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El Chapin [was Tierra Caliente, was Carniceria Leon]

El Chapin [was Tierra Caliente, was Carniceria Leon]
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  • Post #121 - March 9th, 2011, 12:45 pm
    Post #121 - March 9th, 2011, 12:45 pm Post #121 - March 9th, 2011, 12:45 pm
    stevez wrote:
    mtgl wrote:Edit: Ugh, I totally forgot discussion ended yesterday :(


    Discussion never stops on LTH Forum. That's what we're here for. Only discussion as it relates to the GNRs ended yesterday.


    Ha! I didnt even realize discussion ended yesterday for GNRs.. oh well :-)

    FWIW, was at Tierra Caliente last week - about 4pm, hardly anyone about. Took 2 Al Pastor tacos to go, ate one in the car.. and promptly went back in for another. Maybe Ive just been lucky, but pretty much every time when Ive been there, it seems to have come off the spit and is very good. (I havent had particularly good asada there however.. usually just stick to the Pastor nowadays. Has anyone had really good Asada there? Comparable to, say, Las Asadas at its best etc?)

    c8w
  • Post #122 - March 9th, 2011, 1:00 pm
    Post #122 - March 9th, 2011, 1:00 pm Post #122 - March 9th, 2011, 1:00 pm
    c8w wrote: Has anyone had really good Asada there? Comparable to, say, Las Asadas at its best etc?)

    c8w


    Yes. Many times, but usually the times when they are the most busy are the best for getting carne asada right off the grill. The opposite is ture of the Al Pastor. Pick your poison.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #123 - March 9th, 2011, 1:21 pm
    Post #123 - March 9th, 2011, 1:21 pm Post #123 - March 9th, 2011, 1:21 pm
    stevez wrote:
    c8w wrote: Has anyone had really good Asada there? Comparable to, say, Las Asadas at its best etc?)

    c8w


    Yes. Many times, but usually the times when they are the most busy are the best for getting carne asada right off the grill. The opposite is ture of the Al Pastor. Pick your poison.


    No. The al pastor is superb but the carne asada is to me sub-par. Not as good as the grilled asada at Asadero for example. But as I said the al pastor really reminds me of Mexico.
    trpt2345
  • Post #124 - March 9th, 2011, 3:11 pm
    Post #124 - March 9th, 2011, 3:11 pm Post #124 - March 9th, 2011, 3:11 pm
    I've only been here once, but I too thought the asada was not as good as some other places, tho the potential is there. I'd just assume that if I had a bigger sample set of TC's asada, there would be some killer samples in there. I've been to Las Asadas a TON of times, and Asadero a bunch. There have been bad a few days at each. But Asada's stuff when it's ON is just insanely good stuff. I had some on Monday, as a matter of fact, and yes, my mouth is watering right now.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #125 - March 25th, 2011, 4:07 pm
    Post #125 - March 25th, 2011, 4:07 pm Post #125 - March 25th, 2011, 4:07 pm
    Glorious al pastor Friday noon.

    Friday noon, Tierra Caliente

    Image

    Meltingly tender barbacoa hidden under an avalanche of cilantro, onion and BYOJ (bring your own Jolokia)

    Image

    Bhut Jolokia courtesy of lunch mate MBH, counter man kindly diced and added to onions and cilantro for our use. He declined MBH's kind offer of a taste.

    Onion, Cilantro, Bhut Jolokia

    Image

    Salted grilled house jalapenos seemed candy cane mild after Jolokia.

