Monday, November 25, 2013

Detroit Slider City

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties

-The Old School Burgers of Detroit, Michigan

The stories and pictures of Detroit that those outside of there see remain ones of abandoned buildings, crime and bankruptcy. However those that have followed my posts here (check part one of this series HERE and part two HERE ) know that those stories are only half of it. The other is the places and people that remain. We know about the Motor City's deep affection for Coney Dogs but there's another love and it's as much about the buildings as the food. In a city where architecture is strong, the slider shops stand out. Beautiful white enamel buildings sitting in the same place, most for over 50 years, nothing except maybe the prices have changed. "Sliders" are what locals they call the burgers that these spots put out, many do so 24 hours a day. Not as small as a White Castle slider nor steamed these are more like your typical 1930's style smashed burger with grilled onions, the type you used to find everywhere. The style McDonalad's has made billions on. This is actually a couple years worth of round-ups but I'm confident in saying not much if anything has changed at these places. There's a reason they've survived time. For many they bring back memories of better times. Plus the greasy burgers are good.


City Limits

I cant figure out when Sonny's got it's start but there are two locations and this one is within city limits on Schoolcraft road. In an area where not much else remains, this beautiful building still stands and the local folks still flood the place. Great atmosphere inside here, as good as any I stopped in at. I didn't get a snap of their longtime grill but it sits right behind the counter by the register and must be 5x5 feet at max. I witnessed a funny exchange between a mother and her child who was impatient with the wait. "I'm gonna eat your sliders" if you don't start behaving. She hushed up real quick. I'm usually a no ketchup on my burger guy but sometimes forget to mention it as I did here but I actually kind of liked it on there. I could see myself eating these at later hours, theyre open 24/7. I walked out with a t-shirt that cost me a buck less than my six pack of cheeseburgers ($6).

Cheeseburgers from Sonny's

The Telway

City Limits

This classic grease pit is one of the only spots on this round-up that sports a coca-caola sign, the rest prefer Pepsi. They've been around since 1944 and have another location in Madison Heights. It's an all night diner but the coffee and dirt cheap mini burgers are their most popular items. An article from The Metro Times circa 2002 says the building itself has been around for 78 years which would mean it's pushing 90 these days but that seems a little old for this style. There's only about eight seats inside, none of these spots have tables, most of the business comes from the take out window on the other side of the entrance.

To-Go Window

All the spots featured offer bags of burgers which must of been the preferred way of ordering them back when lunch time hit at the factories. These days it's still a popular spot and two guesses for why would be it's still a spot where one can fill up with just a few bucks and also there must be quite a few who grew up on them. Because they weren't my favorite. Mushy is the best way to describe them. Not inedible but definitely different. I guess I could see enjoying them if they brought back pleasant memories of better days in Detroit.

Telway Cheeseburgers

Motz's Burgers

City Limits

Over by the river in Southwest Detroit is one of the cities longest tenured burger makers. Motz's Burgers has been around since 1929 and with the exception of price they haven't changed a thing. Same customers, same service. These burgers are bigger than all the rest featured on here. Not large but definitely not small balls of beef are smashed on their longtime griddle with the smell of the onions being abundant inside and out. Common trend from all these spots is the use of cheap picnic buns which I don't really mind because the beef shines. Motz's is often mentioned on "best burgers in America" lists and while I've always said those are impossible, there's a reason they've been around for over eight decades and get mentions, its really good.

Cheeseburger from Motz's

Elmer's Hamburgers

City Limits

You'll find Elmer's off the beaten path located deep on the cities west side. Located in an area where there used to be seven steel plants within a couple miles. The only other business still around is a nite-club and I'm sure most everyone from there goes to Elmer's when last call is over. It’s been open 24/7 for the last 50 years. Originally there were two but nowadays just this one. Its run by a couple and their kids who took it over from their grandparents. The one thing that has changed here I read, is the bulletproof glass as robberies got all too common in the 70's. Judging by the "systems" text on the outside I'm guessing Elmer took this place over from one of the many White Castle spawns that came around when it was taking the country by storm. I didn't sample these burgers all one by one within a small time frame but I remember Elmer's as much as any other. Another thing all these spots have in common is grease at the bottom of the brown bag they come in, not to mention the covered walls at all. Elmer's makes a fresh but certainly not lean hand smashed patty that comes with an extra black pepper kick, grilled onions and pickles. Old school doesn't get much better, both in taste and atmosphere.

