I live in Berlin, (Germany for those with cultural confusion) and the ‘Mexican’ food here is prepared by tall blonde men who have never been to Mexico.
It often looks Mexican but tastes German. It is so awful that Taco Bell would be a hit here. Putting frozen corn and salad in a cold tortilla and wrapping it up, does not make it Mexican, it just makes it vile.
And so it was with great anticipation that I charged my nephew who lives in Chicago with finding me some bites of Mexican prepared by Mexicans. Chicago is much colder than Berlin in the winter so I had my doubts.
But Super Nephew came through. And this was one of his finds.
If I were admit publicly how many times I got on the bus and rode 30 minutes to this restaurant to just have ‘one little thing’ I would have to hang my head in shame. There will be extra gym time to make up for Chicago this week.
All that bus time was because it was brilliant. The burrito (about $6) is done just right, with no cheap rice filler, it is just beans and meat with spicy salsa on a warm freshly steamed, soft, flour tortilla. With creamy beans and highly seasoned meats it is a thing of beauty. of course you can add cheese and sour cream but why bother?
Just enjoy each perfect bite slowly before moving on to your second Tostada ($3) of the day. A flat, freshly fried corn tortilla with bean, shredded lettuce, salsa and sour cream. The soft and the crunch together make for a sensation that I am unable to put into words.
Tacos ($2.20 to $3) with the lime, cilantro and onion, contrasting the roast beef tongue. Crisp, chewy, savory, intense.
When I lived in New Orleans I would run to Mexico City and I hope to again. However in the meantime I have Chicago and the Taco and Burrito Palace.
Taco & Burrito Palace
3507 N Halsted St
Opens at 10:00 closes after the bars
Public transport – CTA bus 8 route.
(second branch at 2459 North Halsted Street)
by Karl Wilder