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Suburban Mexican Needed

Suburban Mexican Needed
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  • Suburban Mexican Needed

    Post #1 - October 21st, 2008, 10:39 am
    Post #1 - October 21st, 2008, 10:39 am Post #1 - October 21st, 2008, 10:39 am
    OK all you suburban dining boosters, here's your chance to be a hero to The Chow Poodle. She is looking for a place in the Skokie/Morton Grove area to go for Mexican food with her girl friend. Her palate is not all that critical, so just about anyplace with an ambiance a little better than a taqueria would fit the bill. The only caveat is that it can't be El Sol due to a dead body being found there a long time ago.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - October 21st, 2008, 10:44 am
    Post #2 - October 21st, 2008, 10:44 am Post #2 - October 21st, 2008, 10:44 am
    What about 4 Hermanos Too‎?
  • Post #3 - October 21st, 2008, 10:47 am
    Post #3 - October 21st, 2008, 10:47 am Post #3 - October 21st, 2008, 10:47 am
    Why not Wholly Frijoles in nearby Lincolnwood? Even my 92-year-old grandmother likes it (and she doesn't like much). I find that it's a solid standby for folks who couldn't imagine eating at Maxwell Street, but want something that's not a chain. I've found the service to be consistently friendly, too.

    Ronna
  • Post #4 - October 21st, 2008, 10:49 am
    Post #4 - October 21st, 2008, 10:49 am Post #4 - October 21st, 2008, 10:49 am
    REB wrote:Why not Wholly Frijoles in nearby Lincolnwood? Even my 92-year-old grandmother likes it (and she doesn't like much). I find that it's a solid standby for folks who couldn't imagine eating at Maxwell Street, but want something that's not a chain. I've found the service to be consistently friendly, too.

    Ronna



    Good suggestion. that place is right up her alley.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - October 21st, 2008, 11:31 am
    Post #5 - October 21st, 2008, 11:31 am Post #5 - October 21st, 2008, 11:31 am
    I have not been there in some time, but I always used to like El Tipico. In the food scale, it falls somewhere in between wholly authentic and Wholly Frijoles, with nicer atmosphere. I recommend the queso tejano, a huge gooey concoction of melted cheese with sausage, peppers, onions and cilantro, served with tortillas for scooping.

    El Tipico
    847/676-4070 Skokie
    3341 W. Dempster St., Skokie
  • Post #6 - October 21st, 2008, 12:43 pm
    Post #6 - October 21st, 2008, 12:43 pm Post #6 - October 21st, 2008, 12:43 pm
    El Tipico, mentioned by LAZ, is a good choice for conventional Mexican cuisine. They do a nice mole sauce.

    How far is she willing to travel from Skokie/Morton Grove?

    I like Lupita's in Evanston, although opinion on it here is decidedly mixed. Their regular menu is conventional and okay; where they really shine is the weekly specials, where they have more creative dishes and provincial specialties. They do an excellent job with seafood; I've had everything from octopus to sea bass there, all extremely fresh and properly prepared. And I like their chips, which are wheat-based, rather than corn-based.

    Another place I like, for authentic albeit conventional Mexican food, is Jesse's Mexican Grill, on Western Avenue just south of Evanston.

    And it's really not all that far, in terms of distance and time, to shoot down the Edens, get off at Cicero, and go to Sol de Mexico. Not my favorite choice for Mexican food - I find the menu exciting, but the execution bland - but lots of other people like it.

    It's also not that far to go straight out Golf Road to Busse for Flamingo's, in Mount Prospect. From Golf and Waukegan in Morton Grove, it's maybe 20 minutes.

    And, of course, there are all those places on the north/northwest side of the city, like Mixteco Grill, Fonda del Mar, etc...
  • Post #7 - October 21st, 2008, 1:07 pm
    Post #7 - October 21st, 2008, 1:07 pm Post #7 - October 21st, 2008, 1:07 pm
    I'll give another nod to El Tips -- it's classic tex-mex fare, kitchy decor, but definitely more than merely edible. It was the go-to place for departmental birthdays back when there was a department.

    There used to be another place on Oakton, that may be Toscana now from what I can see on Google Street View

    I used to like Lalo's on Waukegan just north of Lake in Glenview, a little further from the other places, last time I was there I was singularly unimpressed.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #8 - October 21st, 2008, 1:46 pm
    Post #8 - October 21st, 2008, 1:46 pm Post #8 - October 21st, 2008, 1:46 pm
    I'll second Ken's rec of Lupita's and Jesse's — Lupita's slightly favored for atmosphere (and yes, stick to the specials), and Jesse's for the broad menu in a bit more stark surroundings.

