LTH Home

Sol de Mexico - Holey Molé

Sol de Mexico - Holey Molé
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 2 of 2 
  • Post #31 - January 9th, 2007, 9:35 am
    Post #31 - January 9th, 2007, 9:35 am Post #31 - January 9th, 2007, 9:35 am
    I would venture to say that all of the "upscale" Mexican restaurants use true cinnamon, and as Steve mentions, it absolutely has citrus notes. For that matter, when cinnamon is used in the taquerias for cafe de olla-it's a safe bet it's usually the true stuff. A fairly recent article in Cook's Illustrated noted that true cinnamon is not worth seeking out-I would strongly disagree-it is more aromatic, less harsh, and delightful. Also easy to find in Chicago.
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #32 - January 9th, 2007, 11:42 am
    Post #32 - January 9th, 2007, 11:42 am Post #32 - January 9th, 2007, 11:42 am
    d4v3 wrote: All I can say is that if I am ever reincarnated as a lamb, I hope to end my existence with my ribs floating in a plate of Carlos' Mole Negro.

    ':lol:' Seems like you might have the beginnings of a new thread there, Dave, kind of a twist on Hammond's infamous thread. I'm sure I am not alone in my preference to have a full cycle of death and rebirth separate me from the cooking and eating, even if Carlos' mole negro were to serve as my eventual resting place.

    stevez and stewed coot-- Thanks for the info on true cinnamon. My daughter thought that this question might stump even the LTH crowd. She will no doubt be in awe of the depth of culinary knowledge around here and then head off to the Spice House for some true cinnamon.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #33 - January 15th, 2007, 11:18 am
    Post #33 - January 15th, 2007, 11:18 am Post #33 - January 15th, 2007, 11:18 am
    d4v3 wrote: The only complaint I have is that they must have mopped the place with that nasty smelling Mexican disinfectant just before we arrived. Still, ithe meal was wonderful. The disinfectant smell was eventually replaced with more pleasant odors from the kitchen (maybe that pineapple cake baking?).


    You know, we experienced this, too (dining just after work, at about 5:45), and it was still lingering at 7. And reports from a friend of a friend indicate that it was a problem on one of their trips, too.

    Anyone here friendly enough with Carlos that they can bring it up? Maybe cleaning earlier or switching disinfectants or both would help, but it really is pretty noxious early in the evening.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #34 - February 8th, 2007, 1:17 pm
    Post #34 - February 8th, 2007, 1:17 pm Post #34 - February 8th, 2007, 1:17 pm
    Mr. X and I made our first voyage to Sol de Mexico last night and had a wonderful meal. We started with the sopecitas. He had the grilled skirt steak; I had the lamb in the mole negro. We finished with the flan. We enjoyed everything and are looking forward to returning to try other dishes. We also had a nice discussion about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera with the host. (Carlos? I forgot to ask his name.) He encouraged us to tell our friends about the restaurant. On a cold winter's Wednesday night, they served 4 tables in the time we were there. If you haven't been there ever or lately, it could be a good time to return.

    Sol de Mexico
    3018 N. Cicero
    773-282-4119
  • Post #35 - February 8th, 2007, 1:23 pm
    Post #35 - February 8th, 2007, 1:23 pm Post #35 - February 8th, 2007, 1:23 pm
    gleam wrote:Anyone here friendly enough with Carlos that they can bring it up? Maybe cleaning earlier or switching disinfectants or both would help, but it really is pretty noxious early in the evening.


    Meant to respond to this before -- I noticed this the first time I went, and it was, indeed, noxious. Surprisingly, I got used to it much, I suppose, as the residents of Whiting or Stinkney get used to living in a place that smells almost uninhabitively bad.

    Oddly, the smell is not there all the time (though I have a bad feeling it's not due to disinfectant).

    The GP wrote:(Carlos? I forgot to ask his name.) He encouraged us to tell our friends about the restaurant. On a cold winter's Wednesday night, they served 4 tables in the time we were there. If you haven't been there ever or lately, it could be a good time to return.