Elmer's Extra Peppery Cheeseburger

Campau Tower

Hamtramck, MI

This beautiful structure in downtown Hamtramck was originally a White Tower. One of the many who tried to claim White Castles crown they were founded in Milwaukee in 1926 according to Wikipedia. It also mentions that In 1929, White Tower put 30 locations in Detroit alone. So it's possible this structure goes back to then. At their high point White Tower had 230 locations in a handful of states. I learned the last of the White Towers is in Toledo (Ohio) but there's still a handful of buildings up including this one which I believe is still 24 hours. Your odds of having a normal experience at these places aren't as high as your average fast food joint because of this. Of course I had an interesting incident here. Menu was widespread and I noticed they had "sliders" listed on top of the cheeseburgers which came with a nice heaping helping of rehydrated onions ala WC. Both under the cheese and at the bottom of the bun. Anyone that appreciates the old school 30's style burger documented HERE by Sky Full of Bacon will appreciate most of these spots, the fresh but never lean beef spots anyway. Campau included.

Campau Tower Cheeseburger

The Giant System

Dearborn Heights, MI

Unfortunately this spot has been under renovation on my last two attempts to visit. But gotta look at the good and at least it's not being torn down. Some stuff on the web seems to trace this spot back to somewhere around 1950. There's not much more on it out there.


Lincoln Park, MI

This beautiful building and the Carter's name have been around for over 50 years. As was the case here you can expect the employees to be long time workers at most everyone of these spots. Also the case for all, whoever lives nearby is a regular. Many of these places are social gathering spots as much as they are eating establishments.

a peak inside

The burger here comes pre-formed but it is a fresh patty used. When they throw them them on the griddle they really sizzle. Something unique I noticed here compared to others was that they toast the bottom part of the bun. Their menu is large and Thursday is Coney day (.99). All their soups, chili and cakes are homemade.

Cheeseburger from Carter's

Hunter House Hamburgers

Birmingham, MI

Hunter House Hamburgers was established in 1952. They've been going strong ever since. You know you're near when the grilled onion smell is in the air. It's probably the most well known resident in Birmingham, a suburb where many of Detroit's best athletes live. You can still catch some top notch car shows and eat their famous "sliders" inside their beautiful porcelain diner.

a peak inside

Meat is coming from the same local butcher as the current owners parents used back when they got started. Who knows how many pounds of onions they've smashed into that beef but it must be in the millions because these are some really wonderful burgers in that change nothing type of way. The folks working the grill here were way younger than any of the other spots, it must be a popular high school summertime gig, but they did a great job with the burgers. The thick kosher deli sliced pickles were best of the bunch.

Hunter House Cheeseburgers

Bate's Burgers

Livonia, MI

They've been going strong here since 1959. Like Hunter House the inside here was really well kept and every stool was taken during my visit. I found it best to get them from the pick-up window and eat but Bate's had a sign saying that's a no-no. I rebelled. All good, these style of burgers go down quick.

Sign Outside

I did a handful of these on one swoop and have been back to a few since then, Bate's remains very consistent. It was the overall winner on one roundabout to a few within distance of each other. It's almost impossible not to start salivating over some of these spots as the smell in the air is too much to pass up. It'd be hard driving by here everyday and not stopping in for at least a couple.

Cheeseburger from Bate's Burgers

Greene's Hamburgers

Farmington, MI

The Greene's name has been around since the late 1950's. There were a few around the Detroit area for a while but just this one in Farmington remains. You know the drill by now, fresh beef with tons of onions smashed into them.

Making Sliders

They probably handled the onions here better than anyone else, I don't know if it's because they load them on or their using a specific type, Spanish seemed to be preferred at most spots, but these were some potent burgers. Locals were sitting at the stools ordering them up like they were beer "I'll take another when you get a chance hun"

Greene's Cheeseburger

20001 Schoolcraft Rd
Detroit, MI 48223
(313) 535-2278

Telway Hamburgers
6820 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48210
(313) 843-2146

Motz's Burgers
7208 W Fort St
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 843-9186

Elmer's Hamburgers
8515 W Chicago
Detroit, MI 48204
(313) 933-7766

Campau Tower
10337 Joseph Campau Avenue
Hamtramck, MI 48212
(313) 873-7330

Giant System
21944 Van Born Rd
Dearborn Heights, MI 48125
(313) 561-3940

Carter's Hamburgers
2908 Fort St
Lincoln Park, MI 48146
(313) 928-6222

Hunter House Hamburgers
35075 Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 646-7121