    Lupita's
    700 Main St.
    Evanston
    (847) 328-2255

    Jesse's Mexican Grill
    6950 N Western Ave
    Chicago
    (773) 856-6050
  • Post #9 - October 21st, 2008, 3:42 pm
    Post #9 - October 21st, 2008, 3:42 pm Post #9 - October 21st, 2008, 3:42 pm
    one more vote for El Tipico. they have good enchiladas con mole
  • Post #10 - October 21st, 2008, 5:41 pm
    Post #10 - October 21st, 2008, 5:41 pm Post #10 - October 21st, 2008, 5:41 pm
    El Tipico gets my nod as well.

    I beleive there is also a new Lalo's (is it considered Park Ridge?) if you go west on Dempster just past River Road (and one block North of River road) in the commercial development that contains a Cheeseburger in Paradise and Panera Bread Company).
  • Post #11 - October 21st, 2008, 6:28 pm
    Post #11 - October 21st, 2008, 6:28 pm Post #11 - October 21st, 2008, 6:28 pm
    stevez wrote:
    REB wrote:Why not Wholly Frijoles in nearby Lincolnwood? Even my 92-year-old grandmother likes it (and she doesn't like much). I find that it's a solid standby for folks who couldn't imagine eating at Maxwell Street, but want something that's not a chain. I've found the service to be consistently friendly, too.

    Ronna



    Good suggestion. that place is right up her alley.


    Grandma fans or not, I think WF gets a bad rap on the authenticity front. Mexico has plenty of places that serve fresh, relatively mildly spiced stuff. Including coconut shrimp, with which WF does an excellent and authentic job. Count me as a WF fan. It's by no means my favorite Mexican spot in Chicagoland, but that's because we're spoiled here. I'd go as far as to say WF would be the best Mexican restaurant in Manhattan.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #12 - October 21st, 2008, 6:44 pm
    Post #12 - October 21st, 2008, 6:44 pm Post #12 - October 21st, 2008, 6:44 pm
    Kennyz wrote:Grandma fans or not, I think WF gets a bad rap on the authenticity front. Mexico has plenty of places that serve fresh, relatively mildly spiced stuff. Including coconut shrimp, with which WF does an excellent and authentic job.


    I'm having a hard time seeing how coconut shrimp would be authentic Mexican in any sense except in the sense that hamburgers and hot dogs are authentic Mexican because, you know, they're served in Mexico.

    Kennyz wrote:I'd go as far as to say WF would be the best Mexican restaurant in Manhattan.


    Hilarious, and true, though it would probably be the best Mexican restaurant in Fargo as well.

    I'm not much of a fan of WF, though I feel the food is of good quality and generally well-prepared but absent much punch.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #13 - October 21st, 2008, 6:56 pm
    Post #13 - October 21st, 2008, 6:56 pm Post #13 - October 21st, 2008, 6:56 pm
    David Hammond wrote:I'm having a hard time seeing how coconut shrimp would be authentic Mexican in any sense except in the sense that hamburgers and hot dogs are authentic Mexican because, you know, they're served in Mexico.


    It is perhaps the signature dish of the city of Campeche, where it is usually served with a mango sauce. A good friend of mine who lived there for 2 years tells me that every single restaurant has a version.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #14 - October 21st, 2008, 7:28 pm
    Post #14 - October 21st, 2008, 7:28 pm Post #14 - October 21st, 2008, 7:28 pm
    The genetic diversity of coconut palm in Mexico has arisen from introductions carried out during the Spanish colonial period (1539-1810). The interest of estimating the extent and origin of the genetic diversity motivated the investigation of sites, dates and origins of the introductions, the initial areas of production, the economic importance of the cultivation and its diffusion during the colonial era. Historical records indicate that the first introductions to the Atlantic coast were through the ports of Veracruz and Campeche around 1549 and originated from Cape Verde (West Africa) and the Caribbean islands. Introductions to the west coast were carried out through the ports of Colima and Acapulco and originated from Panama around 1539, from the Solomon Islands around 1569 and from the Philippines from 1571 onwards. Coconut was present in the west coast of Panama in pre-Columbian times, but its origin and introduction date is unknown.