    It's Nello. Glad there were four other tables there...
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #36 - February 8th, 2007, 3:17 pm
    Post #36 - February 8th, 2007, 3:17 pm Post #36 - February 8th, 2007, 3:17 pm
    While I still enjoy this restaurant very much, I miss the earlier menu that was much heavier on the small plates, botanas. The current menu has a much stronger focus on fully-plated entrees. One of the main appeals of the place for me, early on, was the enjoyment of two people enjoying 4-6 different things. Now, some of my favorites are only offered as entrees (such as the borrego en mole negro, which uses less-flavorful lamb chops now as opposed to hunks of lamb shoulder).

    I miss the first menu, but I keep returning for the wonderful moles, freshly made tortillas, and cochinita pibil.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #37 - May 25th, 2008, 2:34 am
    Post #37 - May 25th, 2008, 2:34 am Post #37 - May 25th, 2008, 2:34 am
    Not sure if I should have started a new thread on this, so I just stuck it on the end of this thread.

    I'm 90% sure I just bought some "true" Ceylon Cinnamon at jewel in the “latino” area that carries the dried peppers. It is La Fuerza brand. It looks like true cinnamon and has an easy fruity flavor. I can easily bite off a big chunk and it's not overpowering. It is softer and has a frayed end to it. Best of all it was $1.00 for 5 sticks! It's easy to pick it out at any mexican store by the very different appearence. Look at the wikipedia article on cinnamon to see a visual representation.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #38 - June 23rd, 2008, 3:07 pm
    Post #38 - June 23rd, 2008, 3:07 pm Post #38 - June 23rd, 2008, 3:07 pm
    My wife did a little research online, and found a great restaurant on the North side of Chicago to celebrate my birthday. She knows how much I love mole (and she does as well) and learned of Sol de Mexico. The restaurant serves five different types of moles, each from a different region in Mexico. The chef/owner, Carlos Tello, had consulted with the mother of Geno Behena, on the mole recipes. Geno Behena worked in Rick Bayless' restaurant, Frontera Grill, and Topolobampo, before opening his own restaurants in Chicago. So it's all in the family here, with everyone helping out each other's business venture, in a true Mexican family tradition! The customers end up being the lucky ones, tasting all these great recipes shared by the families!



    The restaurant is in a store front on a busy section of Cicero Avenue south of Belmont.

    Image

    The inside is decorated very warmly with articles from Mexico. We had a nice table in the center of the room, and the seating was comfortable.

    Image


    The drink list looked great, and each drink was described in detail. Margaritas were made properly, with lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau. I even verified that no mixes were used, and our waiter was passionate about describing how they make their drinks from scratch. The Margaritas were excellent!


    Image


    When I opened the menu, I felt like a kid in a candy store! The offerings were overwhelming! I wanted everything!! So many diferent regional offerings!! I wished I had taken a photo of the appetizers and soup menu, as the number of dishes presented was large. Our waiter told us of the specials, and one entree stuck out: Cochinita Pibil!! How great was that? Here we had just come from the Yucatan. We told our waiter OUR story, of Tulum and the Mayan Riviera, and he lit up! He described how he visits his family there during the year, and also remembered it when the area was nothing. Don't we all wish we could go back in time to see that?



    We shared the Sopa Azteca, with pieces of chicken, and strips of tortillas in the bottom, and crumbled cheese in the center, maybe Cotija?


    Image


    Also, as a special, we tried the shrimp filled flautas, with Mexican vegetables and a tomato broth:


    Image



    The sopa had a pleasant flavor of maybe chile pasilla pepper. This soup was a little thinner than what I had in Tulum at Cetli, and in Puerto Aventuras. It was still delicious, just thinner than what I thought was typical. The flautas were so good, the shrimp fresh, and the tomato broth made a great accompaniment.



