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Pastor in the reader

Pastor in the reader
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  • Pastor in the reader

    Post #1 - November 11th, 2007, 10:02 am
    Post #1 - November 11th, 2007, 10:02 am Post #1 - November 11th, 2007, 10:02 am
    There was a decent spread in the Reader on restaraunts serving pastor (thanks David!). But i'm wondering why I didn't see carniceria leon on the list, did i just happen to miss that? I'm talking about the one at 1402 N Ashland Ave (Ashland and Blackhawk).
  • Post #2 - November 11th, 2007, 5:27 pm
    Post #2 - November 11th, 2007, 5:27 pm Post #2 - November 11th, 2007, 5:27 pm
    After reading that article I wondered to myself why it had been written; it seems to feature places which don't offer a good representation of the food.
  • Post #3 - November 13th, 2007, 4:38 pm
    Post #3 - November 13th, 2007, 4:38 pm Post #3 - November 13th, 2007, 4:38 pm
    I think that the rather cursory and dumbed-down nature of the article typifies the quality of then food writing in the Tribune's "Good Eating" and "At Play" sections. It seems that the Tribune's have decided that its readers aren't adventurous or sophisticated enough to handle an authentic "joint" like Carniceria Leon (I happen to live just around the corner from this place).
  • Post #4 - November 13th, 2007, 4:51 pm
    Post #4 - November 13th, 2007, 4:51 pm Post #4 - November 13th, 2007, 4:51 pm
    Wait, was that directed at David's piece in the Chicago Reader? Or something else?

    It doesn't sound like it's describing Hammond's article at all, so I'm confused.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #5 - November 13th, 2007, 5:04 pm
    Post #5 - November 13th, 2007, 5:04 pm Post #5 - November 13th, 2007, 5:04 pm
    Based on David's article, I stopped by Atotonilco at 5656 S. Kedzie today for lunch.

    Three tacos with avacado plus a can of RC for $7.48.

    Fantastic!
  • Post #6 - November 13th, 2007, 5:23 pm
    Post #6 - November 13th, 2007, 5:23 pm Post #6 - November 13th, 2007, 5:23 pm
    gleam wrote:Wait, was that directed at David's piece in the Chicago Reader? Or something else?

    It doesn't sound like it's describing Hammond's article at all, so I'm confused.

    Ed,

    I'm a little confused by this as well, Hammond's Reader article on tacos al pastor was interesting, touching on history and the ephemeral nature of a well made al pastor.

    Hammond wrote" Perhaps I got lucky; your experience may vary, because it’s clear that the apotheosis of this hearty taco can be elusive, requiring a harmonic convergence of elements and actors: you have to be at the right place at the right time, when the right countermen are working. Of course, any taco al pastor would be even better on house-made tortillas, but that’s a vision of perfection I’ve yet to find here.

    Far as laikom's mention of not listing Carniceria Leon, which is now called Carniceria Y Taqueria Tierra Caliente by the way, I would have included it as it's my preferred spot for al pastor, but Taqueria Atotonilco, which he closed with, is in my top few favorites as well.

    Speaking of Leon/Caliente, Jazzfood had been a couple of times and was not-so-keen on the place as he went at non-peak pastor times. I took it upon myself to take him at 11am for a juicy crisp al pastor right off the wheel. While the al pastor was not quite as perfect as in the following picture, it was near the end of the wheel so farther from the flame and not quite as crisp,* it was still damn good.

    11am Saturday Carniceria Leon (7.21.07)
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *Giving me yet another data point in my quest for perfect al pastor
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - November 13th, 2007, 7:25 pm
    Post #7 - November 13th, 2007, 7:25 pm Post #7 - November 13th, 2007, 7:25 pm
    Ooo - I have got to try that. Either that or book some tickets to Mexico soon.
  • Post #8 - November 13th, 2007, 8:24 pm
    Post #8 - November 13th, 2007, 8:24 pm Post #8 - November 13th, 2007, 8:24 pm
    its delicious, DaveG. ill eat the leon/caliente al pastor taco regardless of time (although it is better during peak hours like gary mentioned). that and one of their bottle sodas is almost too tasty :D
  • Post #9 - November 14th, 2007, 6:54 am
    Post #9 - November 14th, 2007, 6:54 am Post #9 - November 14th, 2007, 6:54 am
    MBK wrote:that and one of their bottle sodas is almost too tasty :D

    MBK,

    Too tasty, sounds like one I like to try. Which soda at Leon/Caliente might that be?

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 10:18 am
    Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 10:18 am Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 10:18 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    MBK wrote:that and one of their bottle sodas is almost too tasty :D

    MBK,

    Too tasty, sounds like one I like to try. Which soda at Leon/Caliente might that be?