Bates Burgers
33406 5 Mile Rd
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 427-3464

Greene's Hamburgers
24155 Orchard Lake Rd
Farmington, MI 48336
(248) 474-7980

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stir Fry Special

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

I'm in the midst of a bit of a stir fry binge. It was always one of my favorites when my mom cooked one up as a kid but then I kind of forgot about them. Over the summer I was in Madison at the Dane County Farmers Market and came across this booth specializing in cooking oils. I was very intrigued by their chili oil which I was told makes for a great stir fry. So I bought a bottle from Savory Accents and brought it home and kind of forgot about it until I saw it while looking for something else. Suddenly the urge for a stir fry hit and I've made what feels like one a week since then. The beautiful thing about building one is there are no rules except the use of a main ingredient and some veggies and a starch. Technically you dont even need a wok. One key you must remember is to get your pan nice and hot. Nothing goes in until the oil starts sizzling. Here are some other quick tips.

First up aside from the main ingredient (beef, chicken, pork, seafood, tofu etc...) you need to choose what it will go over. Rice? Noodles? Doesn't matter just make sure you follow tips if you choose noodles. Pictured below is what has become my standard recipe. I'll share it here but remember there are no rules. If you cant find this, just add that. If it seems like it tastes good, go for it.

T's Asian Noodle Stir Fry

- 1.5 pounds cooked chicken thighs or breasts (I prefer thigh and grill mine)
- One package of Noodles (Asian preferred but linguine etc will work)
- Green Onions (Chopped, reserve tops)
- Peapods
- Bell Peppers
- Celery
- Baby Bok Choy
- Garlic
- Ginger
- Stiy Fry Oil
- Sesame Oil (Regular works fine, but it spits pretty heavily)
- Stir Fry Sauce (I think the classic from House of Tsang works just fine)


1) Start boiling water for your noodles and when ready cook according to package. Chop up all your vegetables into bite size pieces and finely mince both the garlic and the ginger and set aside. Take your grilled thighs and chop those down too. When water is ready drop the noodles in and cook. When done rinse the noodles thoroughly with cold water and then lube them with the sesame oil and set aside.

2) Get your stir fry oil nice and hot and then cook portions of the noodles until they start to brown up and crisp a little bit.You can add some flavor to them by throwing some of the stir sauce in the pan for them to cook with. When all noodles are fried, set them aside and add more oil.

3) When oil is extra hot add a few drops of the stir fry sauce and throw the chicken in it to brown up. Take that out and continue to make sure your pan is extra hot before dropping veggies in. The key is blistering them upon entry and this only happens if the pan is scorching. Add a little more stir fry sauce and cook those thru and add garlic/ginger and cook thru for a couple minutes and dinner is ready. Add green onion tops as garnish.

a new regular in my rotation

Chow Fun

If you have a nice Asian grocery store near you I'd suggest making your own chow fun. I just cook the noodles as so and do the sesame oil coating trick before throwing them in a fry pan. But again you need to make sure it's hot. Beef works best with this dish in my opinion.

Better than most take out spots

BBQ Pork and Shrimp Shrimp Stir Fry

This is made virtually the same way my recipe up top is except I use leftover BBQ pork when I have it. Some nights I might make a Chinese marinated tenderloin and then chop up the leftovers and crisp them up for fried noodles or even rice. It's always a nice dinner on a weekday night.  

Always satisfying

Cajun Pork Stir Fry

Here's another idea I came up with one night. If you're using raw meat that needs to be cooked for your fry and not leftovers, there's a better way than others to cook it so that it too gets nice and browned and doesnt come out looking steamed and grey. I prefer to use a pork tenderloin which I cut up into little 3-4 inch strips. Size doesn't matter just make sure you coat them with corn starch. I also add Cajun seasoning and then cook the strips in batches, in a HOT pan. Put those on a plate when done and add the holy trinity (Bell Peppers, Onion, Celery) into the pan and fry those up. Serve over rice with plenty of hot sauce.

Fusion Fun

Chinese Rib Stir Fry

Recipe from Serious Eats (I used St. Louis Cut Spare Ribs)

Here's one last sensational plate I made a few weeks back. I got some beautiful STL cut spares from Fresh Farms in Niles but didnt have time to smoke them so I marinated them overnight according to the SE recipe and cooked them as so. Except I browned them in my wok with extra glaze and served those over white rice with a Szechuan green bean recipe that I added an assortment of bell peppers too. As good as it was my nose was almost annihilated when I fried the chili paste for the beans. Be careful. That's it for this round-up.