    On to the entrees. We still had not selected what we wanted because it was overwhelming, as you can see:


    Image


    What to eat, what to eat, what to eat?? Help! So we asked our waiter for further descriptions. I decided that, while the cochinita was tempting, I needed to try something differnt. I selected the Borrego Con Mole Negro, which was lamb with a Oaxacan black mole made from chilhaucle chilis and 28 toasted ingredients! Isn't that a killer?


    Image


    My wife ordered the Lomito con Mole Manchemanteles, which was sliced pork tenderloin in a Oaxacan red mole made from Ancho chilis , slightly sweeter and lighter in color. Delicious!


    Image


    This was all served with hand-made-in-house tortillas, which is perfect for mopping up every drop of that liquid gold. I'm not ashamed to turn in a perfectly clean plate!



    Still having room for dessert, we read that the flan here was excellent, so we shared a flan with two Cafe de Olla. The flan was dense, not overly sweet, and accompanied by a perfectly complimentary sauce, clear, but tasting like caramel.


    Image


    Ever have Cafe de Olla? Cafe de Olla is an earthy mixture of Espresso-roast coffee, cinnamon, aniseeds, and piloncillo (Mexican dark brown sugar), and a little orange peel. This drink is traditionally prepared in a earthenware pots called Ollas. The earthenware lends some of the flavor to this drink. It was excellent here! After dinner, we decide to linger with a few mojitos, prepared from scratch, "with 6 mint leaves", lime, raw sugar and rum. Another excellent concoction here!

    We left feeling very satisfied with our selections for the evening!


    Image

    We can't wait for another visit to try more items from their menu! Service here was excellent and they left us without a want.




    .
    Last edited by TheWindyCity on June 23rd, 2008, 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #39 - June 23rd, 2008, 3:12 pm
    Post #39 - June 23rd, 2008, 3:12 pm Post #39 - June 23rd, 2008, 3:12 pm
    Nice post, I'm really curious to try the achiote-marinated venison. Anyone had it?

    TWC: Can you resize your pics down to about 600px wide? It helps the page flow when they don't run their browser fullscreen, or are on smaller monitors. Also, Carlos and Geno are brothers-in-law, so Sra. Flores is Carlos's mother-in-law. Let me say, I wish she was my mother in law.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #40 - June 23rd, 2008, 3:46 pm
    Post #40 - June 23rd, 2008, 3:46 pm Post #40 - June 23rd, 2008, 3:46 pm
    Very nice pictures. Of course, you know that Sol de Mexico is a LTH Forum Great Neighborhood Restaurant. I'm gald you enjoyed your meal!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #41 - June 23rd, 2008, 10:25 pm
    Post #41 - June 23rd, 2008, 10:25 pm Post #41 - June 23rd, 2008, 10:25 pm
    TheWindyCity wrote:We can't wait for another visit to try more items from their menu! Service here was excellent and they left us without a want.

    The Windy City,

    It has been a while since I've been to Sol de Mexico and your post makes me want to return soon.

    Great post, terrific pictures.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #42 - June 23rd, 2008, 11:17 pm
    Post #42 - June 23rd, 2008, 11:17 pm Post #42 - June 23rd, 2008, 11:17 pm
    Agreed, but I'm with gleam - are we just not worried about gigantic pictures after the upgrade? Otherwise we all should post in glorious 1000 pixel bandwidth-eating, mobile-browser destroying goodness.
  • Post #43 - June 24th, 2008, 1:33 pm
    Post #43 - June 24th, 2008, 1:33 pm Post #43 - June 24th, 2008, 1:33 pm
    [quote="gleam"]TWC: Can you resize your pics down to about 600px wide? It helps the page flow when they don't run their browser fullscreen, or are on smaller monitors.

    And:
    Agreed, but I'm with gleam - are we just not worried about gigantic pictures after the upgrade? Otherwise we all should post in glorious 1000 pixel bandwidth-eating, mobile-browser destroying goodness.
    Agreed, but I'm with gleam - are we just not worried about gigantic pictures after the upgrade? Otherwise we all should post in glorious 1000 pixel bandwidth-eating, mobile-browser destroying goodness.=quote]

    Maybe I can do that on future posts, but I won't be able to fix what I have posted. That's how I load them to Photobucket for hosting, and once they are loaded, you can't resize them without deleting and reloading and getting the new address.