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    nothing unique gary, just a mexican coke. to me, the combination of that and the al pastor and asada tacos makes it one of my favorite meals :D
  • Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 3:20 pm
    Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 3:20 pm Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 3:20 pm
    To anyone going to Leon for the first time, or trying it again, I also recommend having a sweet drink. My one complaint (not really a complaint, but a problem that has been solved) is that the pastor is a bit salty when eaten without a sweet drink. - I recommend the fresh carrot juice!

    Also, here's another tip. Get an al pastor sandwich and you may save some money as a single sandwich so big it's sometimes hard to finish and cheaper than 2 tacos, oh and equally as good.

    Though Leon is known for the al pastor, and I prefer al pastor, I might say that in comparison to other places the asada is far better than it's competitors. If you're an asada fan, definitely try this too.

    Of course nobody meant any attack toward Hammond. I'm sure we'd al love to see more articles like that in the paper. Thanks again!
  • Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 3:37 pm
    Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 3:37 pm Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 3:37 pm
    Hammond wrote:...would be even better on house-made tortillas


    As for pastor "on house-made tortillas", These can be had at Maxwell street market. Rubis and Manolos, one has charcoal spit the other has gas.

    Better get in on it before the market moves to the new location. Word on the street is that they're doing away with "Mexican clout" at the market (whatever that means). I heard they were getting all the food vendor spots because of someone on the inside. Don't know if it's true, but I'm certainly not complaining about all the yummy food.
  • Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 3:44 pm
    Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 3:44 pm Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 3:44 pm
    laikom wrote:
    Hammond wrote:...would be even better on house-made tortillas


    As for pastor "on house-made tortillas", These can be had at Maxwell street market. Rubis and Manolos, one has charcoal spit the other has gas.


    True that:

    Image

    This is from Rubi's, which serves fresh tortillas patted by hand, as well as shaped in a press, and even, for some tacos, premade from La Milagro.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #14 - November 17th, 2007, 10:37 am
    Post #14 - November 17th, 2007, 10:37 am Post #14 - November 17th, 2007, 10:37 am
    I made the trek to Carniceria Y Taqueria Tierra Caliente for a Friday lunch. I did find the pastor a bit more greasy than what I'm use to - but the flavor was outstanding. Definitely worth a trip back.

    We ordered ~30 tacos - and they were ready rather quickly. Even White Castle can't make a crave case that quick. It was a mix of pastor and carne asada. I actually enjoyed the asada better - which is sad because I really like pastor. I wasn't expecting a taco that big. There was a lot of meat on them. I could have been satisfied with 3 - but ordered and ate 4. :)

    We had hoped to order barbacoa - which we were told is only available on Sundays. Sounds as though it might be worth the trip.
  • Post #15 - May 7th, 2008, 1:47 pm
    Post #15 - May 7th, 2008, 1:47 pm Post #15 - May 7th, 2008, 1:47 pm
    Thought I’d mention that the barbacoa is there (tierra caliente) all week now, and it's certainly good.

    Also, i learned a new use for the word "dorado" while i was there. In Spanish it simply means golden, but when you order your pastor "dorado" they will shave off the crispy parts for you! My pastor pleasure level has increased twofold.

    It seems that everything there is amazing and in huge portions, though the portion size does vary depending on who is working. They had a special last weekend which was a mix of chorizo and carnitas and oh my god, I would have never thought that would make such a lovely taco.
  • Post #16 - May 8th, 2008, 2:21 pm
    Post #16 - May 8th, 2008, 2:21 pm Post #16 - May 8th, 2008, 2:21 pm
    Oooh - barbacoa during the week. Lunch tomorrow! I can't wait!

    I enjoy the crispy part of pastor - but to each his own.
  • Post #17 - May 8th, 2008, 4:21 pm
    Post #17 - May 8th, 2008, 4:21 pm Post #17 - May 8th, 2008, 4:21 pm
    By shave off the crispy parts, i mean to serve to you! I too favor those crispy parts. To reiterate, if you DO want crispy parts, order it "dorado".
  • Post #18 - May 9th, 2008, 9:02 am
    Post #18 - May 9th, 2008, 9:02 am Post #18 - May 9th, 2008, 9:02 am
    Oh hell yeah!!!

    Thanks
  • Post #19 - March 25th, 2009, 7:49 pm
    Post #19 - March 25th, 2009, 7:49 pm Post #19 - March 25th, 2009, 7:49 pm
    laikom wrote:Also, i learned a new use for the word "dorado" while i was there. In Spanish it simply means golden, but when you order your pastor "dorado" they will shave off the crispy parts for you! My pastor pleasure level has increased twofold.

    Laikom,

    I did not retain this nugget of info for my recent visit to Carniceria Y Taqueria Tierra Caliente (formerly Carniceria Leon), though the al pastor was uncharacteristically off that day. Dorado is now seared into my memory for use at my next taqueria stop.

    laikom wrote:They had a special last weekend which was a mix of chorizo and carnitas and oh my god, I would have never thought that would make such a lovely taco.

