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Yvolina's Tamales /Pilsen

Yvolina's Tamales /Pilsen
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  • Yvolina's Tamales /Pilsen

    Post #1 - November 4th, 2020, 1:30 pm
    Post #1 - November 4th, 2020, 1:30 pm Post #1 - November 4th, 2020, 1:30 pm
    We were on 18th the other day after a trip to the Fred Anderson dog park. We had thoughts of stopping at Red Hot Ranch on the way home when I spied the small storefront for Yvolina's tamales. I pulled over and sent in Mr. X. We ended up with two chicken sofrito and two chorizo tamales plus a jar of their almond mole, which was the favorite of the employee helping with our order. We thought the tamales were great. Much larger than than we expected, but Oaxacan style, wrapped in banana leaves, tend to be a good size. We used some mole to top each tamale. The mole was quite good but didn't really go with our tamales. It was much better that night for dinner with braised chicken thighs with sauteed onions and mushrooms over rice.

    Yvolina's is mentioned in Which Pilsen taqueria? and Random Food Pictures. I felt it deserved its own thread.

    Yvolina's
    814 W 18th St
    Chicago, IL 60608
    PH: (312) 731-3167
    -Mary
  • Post #2 - November 4th, 2020, 1:49 pm
    Post #2 - November 4th, 2020, 1:49 pm Post #2 - November 4th, 2020, 1:49 pm
    Great call to start a dedicated thread. I was last there at the end of 2019 but I got caught up in the holidays right after my visit and neglected to post about it :(

    Image
    Green Chicken Mole and Mushroom Tamales
    Smothered in red and green sauces, and served with rice and beans.

    I really love the distinctive, tropical note imparted by the banana leaves in which the tamales are steamed. At this particular lunch, I'm pretty sure the mushroom tamal was a daily special. It was just about a year ago and the details are a bit fuzzy.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #3 - November 4th, 2020, 3:22 pm
    Post #3 - November 4th, 2020, 3:22 pm Post #3 - November 4th, 2020, 3:22 pm
    My vegetarian wife is a big fan, as am I. Yvolina started the cauliflower ceviche trend a couple of summers back. It was a clever adaptation and we made it all summer long. We try to stop in whenever near the 'hood (a little less frequently now since son #2 moved away to Bucktown - hello Irazu).
  • Post #4 - November 5th, 2020, 7:23 am
    Post #4 - November 5th, 2020, 7:23 am Post #4 - November 5th, 2020, 7:23 am
    Surprised there wasn't a thread already. We live just south of the river and so do s fair amount of eating in Pilsen and have been going to Yvolina's for some time. They've won Mole de Mayo, which we always attend for the ease of trying great mole.

    I think they strike the best balance between tradition and updates, as their vegan offerings are equally popular. We also occasionally take home jars of mole; I'm especially fond of the orange almond one.

    We also love our tamale lady in front of Cermak Produce on Halsted for regular tamales, but when we choose to be unfaithful to her and go Oaxacan, it is always Yvolina's. It's GNR material. One or two tricks it does very well, family-run, fantastic. In pre-Covid times, they would sell out and close up early, so be warned, but they're currently set up for carryout only and doing some decent business.
  • Post #5 - November 5th, 2020, 9:40 am
    Post #5 - November 5th, 2020, 9:40 am Post #5 - November 5th, 2020, 9:40 am
    You see, having grown up in Houston in the 70's, I am just not a fan of Oaxaca tamales wrapped in banana leaves, I crave the corn husk savoriness. Even the Missippi Delta variety. My first REAL tamale was in a house nearby Rice University. I come from a family of academicians. This was a party for Our Lady of the Guadalupe. I don't remember the fillings just the flavor of the corn husks. There is a lady on the corner of 207 and Broadway in Manhattan yelling tamales! tamales!, bamboo-wrapped tamal, and, for street food, yes, good. But, not my gig.
    Last edited by Christopher Gordon on November 6th, 2020, 11:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #6 - November 5th, 2020, 9:54 am
    Post #6 - November 5th, 2020, 9:54 am Post #6 - November 5th, 2020, 9:54 am
    Christopher Gordon wrote:You see, having grown up in Houston in the 70's, I am just not a fan of Oaxaca tamales wrapped in banana leaves, I crave the corn husk savoriness. My first REAL tamale was in a house nearby Rice University. I come from a family of academicians. This was a party for Our Lady of the Guadalupe. I don't remember the fillings just the flavor of the corn husks. There was a lady on the corner of 207 and Broadway yelling tamales! tamales!, bamboo-wrapped tamal, and, for street food, yes, good. Bu, not my gig.

    Corn husk-wrapped are still my absolute favorites but I love this style, too and Yvolina's does a great job with them.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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