    I have to admit that I do like looking at full size food pics, though........it really puts you right there in the room and it picks up the detail! I always thought that a majority of computers have 17" monitors, so I uploaded them that way.
  • Post #44 - June 24th, 2008, 2:40 pm
    Post #44 - June 24th, 2008, 2:40 pm Post #44 - June 24th, 2008, 2:40 pm
    TheWindyCity wrote:Maybe I can do that on future posts, but I won't be able to fix what I have posted. That's how I load them to Photobucket for hosting, and once they are loaded, you can't resize them without deleting and reloading and getting the new address.

    I have to admit that I do like looking at full size food pics, though........it really puts you right there in the room and it picks up the detail! I always thought that a majority of computers have 17" monitors, so I uploaded them that way.

    While large pictures do have their place, it might be best for the online community here to edit your post to ease navigation (and page/table pixel widths). Even at the generally standard PC resolution of 1024x768, 1000-pixel-wide pictures can force horizontal scrolling just to see the pictures and read corresponding comments in their entirety. You don't have to change the pictures on your Photobucket account, either, in order to accomplish this. Simply add smaller versions of your images to your online album, then change the IMG links in your post to point to the smaller pics. From there, feel free to link the smaller pics in your post to their larger versions on Photobucket, so people have the option to see the images in their full glory (without "breaking" the bulletin-board page format here).

    I like large images as much as the next guy, but I can understand the hassle that too much horizontal scrolling can have on standard mouse-and-keyboard interfaces (not to mention limited cell-phone browsers). I like your posting enthusiasm; a little reformatting will help those pics fit in even more nicely. :) Hope that helps.
  • Post #45 - June 26th, 2008, 1:48 pm
    Post #45 - June 26th, 2008, 1:48 pm Post #45 - June 26th, 2008, 1:48 pm
    I made my first trip to Sol De Mexico last night and found myself a little underwhelmed. I have always been a big fan of the moles at Ixcalpuzalco and other places run by the Bahena family. The moles certainly didn't underwhelm me. For me the problem at our table of four was that each of our protein entrees was cooked well beyond the requested temperature. My requested medium rare duck showed up somewhat tough and closer to medium well than medium rare. The same problem existed with the Borrego a couple of other folks at our table ordered.

    We started dinner with a couple of servings of Sol De Mexico's excellent chunky guacamole and finished dinner with the cheese flan which was silky rich and creamy.

    It was a midweek dinner, so maybe the restaurants best cooks weren't in the kitchen. There were certainly enough positives in the meal to justify a return visit.
  • Post #46 - June 26th, 2008, 6:05 pm
    Post #46 - June 26th, 2008, 6:05 pm Post #46 - June 26th, 2008, 6:05 pm
    That's definitely an aberration. I've had duck, ostrich, and lamb several times at Sol de Mexico, and they've never been overcooked.

    Do give them another shot..
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #47 - June 26th, 2008, 7:22 pm
    Post #47 - June 26th, 2008, 7:22 pm Post #47 - June 26th, 2008, 7:22 pm
    gleam wrote:That's definitely an aberration. I've had duck, ostrich, and lamb several times at Sol de Mexico, and they've never been overcooked.

    Do give them another shot..


    FWIW, seconded.
  • Post #48 - June 27th, 2008, 12:18 am
    Post #48 - June 27th, 2008, 12:18 am Post #48 - June 27th, 2008, 12:18 am
    TheWindyCity wrote:I always thought that a majority of computers have 17" monitors, so I uploaded them that way.

    Some people read this forum on laptops or smaller browser windows.
  • Post #49 - June 27th, 2008, 12:27 am
    Post #49 - June 27th, 2008, 12:27 am Post #49 - June 27th, 2008, 12:27 am
    LAZ wrote:
    TheWindyCity wrote:I always thought that a majority of computers have 17" monitors, so I uploaded them that way.