    Tacos Canpechanos (chorizo/carnitas mix) was amazing, 4th of July fireworks from spicy hot chorizo, smooth fatty rich carnitas rife with the nasty bits I love so dearly, joining together for an irresistible mouthfeel mambo.

    Tacos Canpechanos (chorizo/carnitas mix)

    Image

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Carniceria Y Taqueria Tierra Caliente (formerly Carniceria Leon)
    1402 N Ashland Ave
    Chicago, IL 60622
    773-772-9804
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - March 26th, 2009, 12:36 am
    Post #20 - March 26th, 2009, 12:36 am Post #20 - March 26th, 2009, 12:36 am
    G Wiv wrote:I did not retain this nugget of info for my recent visit to Carniceria Y Taqueria Tierra Caliente (formerly Carniceria Leon), though the al pastor was uncharacteristically off that day. Dorado is now seared into my memory for use at my next taqueria stop.


    The fact that I reminded you to order dorado while I was sitting next to you today didn't count? What am I, chopped liver?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #21 - March 26th, 2009, 12:53 am
    Post #21 - March 26th, 2009, 12:53 am Post #21 - March 26th, 2009, 12:53 am
    stevez wrote:The fact that I reminded you to order dorado while I was sitting next to you today didn't count? What am I, chopped liver?

    Steve,

    You are absolutely not chopped liver. If anything it speaks volumes to my general spaciness and impending old age.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - March 26th, 2009, 9:04 am
    Post #22 - March 26th, 2009, 9:04 am Post #22 - March 26th, 2009, 9:04 am
    "impending"?
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #23 - March 26th, 2009, 11:40 am
    Post #23 - March 26th, 2009, 11:40 am Post #23 - March 26th, 2009, 11:40 am
    Gary,
    Great pictures. I forgot I had mentioned campechano here before I started the other thread. I was talking about how I thought it was on the menu all week long. Well it is on the menu all week, however as Evil Ronnie pointed out on the other thread they only make carnitas on Saturday and Sunday. So I ordered the campechano on a weekday and without notice I was served a taco which was pastor mixed with asada! As my Spanish is limited to fluency in food and 4 years public schooling I was only able to communicate enough to find out campechano means something like combination but not really. Wxhen you try to translate on babelfish the word it comes up as “frank”. Beats me, perhaps soemone here fluent in spanish can help me out.

    That said, the asada/pastor campechano was interesting, but certainly nowhere near the weekend chorizo and carnitas campechano. Makes me wonder when they’re out of pastor or steak what I’d be served.

    Anyhow, thank gary for the amazing pictures and description. Nobody could have described the surprisingly complex performance the taco gives than Gary did.
    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 #24 - March 4th, 2010, 3:46 am
    Post #24 - March 4th, 2010, 3:46 am Post #24 - March 4th, 2010, 3:46 am
    Here is a portable Al Pastor machine to make your own tacos. It has a battery operated motor that runs for days on 2 D batteries. All you need is a propane tank and some sliced meat.
    Image
    Image
  • Post #25 - March 4th, 2010, 9:46 am
    Post #25 - March 4th, 2010, 9:46 am Post #25 - March 4th, 2010, 9:46 am
    Ok, that's just moved up on my kitchen gadget wishlist, way above the Sous Vide Supreme.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #26 - March 4th, 2010, 10:02 am
    Post #26 - March 4th, 2010, 10:02 am Post #26 - March 4th, 2010, 10:02 am
    Looks like someone said, "Hey, you know those gyros machines we sell to folks who make Greek food? We can create an additional market for them by renaming them an 'Al Pastor machine' and selling them to people making tacos."
  • Post #27 - March 4th, 2010, 11:16 am
    Post #27 - March 4th, 2010, 11:16 am Post #27 - March 4th, 2010, 11:16 am
    gootjr wrote:Here is a portable Al Pastor machine to make your own tacos. It has a battery operated motor that runs for days on 2 D batteries. All you need is a propane tank and some sliced meat.


    I saw one of these in action poolside at the Four Seasons in Puerto Villarta. Unfortunately, the al pastor tasted like it was made using a recipe imported from Schaumburg.

    Not a knock against the device, but a commentary on the bland whiteness of the food served at the Four Seasons.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #28 - March 4th, 2010, 6:01 pm
    Post #28 - March 4th, 2010, 6:01 pm Post #28 - March 4th, 2010, 6:01 pm
    I have used thes emachines and with the right recipe they are very tasty tacos.
    Image
    Image
  • Post #29 - March 4th, 2010, 6:05 pm
    Post #29 - March 4th, 2010, 6:05 pm Post #29 - March 4th, 2010, 6:05 pm
    Wildly flaming pastor spit, view from the firehouse. Deliciously ironic.

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