    Salted Grilled Jalapeno

    Image

    Take out salsa production line

    Image

    TC dead-on today noon, a worthy GNR.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #126 - March 25th, 2011, 11:05 pm
    Post #126 - March 25th, 2011, 11:05 pm Post #126 - March 25th, 2011, 11:05 pm
    Those were hot, thanks to my friend for growing these because they're pretty tempermental. I got a little worried when the counterman refused a taste, but they were diluted enough with onions, cilantro and pastor that I was able to eat them. Lovely photo's Mr. Wiv.
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #127 - July 10th, 2011, 10:52 am
    Post #127 - July 10th, 2011, 10:52 am Post #127 - July 10th, 2011, 10:52 am
    stopped inn for 2
    this is one of the top spots :mrgreen:
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #128 - September 21st, 2011, 4:56 pm
    Post #128 - September 21st, 2011, 4:56 pm Post #128 - September 21st, 2011, 4:56 pm
    Adding to the praise of the al pastor tacos at Tierra Caliente. My husband and I visited for the first time this past Sunday. I stuck with al Pastor, but my husband also tried tacos de lengua & the chile relleno taco. He was quite happy with the lengua (not for me). But equally unhappy with the chile relleno taco...too greasy. We will definitely be back for more al pastor. Oh and I love love love that they serve green salsa.
  • Post #129 - October 15th, 2011, 12:24 pm
    Post #129 - October 15th, 2011, 12:24 pm Post #129 - October 15th, 2011, 12:24 pm
    Stopped in w/my fiancee for late breakfast en route to taking her to work. The trompo was empty (too early) but was steered towards the barbacoa, which was a special and was excellent. Larger chunks than Pasadita (which is shredded) and really nice. Deep, deep beef flavor that fared quite well w/squeeze of lime, salsa and some avocado that I asked for. Also got some self serve carnitas for later from the hot box next to the meat coolers. On weekends it's self serve w/any and all nasty bits you want sold by the lb. What will be a few servings for my midnight snack cost me $2.50. Got hooked up w/some menudo as well, just to try. Broth was excellent (added lime, cilantro, onions, dry arbols) although the tripe was a bit to strong and soft for my love. When I told her it was traditionally hangover food which is why you see it mainly on weekend mornings, she'd said she couldn't imagine eating it for that and that it must be cultural and would prefer a cheeseburger. Truthfully, me too, but you don't turn down a gift. $10 total and muy sabroso. So lucky to have this gem in my hood.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #130 - April 23rd, 2012, 2:18 pm
    Post #130 - April 23rd, 2012, 2:18 pm Post #130 - April 23rd, 2012, 2:18 pm
    Been about 6 months since anyones posted in this thread, but I went on Friday for lunch and thought it was important to let everyone know this place is still churning out the best pastor I've ever tasted. I was actually in Tulum, Mexico for about a week earlier in the month and didn't think I ate anything while down there that compared. Friday confirmed my suspicions 8)
  • Post #131 - April 27th, 2012, 3:09 pm
    Post #131 - April 27th, 2012, 3:09 pm Post #131 - April 27th, 2012, 3:09 pm
    Fantastic lunch today.

    Image
    Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
  • Post #132 - April 27th, 2012, 7:12 pm
    Post #132 - April 27th, 2012, 7:12 pm Post #132 - April 27th, 2012, 7:12 pm
    c8w wrote:Has anyone had really good Asada there? Comparable to, say, Las Asadas at its best etc?)

    trpt2345 wrote:No. The al pastor is superb but the carne asada is to me sub-par. Not as good as the grilled asada at Asadero for example. But as I said the al pastor really reminds me of Mexico.

    Amen brother. Taqueria Asadero doesn't get the love it deserves.
    Last edited by titus wong on April 27th, 2012, 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #133 - April 27th, 2012, 7:36 pm
    Post #133 - April 27th, 2012, 7:36 pm Post #133 - April 27th, 2012, 7:36 pm
    Commbrkdwn wrote:Been about 6 months since anyones posted in this thread, but I went on Friday for lunch and thought it was important to let everyone know this place is still churning out the best pastor I've ever tasted. I was actually in Tulum, Mexico for about a week earlier in the month and didn't think I ate anything while down there that compared. Friday confirmed my suspicions 8)


    Tulum, is of course, in Quintana Roo, in Yucatan, far from the fields of al pastor. Al pastor really centers around Mexico City. You can't get good al pastor in Vera Cruz, that's for sure and the Pacific coast is spotty. (Not that many trompos in Acapulco). But man oh man, it's great in Mexico City. We used to go to a place in the north suburbs which was famous because a woman in labor stopped by on the way to the hospital to order fifty al pastor tacos to keep up her strength for the labor ahead.
    trpt2345
  • Post #134 - April 27th, 2012, 8:06 pm
    Post #134 - April 27th, 2012, 8:06 pm Post #134 - April 27th, 2012, 8:06 pm
    Fantastic lunch today.

