taking you to is the mecca of ribs. If you like ribs and you havent been to 17 St. then you just cant say you have eaten the best ribs on earth. If I told you the best ribs in the world were on I-57 you would assume im talking about Memphis, a place known for their ribs across the world. But these ribs are in a small town in Illinois a few hours before Memphis along 57 and the home of the Michael Jordan of BBQ. Mike Mills is a legend in the wide world of BBQ. The Murphysboro resident is the three time "Memphis in May" world BBQ champ, it is the super bowl of BBQ. In fact Mike and his team won so many times that they asked him to become a grandmaster judge. Mr. Mills has perfected and I mean PERFECTED the art of the rib.

Dont let that pretty pink meat fool you...these are cooked/smoked perfectly.

Over at 17th St. they use a secret rub called "magic dust" consisting of 18 different spices. They rub the ribs and then smoke them to perfection using apple wood that is local to the area. The dust is the best rub I have found and I was happy to be able to purchase more than a few for my BBQ experiments. If you are taking a trip down to Memphis make sure you stop here along the way for these ribs. With all due respect to Charlie Trotter and the rest of the high end chefs who create different types of culinary art...these ribs are the "Mona Lisa" of food. Graham Elliot Bowles and Bill Kim need to take a road trip down south to 17th St. and then they will see why we go crazy for food. I didnt get a chance to meet Mike this time because he was in Las Vegas making sure his BBQ joint there was running up to his standards. The only way to go is a full slab "dry" (no sauce on the ribs) this way you get to taste the true beauty of what they do here.

Full slab of the best ribs in the world from 17th St bar & grill (Murphysboro, IL)

I had no idea that Southern Illinois was so rich in BBQ. You can find pit's in every town and everyone has a place they go to and eat and chat and enjoy the country life. All these places mentioned above do catering and provide the respective communities with food and service. The people of the towns are lucky to have them and they know it by continuing to support these family run operations. If you are ever in the area or driving through it, dont you dare stop at Cracker Barrel, BW-3's or Chili's when you have these options. Here are some more pics from this wonderful journey that should tempt you to take a road trip some time soon.

"aint no place, like this place, close to this place, so this must be the place" (Johnson's BBQ)

These rib tips are as good as it gets and the sauce is amazing too (John Johns)

Every pitmaster has his own secret rub to pat down the pig (Johnson's BBQ)

Mike Mills' ribs won the world BBQ championship three times, only team to ever do so (17th St.)

Im still thinking about Rupert Johnson's sliced pork barbecues (Johnson's BBQ)

a member of the John John family tries to fly away on the pig (John Johns)

every pitmaster has his own BBQ pit that provide the towns with joy (Johnsons BBQ)

a close up of heaven with some magic dust sprinkled on top (17th St.)

You didnt think I went back home to Chicago with out any piggy bag's? (17th St.)

Johnson's Southern Style Barbecue
700 e. Walnut St.
Harrisburg, IL 62946
(618) 252-0477

Johnson Southern Style Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

John John's BBQ
103 N Mayor Caliper Dr
Carterville, IL 62918
(618) 985-2781

17th St. Bar & Grill
32 n. 17th St.
Murphysboro, IL 62966
(618) 684-3722

17th Street Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 10, 2008

What's the beef?

--Got Beef? Italian Beef

What's the beef is located on Clybourn ave in Lincoln Park. It is the best options for a beef in LP...but thats not saying much. In fact in some bogus claim by Chicago magazine, "what's the beef" was named the best beef in the city in a 2007 article. Ya and Chicago Magazine is the best dining guide in Chicago. They even went so far as to make the following moronic statement "Demon Dog's is gone and residents of L.P could care less, they have What's the beef's juicy homemade beef..." ok lets get one thing straight, I dont know where the hell the writer of that comment is from and what big 10 school he/she went to but DD's and WTB are not to be spoken of on the same level again. Got it? Good.

Heya Whatsa da beeef? eeta donta tasta like cheekin, eets a cow!

Im not here to trash WTB, in fact I hadnt had a IB from here since it first opened at least 8-10 years ago, so one day recently I decided it was time to try it again and document it for the beefies that follow my site. They do make their beef homemade and this means it is worth a try in my book. So the beef was sliced thin and had a good tender texture, meaning it wasn't sitting in the gravy all day. The bread was good and the gravy was just ok, makes me wonder if that is homemade, not to say it isnt, but it tasted like it came from a carton. The main problem for WTB was and is a major problem in the decision of what makes a good beef and that is their hot peppers, they are absolutely horrible and similar to the slop served at Novi's.

With all of that said, in an area where a good IB is rare, WTB can get the job done for some, its not bad. The fries are homemade and fresh fried which is a big plus and many other items on the menu are popular there. WTB is approaching a decade as a independent owned restaurant in the LP area so you gotta salute them for that. Most of the menu items are homemade and they have regulars so thats always a great sign.

beef with hot from WTB

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 3
bread: 4
gravy: 2
hot peppers: 1

Score: 10/20

Whats the Beef
1863 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 477-7200

What's the Beef on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Top Notch Steak Taco's

-Got Beef? taco's de carne asada

Even though we are cursed with Dominick's and Jewel being our main grocery spots around Chicagoland, we still have great ethnic markets. The biggest presence around town is the Mexican mercado's. We are flooded with family owned markets that stock great produce at great prices and supply all of our Latino residents with everything needed in your pantry with all cuts of meat and then some. Most of these wonderful markets have a taqueria inside where you can get all sorts of fresh homemade Mexican dishes. These little taco shops within the grocery store are very popular at lunch time.

Im still a big fan fan of pasadita's skirt steak taco's but they may have been passed up by the unsuspecting Chapala Tianguis and the taco's de carne asada served inside the grocery store. In the past month I have been here 10+ times to do my grocery shopping and devour a few steak taco's afterwards. I would suspect that this is another location of the Chapala markets around Chicago. The taqueria at chapala grills up the skirt steak so the pieces are charred and crispy and chops it pretty finely so there are no chewy parts and it is served standard topped with super fresh onions and cilantro. Tianguis makes two top notch salsa's both a verde and roja that are better than most I have had elsewhere, pour some of their top notch salsa verde on top of your steak taco and you got pure bliss in my book. The salsa is also available to go in any amount for a ridiculously low price. Taco's are $1.59/each.

Note: I find the taco's to be at their best during the lunch hour when the steak is just being chopped and hot off the grill.

Tianguis chapala steak taco w/ salsa verde

Rating Scale 5/5

steak: 4
cilantro/onions: 5
tortilla: 4
salsa: 5

Score 18/20

Chapala Tianguis
3552 w. Armitage
Chicago, IL 60647


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