Chinese Stir Fry Spareribs

See ya next time @chibbqking 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Naf Naf Grill

Regional Fast Food
-Quick + Tasty Mediterranean in Chicagoland

Today we're headed to check out one of the fastest growing food chains here in Chicagoland. Naf Naf Grill specializes in getting a quick Mediterranean fix. Be it in shawarma, falafel or kebob form. It started out as a small mom and pop spot on Ogden avenue in Naperville. It then quickly became a hot spot that was featured in many food related publications. Two businessmen were so impressed they asked to form a partnership with the couple who owned it and here we are today with eight locations through the Chicagoland area with more planned as each quarter passes. If you have Naf Naf as a lunch option near where you work, you're probably not complaining.

Naf Naf has developed a cult-like following and many swear by their bread...baked fresh on site at some locations

They have a well rounded menu with many usual suspects but its the chicken shawarma that I order each and every visit. Which isnt abundant since the only one I've ever tried is the Niles location but I make it a point to stop in if passing by the Touhy avenue exit on 90/94. They display a huge spit for the meat that comes pretty tamely seasoned but is only a part of the entire sandwich. I'm in the middle on the aforementioned pita bread. Its extra soft and puffy as they make it fresh at this location. What really makes this sandwich for me though is their hot sauce which is a cilantro heavy concoction with real spice to it. Also the pickles, I always order extra as they make for the perfect condiment to top the entire sandwich off. Their house cut fries are more like chips, some love them. I pass as the sandwich itself is a nice portion size for someone looking for a quick lunch under $10 that isnt from Ronald, Wendy etc...You can do much worse when you only have 40 minutes.

Chicken Shawarma Sandwich from Naf Naf

Naf-Naf Grill
Locations in Chicagoland

Monday, November 18, 2013

Four More Chicago Soups and a Stew

-Grubbing in Chicago  
Where's the soup at?

Winter is coming! and there's not much I like about it. Except maybe the food that is. I'm a big fan of soups and stews but prefer to make them at my own place rather than eat them while out. But there isn't always time for shopping for all the ingredients and making the stock from scratch etc so sometimes it's nice to be able to grab some in a more convenient way. You don't get the house smelling good but you still get the warmth a good bowl can bring on a cold winter day. So we feature soups and a stew in the latest edition of the "Five More..." series.

Cioppino at Glenn's Diner

Seafood soups and stews are always about the broth but what I love about Cioppino, the tomato based seafood stew, is the fact it also includes lots of crustaceans and big chunks of fish in the spiced up seafood broth. I will try this if its on offer and I'm feeling like something soupy and did so at Glenn's Diner a while back. It remains the best version of this dish I have tried. I hope they didn't switch anything because my plan is to go back there to scratch the itch next time it hits.

An Excellent bowl of the San Francisco Specialty

Clam Chowder at New England Seafood Company

My favorite from when I was a kid. I would of ate clam chowder all day everyday if it was an option. One of my earliest food memories comes from a family vacation we took with my aunts, uncles and cousins back in my youth. We rented a house in Humarock, Massachusetts for a week and had a blast. There was this place called Silver Sands that my dad would get clam chowder from every day and it was fantastic. tasting NESC version brought me back to the Humarock Harbor. Loaded with clams it comes in the perfect consistency and they always give extra oyster crackers. Something I always asked for back when.

Fantastic New England Clam Chowder

Beef Pho at Tank Noodle

There's a few handful of places to get Pho up on Argyle in the Uptown neighborhood. This Vietnamese specialty dish was one of the first that I tried when I started eating outside the norm back in my early food days. I'd read about this wonderful sounding soup made with ingredients I really liked to use and eat, specifically beef. But there was also noodles and hot pepper and cilantro, star anise and so on. Sign me up I said. My first bowl of pho was from Tank Noodle on the corner of Broadway and Argyle. I've had many more since but still go back sometimes so that says something. Also a constant turnover in tables.

Vietnamese Beef noodle Soup aka Pho

Oxtail Stew at De-Jred Fine Jamaican Cuisine 

Is oxtail stew really a stew? I guess that's debatable but whats not is whether or not its one of the best damn dishes to warm you up on a cold 20 degree day. Or a 50 degree day in Jamaica. De-Jred Fine Jamaican Cuisine in Skokie does a really nice version that doesn't skimp on the oxtails swimming in brown gravy with butterbeans.