    Source

    Courses I took suggested that the coastal pre-Inca (NW South America) and the Cueva (Panama) had (and ate) coconut even prior to the Conquest. While I'm certainly not suggesting Mayan coconut-shrimp-frying parties, it's very possible that in late Spanish Colonial times, Mexico could have been the origin of the dish.

    In any case, I can second having had coconut shrimp served unironically (and deliciously) in Mexico as part of the local fare.
  • Post #15 - October 21st, 2008, 7:52 pm
    Post #15 - October 21st, 2008, 7:52 pm Post #15 - October 21st, 2008, 7:52 pm
    It is also well-known that the Maya ate Totally Xtreme Bacon Gordita Poppers.
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  • Post #16 - October 21st, 2008, 7:55 pm
    Post #16 - October 21st, 2008, 7:55 pm Post #16 - October 21st, 2008, 7:55 pm
    True. And lest we forget, many Etruscan tombs contained votive offerings of Rockin' Pepperoni Double-Stuft Pizza Puffs.
  • Post #17 - October 21st, 2008, 8:57 pm
    Post #17 - October 21st, 2008, 8:57 pm Post #17 - October 21st, 2008, 8:57 pm
    Wholly Frijoles would definitely be my choice. What about Campeche on Lincoln & Jersey/Kedzie - I've always enjoyed the dishes there.
  • Post #18 - October 21st, 2008, 9:23 pm
    Post #18 - October 21st, 2008, 9:23 pm Post #18 - October 21st, 2008, 9:23 pm
    Good lord. I can't believe you people are recommending El Tipico (the home of processed white american cheese in lieu of Jack, and PLENTY of it), not to mention Campeche, Lalo's, and the absolutely godawful Lupita's (Home of the Windex Margarita). Heck, I'd recommend Las Palmas in Evanston before I'd recommend any of the above, and Las Palmas is nothing to write home about. WF is the best of this lot; I keep meaning to try Holy Guacamole in Winnetka, but I just can't bring myself to do so. Better I do it at home.

    And BTW, the best Mexican resto in NYC by about 2000 miles is Los Dos Molinos, the one and only branch of a wonderful place in South Phoenix. (!). Just....ahhhhhh. Green corn tamales and chile colorado to DIE for. (which you just might, if you aren't used to NM-level heat in your food!)
  • Post #19 - July 14th, 2011, 9:56 am
    Post #19 - July 14th, 2011, 9:56 am Post #19 - July 14th, 2011, 9:56 am
    I am going to try Campeche today, but I wonder what the portions are like. I have a sope and a taco in my order, but I wonder if that's going to be a lot of food. Thoughts?
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #20 - July 14th, 2011, 10:18 am
    Post #20 - July 14th, 2011, 10:18 am Post #20 - July 14th, 2011, 10:18 am
    Can't comment on Campeche. Assuming you are going for dinner, might I suggest - http://www.yolomexicaneatery.com/
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #21 - July 14th, 2011, 10:30 am
    Post #21 - July 14th, 2011, 10:30 am Post #21 - July 14th, 2011, 10:30 am
    Nope, lunch. Yolo was a place I wanted to try, but unfortunately they don't open til 5.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #22 - July 14th, 2011, 11:08 am
    Post #22 - July 14th, 2011, 11:08 am Post #22 - July 14th, 2011, 11:08 am
    I used to really like the Campeche that was on Clark in Rogers Park. It hasn't been Campeche for a few years now, plus I'm not sure if the one on Lincoln is related.
    -Mary
  • Post #23 - July 14th, 2011, 11:31 am
    Post #23 - July 14th, 2011, 11:31 am Post #23 - July 14th, 2011, 11:31 am
    Pie Lady wrote:Nope, lunch. Yolo was a place I wanted to try, but unfortunately they don't open til 5.


    Do try it for dinner! Its really good and I love their moles. Also the staff is very nice and helpful, and the place is really clean.
    I dont understand all the recommendations for El Tipico and La Lupita. Maybe I just got them on bad days all four times I was in those two places, but they were awful each time. Also, tables at La Lupita were sticky, kind of disturbing for a restaurant.
  • Post #24 - July 14th, 2011, 11:41 am
    Post #24 - July 14th, 2011, 11:41 am Post #24 - July 14th, 2011, 11:41 am
    When I use the disinfecting wipes that come in the big plastic tub, it often makes surfaces sticky. I hate those damn things and have stopped buying them. Only until recently did I see that you have to wipe the table down with water first and then use a wipe, which seems like a waste of materials. But that might be the reason - using those things without washing the table first with just water.