    Image


    Pinterest-worthy! Thanks, Jeff.
  • Post #135 - August 6th, 2012, 6:16 pm
    Post #135 - August 6th, 2012, 6:16 pm Post #135 - August 6th, 2012, 6:16 pm
    Popped in for lunch today. Carne Asada was BUTTER. Lacked any charry bits, but it was tender as all get out, and strong beefy flavor. BUTTER. Bowl of roasted chiles caught me off guard. First one I bit into was searing hot. Pastor was still best in area, imo, tho, the trompo looked like it had only been cooking for a few minutes. Tha pastor I got was a tad on the dripping wet side as opposed to nicely done with charred bits. On offer today was "tacos de Montalyano." I had no idea what it was, so natch, I had to have one. I asked the guy at the counter who pointed too his belly, and moved his finger up and down while saying "goat." I'm game. I asked if it was a specific part, and he said no. From what I gathered, as he was listing off gut names, was that it was just a big ol conglomeration o guts, and I was right. Gut enthusiasts, you may wanna check these out.

    Image

    Gut non-enthusiasts, run far, far, away.

    One bite was all I could handle.

    There were several different textures going on in one bite. Crunchy, rubbery, creamy, smooth parts, parts with bumps...The texture didn't kill me, but the flavor did. Strong, gamey, livery, organy. Those who squeam at offal DEFINITELY need not apply here. I made the joke of "Why aren't these free?" and both of the counter guys busted out laughing. Apparently, there are quite a few ppl, he said, that really like these. He then went on to surmise that I was not one of them.

    No biggie. Glad I tried it.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #136 - August 6th, 2012, 6:20 pm
    Post #136 - August 6th, 2012, 6:20 pm Post #136 - August 6th, 2012, 6:20 pm
    seebee wrote:There were several different textures going on in one bite. Crunchy, rubbery, creamy, smooth parts, parts with bumps...
    Not sure what it says about me, but Seebee's description "parts with bumps" pretty much assures I will be at TC in the next couple of days.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #137 - August 7th, 2012, 10:10 am
    Post #137 - August 7th, 2012, 10:10 am Post #137 - August 7th, 2012, 10:10 am
    Having gone here for about five years, and having focused exclusively on the Al Pastor, I would recommend asking them to make it crispy (throw it on the flat top for a few minutes). The result, in my opinion, is fantastic. It allows for the crispiness and caramelization which is sometimes absent from meat cut not from the edges of the meat, or if they're busy and the spit doesn't have enough time to brown again.
  • Post #138 - August 7th, 2012, 10:30 am
    Post #138 - August 7th, 2012, 10:30 am Post #138 - August 7th, 2012, 10:30 am
    My wife and I had 1:30 pm lunch here on Saturday, after narrowly choosing it over Antique Taco. Al pastor, off the nicely caramelized trompo was really delicious, charred and juicy. Lengua was meaty and unctuous as it always seems to be here. Carne asada was dry, chewy and lifeless but hey, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. :wink: Total cost for 6 tacos, 2 drinks and tip was $17 and we were full. A great value.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #139 - August 7th, 2012, 10:54 am
    Post #139 - August 7th, 2012, 10:54 am Post #139 - August 7th, 2012, 10:54 am
    viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7259

    "What is Montalayo?" is the question best answered by the above thread from where else.
  • Post #140 - August 7th, 2012, 11:07 am
    Post #140 - August 7th, 2012, 11:07 am Post #140 - August 7th, 2012, 11:07 am
    JeffB wrote:http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7259

    "What is Montalayo?" is the question best answered by the above thread from where else.

    Thanks, Jeff. From the pics above, it actually kooks like Mexican larb khun on a tortilla. :)

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #141 - August 7th, 2012, 3:14 pm
    Post #141 - August 7th, 2012, 3:14 pm Post #141 - August 7th, 2012, 3:14 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    seebee wrote:There were several different textures going on in one bite. Crunchy, rubbery, creamy, smooth parts, parts with bumps...
    Not sure what it says about me, but Seebee's description "parts with bumps" pretty much assures I will be at TC in the next couple of days.


    Godspeed, my friend.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #142 - August 7th, 2012, 5:48 pm
    Post #142 - August 7th, 2012, 5:48 pm Post #142 - August 7th, 2012, 5:48 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    JeffB wrote:http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7259

    "What is Montalayo?" is the question best answered by the above thread from where else.