Jamaican Oxtail Stew

Carne en su Jugo at El Solazo

I'm a fan of this popular family and fried restaurant on Pulaski near 56th street.  If you didn't read my Serious Eats review of their carne en su jugo, a specialty of the Jalisco region of Mexico. I suggest you do so HERE.

Mexican Carne en su Jugo

Glenn's Diner
1820 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 506-1720

New England Seafood Company
3341 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 871-3474

Tank Noodle Restaurant
4953 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 878-2253

De-Jred Fine Jamaican Cuisine
4901 Oakton St
Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 983-4582

El Solazo
5600 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 627-5047

Friday, November 15, 2013

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

-Grubbing in Chicago  
New to the 'Scene'

So anyone hear about that new fried chicken chicken place over on Elston in Avondale? Haha. Just in case you haven't, its been getting alot of press and discussion amongst Chicago's food people the last couple months. There was one night when they were having a preview and my twitter timeline was taken over as if there was a major happening in Chicago news or sports or something to the like. For a couple hours almost every five tweets included a mention of this place as they had seemingly invited everyone who was in Chicago food in one way or the other. I've never met the owners so nothing I ate was free. Well actually it was, her choice to try it when we did so she paid.

Much talked about Fried Chicken spot in the Avondale neighborhood 

Because of all the talk and also the fact that the couple behind this place had served their honey butter fried chicken at pop up's there can be a line to get inside. Not on my visit which was on a Thursday around 7:00. The place remained half empty until about 8p when a line inside started forming to order. I like the setup they got going on. You wait in line, until its time to order. Once that's been placed you take a table. There's a bar with mixed drinks in back, and they bring your food out to you. Obviously the namesake dish is popular and would be ordered but I also wanted to try the special (Buffalo Tenders with Garlic Grits) and some of the sides which a few had raved about. So we went four piece chicken, the entree special with side orders of Schmaltz Mashed Potatoes, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo as well s a Creamed Corn with Thai spices on top.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Starting off with the sides I really liked the creamed corn as well as the chicken fat laced mashed potatoes with gravy but thought the gumbo was way too thyme heavy. What I really wanted to try and have been waiting to is their chicken pot pie which is on special some nights. It would be nice if these guys got on twitter to let folks know what the specials are rather than have us call but that's just a minor complaint. They didn't have the pot pie but were offering a chicken and grits dish made with real tenders tossed in their housemade buffalo sauce served atop some garlic grits with little bits of fried chicken crisps in it. It was rich and it was fantastic.

Chicken and Grits

Something interesting happened between their grand opening and now. Honey Butter went boneless. Something I'm not a fan of. But it is important to note they aren't just getting pieces of boneless chicken from the Restaurant Depot and deep frying them. They do all the butchering in house with quality birds from Amish Indiana and use said bones for pumping flavor into the sides, soups and other specials. The honey butter name comes from the little cup of honey butter included with each order. You use it to spread onto the fried bird. So how is it? Not bad! They keep the bone intact for the legs so of course I grabbed that which was pretty damn good. Skin slipped off but the meat was tender and came right off the bone. I thought it was seasoned well and the butter didn't hurt that fact. It may be a little more money than folks are used to paying but its not going to break the bank. Would I wait? Probably not but I'd have no problem going back when it's not busy and seeing what other specials they come up with while enjoying a piece or two.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Honey Butter Fried Chicken
3361 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 478-4000

Honey Butter Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 11, 2013

Especialidad de la Casa

-Eating like a Mayan King in the Windy City

Welcome to the inaugural post from the newest S'C'&C series. I try my best to give people a real locals view of the cities best eateries with an emphasis on the off the beaten path places. There's many things Chicago is good at when it comes to food. So many that most folks answers would vary when it comes to the cities #1 strength in it. I will never have an exact definitive answer for that question but will always mention the cities Mexican food when talking about why it's such a great place to eat. In this newest segment I will document some the specialties of the house at Chicago's mom and pop Mexican spots. I hope you like.

Pozoleria Dona Esther

I went on a little excursion with some food friends recently that consisted of crossing off Mexican related spots on my "looks intriguing enough to try list" The first place up was this place due to its name. Anytime a mexican place has a speific food in its name that isnt tacos or burritos it gets a look in my book. It had been on my radar for a few months now. Since there were five of us it was as good of a time as ever to try the place since the weather has turned and of course the ever resourceful ordering power was there.