    Some people read this forum on laptops or smaller browser windows.


    Yeah, exactly. I'm on a laptop with a non-maximized browser, and my viewing area is currently 1053x563. In any case, it's of course possible to embed a 532x400 image that links to a much larger version for people who want to see it in all its glory.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #50 - June 27th, 2008, 9:45 am
    Post #50 - June 27th, 2008, 9:45 am Post #50 - June 27th, 2008, 9:45 am
    I’ve been to Sol de Mexico about a half dozen times and have always had excellent food. I went for dinner last night (only 6 other people were there) and had a similar experience to YourPalWill. When I ordered the Borrego, the server informed me that they were out of the lamb but the chef was substituting ostrich – but with the same mole. The mole was really what I was after so I accepted the substitute. The mole was as good as ever, but the ostrich appeared as if it was grilled to well done the day before and then re-grilled to well done again for me before it was served. Seriously overcooked. This is the first and only time I’ve had such an experience there and figured it an anomaly. But, with Will’s post above, I now wonder if there has been a change in the kitchen leading to these recent experiences.
  • Post #51 - June 27th, 2008, 10:37 am
    Post #51 - June 27th, 2008, 10:37 am Post #51 - June 27th, 2008, 10:37 am
    Slightly different topic, but can anyone report on the effect of SdM's liquor license on their overall business? I love the food, but I find myself somewhat less enthused about SdM in the post-BYOB era. Fair or unfair, I now tend to think of Mixteco Grill first when thinking about upscale Mexican, and it's primarily because of the "fun" factor of the BYOB experience.
  • Post #52 - June 27th, 2008, 11:45 am
    Post #52 - June 27th, 2008, 11:45 am Post #52 - June 27th, 2008, 11:45 am
    I am happy that they are serving quality drinks from scratch, the proper way, and not using mixes. The margarita was perfect, as was the Mojito. I would think that it is helping their business, as I will return because I felt that quality went into everything we were served.
  • Post #53 - July 13th, 2008, 9:49 pm
    Post #53 - July 13th, 2008, 9:49 pm Post #53 - July 13th, 2008, 9:49 pm
    Taking the advice of many well respected posters here, I stopped in to Sol de Mexico today for a late lunch before taking a visiting friend to O'Hare for a flight. This particular friend and I had always enjoyed Chilpancingo during its history, so I thought Sol de Mexico would make a good choice for lunch.

    We started with an appetizer of guacamole which has just blown me away with both its freshness and flavor on both of my visits.

    I followed with the Camarones y Callos en Hacha, a wonderfully prepared dish of perfectly cooked, creamy scallops and large grilled seasoned shrimp served over a bright, sweet pineapple salsa. This dish made me swoon with its flavor. The accompanying tamal with pineapple was just delicious. The pineapple absorbed the starchiness of the rice to create a mildly sweet and creamy taste to the side dish.

    My friend, somewhat a less adventerous eater, went for the carne asada, a huge portion of ribeye, grilled to a perfect medium rare and served with black beans and more of that delicious guacamole.

    I noted that we couldn't pas on that flan and justified it, along with some coffee, as a potential cure to our lingering hangovers

    Thanks to all who suggested that I give Sol another chance. It really shined on this visit.
  • Post #54 - July 14th, 2008, 12:25 am
    Post #54 - July 14th, 2008, 12:25 am Post #54 - July 14th, 2008, 12:25 am
    I had the shrimp and scallops a week ago, and it is a wonderful dish.
  • Post #55 - January 28th, 2018, 3:25 pm
    Post #55 - January 28th, 2018, 3:25 pm Post #55 - January 28th, 2018, 3:25 pm
    We had another wonderful meal here last night. We asked for the sampler of moles, which I don’t think is on the menu. Every mole was rich a complex, leading to the difficult and wonderful decision of which mole to have with the main. They were about one third full on this January Saturday night. I hope warmer weather encourages more people to make the trek out.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more