    Thanks, Jeff. From the pics above, it actually kooks like Mexican larb khun on a tortilla. :)

    =R=


    Of course I thought the same damn thing.
  • Post #143 - August 9th, 2012, 6:15 pm
    Post #143 - August 9th, 2012, 6:15 pm Post #143 - August 9th, 2012, 6:15 pm
    Do they still use the cone for the al pastor rotisserie?
  • Post #144 - August 10th, 2012, 4:21 pm
    Post #144 - August 10th, 2012, 4:21 pm Post #144 - August 10th, 2012, 4:21 pm
    Had a nice lunch with a friend I had not seen in a while, great tacos, better chat.

    Image

    And then, almost as an afterthought......................Montalayo

    Image

    seebee wrote:Godspeed, my friend.

    You were so very right.

    Chivo offal is probably tasty in the "Montalayo" but what was served was dried out and, I'm guessing, 5-6 days old. In Tierra Caliente's defense, Montalayo was not on the specials board, but made available when I asked. Special today was a torta with pollo milanesa and terrific looking shrimp soup.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #145 - September 12th, 2012, 1:06 pm
    Post #145 - September 12th, 2012, 1:06 pm Post #145 - September 12th, 2012, 1:06 pm
    Driving down Ashland on Saturday, we decided we were too hungry to skip lunch after all. Popped into Tierra Caliente for a few pastor tacos. I wished the pork had a bit more char on it, but the place was packed with hungry customers and the taqueros were forced to cut from the trompo too often to yield many crusty bits. Still, even finished on the griddle, the flavor was great and the pastor really hit the spot. The green salsa was fiery and delicious and better than I remember it.

    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #146 - September 12th, 2012, 4:14 pm
    Post #146 - September 12th, 2012, 4:14 pm Post #146 - September 12th, 2012, 4:14 pm
    I've come to terms with not always getting al pastor freshly charred and carved right off the trompo. It's just not always possible/practical, no matter which taqueria you visit. At least they have a decent excuse, and being busy is not a bad thing. I guess the best way for them to solve the problem would be to have dual trompos and run 2 during peak hours alternating servings... :)

    On a related side note, I visited Uptown Taqueria during a very lazy weeknight around dinner time. Business was slow, but that is no excuse for the giant pile of al pastor already off the trompo waiting to be reheated on the griddle. Or maybe the excuse was to avoid having under-cooked meat sitting suspended on the tompo. Either way, it only makes me more sad because the flavor of the meat was great and it would have been wonderful charred on the trompo. I've had recommendations from a few native Mexicans who previously praised Uptown as the best in Chicago. This was before I told them to try Tierra Caliente. Most of them have switched over to TC fans now. They think it's hilarious that a gringo showed them the new best place in town! :) I don't mean to put Uptown down too much, it was still up there with the better pastor i have had in Chicago, and I'll definitely be back when passing through the area.
    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 #147 - October 5th, 2012, 4:13 pm
    Post #147 - October 5th, 2012, 4:13 pm Post #147 - October 5th, 2012, 4:13 pm
    I'm currently enjoying a few tacos at tierra caliente topped with BYO-bari-giardiniera. Really delicious, as you'd expect.
    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 #148 - October 5th, 2012, 4:40 pm
    Post #148 - October 5th, 2012, 4:40 pm Post #148 - October 5th, 2012, 4:40 pm
    laikom wrote:I'm currently enjoying a few tacos at tierra caliente topped with BYO-bari-giardiniera. Really delicious, as you'd expect.


    What a great idea! I've got to try that.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #149 - October 6th, 2012, 5:36 pm
    Post #149 - October 6th, 2012, 5:36 pm Post #149 - October 6th, 2012, 5:36 pm
    stevez wrote:
    laikom wrote:I'm currently enjoying a few tacos at tierra caliente topped with BYO-bari-giardiniera. Really delicious, as you'd expect.


    What a great idea! I've got to try that.


    This is what cultural exchange is all about.
    trpt2345
  • Post #150 - October 9th, 2012, 8:15 am
    Post #150 - October 9th, 2012, 8:15 am Post #150 - October 9th, 2012, 8:15 am
    G Wiv wrote:Chivo offal is probably tasty in the "Montalayo" but what was served was dried out and, I'm guessing, 5-6 days old. In Tierra Caliente's defense, Montalayo was not on the specials board, but made available when I asked.

    Montalayo was on the specials board yesterday at TC. Freshly made it appealed in a funky offal fashion, put me in mind of the Northern Larb at Aroy Thai

    Montalayo, Tierra Caliente
    Image
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow

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