An un-yelped gem on 59th just west of Kedzie

We we're there for the pozole and it was pretty refreshing to see they didn't have much else on the menu besides the usual suspects and menudo. Pozole is a Mexican stew common in many states. It has mentions in books that trace back to the 1500's. Of course it's developed over time into different styles that vary by each Mexican state but the maize (whole hominy kernels) is what has always remained in it. Once thought of as a sacred meal by the Aztecs who also considered maize a sacred plant. Way back when the common meat used in the special stew was human flesh. Then people started acting a little more normal and regularly consumed animals replaced we the people. At Dona Esther they offer both a verde and a rojo blend in cups ($5) and bowls ($9). I also think I remember seeing gallons available to go. We got a bowl of each.

Image Image
Verde (green) and Rojo (red) Bowls of Pozole

The Verde came with chicken while the Rojo is with pork. Bowlss come with a plate of garnish consisting of cilantro, limes, diced cabbage, sliced radish, chile de arbol peppers, Mexican oregano and a couple of other thing's I'm forgetting. Either way, add it all in. I thought the red one with nice sized chunks of pork with some sinew scattered here and there was the winner but the green bowl with shredded chicken was also good. The broths had real flavor, no bouillon or anything artificial that I could taste and the texture of each was really smooth and pleasant. I didnt really get a chance to talk to the couple running the place but the lady working the front was really accommodating and the guy preparing the bowls seemed very happy that we were enjoying ourselves. It was as good of a bowl of pozole as I've had so I know I'll be going back soon. Winter is coming.

Excellent Pozole

Enchiladas Lupita Restaurant

Near the end of 47th Street

We stopped thru here the same trip as the one up above for the exact same reason. Enchiladas in the name was all I needed to do so. Seeing as though they're one of my favorite dishes from my favorite type of food I was all about giving Lupita and her enchiladas a try. The menu featured quite a few other things but you don't not try the namesake dish the first time around. An order of green with chicken and red with steak made for a really nice lunch. Like tacos its all about good ingredients and care with enchiladas. These had both of those in them. They're not hard to make but not always good. Basically it was as if we were at Lupita's house and she was serving her specialty. A nice place to have for those that live in the neighborhood.

Rojo Enchiladas

El Pollo Real

A Mexican Grilled Chicken Gem on 31st Street in Little Village

I hope all readers here have been following the southside eats column I've been doing over at Serious Eats. One of the first places featured in it was whats now one of my favorite little shacks in the city. They're putting out real deal charcoal grilled chicken in the form of the regional Mexican specialty of Sinaloa, it's namesake state.The people are great and their chicken is even better. Click the link below to read more.

Click HERE for Serious Eats Article

Charcoal Grilled Chicken at El Pollo Real

Taqueria Juanita's

Located at 59th and South Richmond

I stopped thru here this past summer when riding by I saw the "La Casa Del Pambazo" on their awning. If you've never had a pambazo it's a sandwich very similar to the torta. The only difference being the bread is dipped in a red guajillo sauce with the common filling usually being chorizo con papas. There's usually a place at Maxwell Street Market that makes some pretty good ones and these weren't bad either but I'm really just not big on tortas. I like them but only enjoy a couple a year.

Chorizo and Potato Pambazo

Los Pinoleros

Mexican Restaurant in Stickney, IL

Last stop on this trip is in the village of Stickney. Riding by while on a mission for something else non food related I noticed this corner restaurant called Los Pinoleros that advertised food from the Mexican state of Durango on the awning. I said what the heck and went inside to give it a try. In northern Mexico where Durango is located, tacos aren't the norm as far as quick snacks go. You're much more likely to find small burritos filled with guisados and gorditas. At Los Pinoleros they mention right on the menu that their especialidad de la casa are gorditas de chile pasado. So I had to order one of those and it ended up being much better than I thought so I ordered another. The gordita pocket was made to order and while I'm usually a fan of meat in my treats, I really loved the combo of it with the melted cheese and dried hot peppers inside. Its a shame most Americans associate gorditas with those monstrosities served at Glen Bell's joints.

Gordita de Chile Pasado (Dried Hot Peppers and Cheese)

Pozoleria Dona Esther
3211 W. 59th St
Chicago, IL 60629
(312) 287-6757

Enchiladas Lupita Restaurant
4151 W 47th St
Chicago, IL 60632
(773) 869-9030

El Pollo Real
3823 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60623
(773) 847-3907

Taqueria Juanita's
Located on 59th Street off Richmond
(773) 776-7551

Los Pinoleros
6603 W Pershing Rd
Stickney, IL 60402
(708) 639-7172


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