    Or they could just be filthy. :mrgreen:
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #25 - June 18th, 2018, 7:41 am
    Post #25 - June 18th, 2018, 7:41 am Post #25 - June 18th, 2018, 7:41 am
    After a break of at least 15 years, I returned to El Tipico, as it's just down the street from where my granddaughter is. They painted the white facade a robin's-egg blue, and put a 70" flatscreen on one wall, but otherwise it looks the same as it always has.

    For old-school Tex-Mex it was quite good. I had the "Cowboy" combo (#8 on a list that only includes 1, 8 and 9), of a half carne asada, cheese enchilada mole, and chile relleno.

    The carne asada was just about perfect: a tenderized (and tender) piece of skirt steak with some pink to it (tricky with a thin steak), perfectly seasoned. The chile's ground beef filling was a little dry (I should have gone with the cheese), but tasty. The mole sauce was good (not earth-shattering, but I wasn't expecting it to be), but the enchilada's shell was a little tough here and there, which shouldn't ever happen. Beans and rice were spot-on.

    My wife's flautas were very good, and Thing2 and his darling bride enjoyed their burritos (Thing1, the mother of my granddaughter and said baby had just eaten with another relative). Two salsas are provided: a milder (but warmed) version with a fair amount of cilantro; a slightly spicier and chunkier one. Chips are good.

    Service was friendly and attentive, although the food was served a little slower than we expected.

    It's not going to scratch that "trendy flavors from Oaxaca" itch, but it's going to satisfy that "I want Mexican food like I had when I was a teenager" hunger.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #26 - June 18th, 2018, 9:18 am
    Post #26 - June 18th, 2018, 9:18 am Post #26 - June 18th, 2018, 9:18 am
    Woo hoo, a seven year bump!

    During that time, Lupita's has closed, while the outstanding Libertad has opened. Libertad is in our regular rotation and our dinner there last week, which I posted about with pics, was superb. Also not yet mentioned here is Yolo, which is very good as well.

    I enjoy El Tipico when I'm in the mood for conventional Mexican fare - it's very good and consistently so - and I enjoy Libertad and Yolo when I'm in the mood for more creative and/or regional specialties. El Tipico is also open for lunch.

    JoelF wrote:I had the "Cowboy" combo (#8 on a list that only includes 1, 8 and 9), of a half carne asada, cheese enchilada mole, and chile relleno.

    I haven't been to El Tipico in a while, but la combinacion vaquero was my favorite dish. They were always happy to substitute a chicken enchilada mole instead of cheese.
    Last edited by nsxtasy on June 18th, 2018, 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #27 - June 18th, 2018, 9:43 am
    Post #27 - June 18th, 2018, 9:43 am Post #27 - June 18th, 2018, 9:43 am
    I've heard good things about Mesa Urbana in Northbrook, but I'm still yet to check it out. In general though, I find many of the "nicer" Mexican places in the northern suburbs to be uninteresting and gentrified, almost as if they intend to cater to a crowd that doesn't really know or like Mexican food. I definitely prefer "joints" and even many of those aren't so great, either.

    =R=

    Mesa Urbana
    3566 Milwaukee Ave
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    (847) 383-0700
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

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  • Post #28 - June 18th, 2018, 10:30 am
    Post #28 - June 18th, 2018, 10:30 am Post #28 - June 18th, 2018, 10:30 am
    Understandably not mentioned on this thread since the suburban outpost is only about 18 months old, but Cafe El Tapatio in south Glenview/Golf Mill has definite appeal. Especially when drinks are a part of the decision. I'm not a fan of La Principal or That Little Mexican Cafe, so the ten minute drive west is well worth it. Food definitely isn't as good as Libertad though.

    Cafe El Tapatio
    9707 N Milwaukee Ave (closer to Greenwood in mall)
    Glenview, IL 60025
    (224)470-5120
  • Post #29 - June 18th, 2018, 11:24 am
    Post #29 - June 18th, 2018, 11:24 am Post #29 - June 18th, 2018, 11:24 am
    bweiny wrote:Cafe El Tapatio

    They have a website, here, although they don't currently have their menu posted on it.
  • Post #30 - June 18th, 2018, 2:07 pm
    Post #30 - June 18th, 2018, 2:07 pm Post #30 - June 18th, 2018, 2:07 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    bweiny wrote:Cafe El Tapatio

    They have a website, here, although they don't currently have their menu posted on it.

    GrubHub version of a menu = https://www.grubhub.com/restaurant/cafe ... iew/416944
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny

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