Because I’m constantly trying to discover new restaurants in the city, I rarely return to the same ones (unless, per my made-up rule, I bring someone new). But there are times I have “moments” with certain restaurants — my go-to’s that I like to bring everyone to since I’m pretty sure they’ll leave the meal feeling more than satisfied. My current relationship for this very reason is with Tacombi in Nolita. The first time I went, per my friend Sadia’s suggestion, it was a blistering cold night. One of those nights that we probably would have ended up ordering in at either of our apartments, but I figured I could use a change of scene. The moment I walked into Tacombi, I felt like I left the cold city far behind. It felt like a beach party in here:
The WV van in which they serve food from their home base in Mexico
It had a very fun, very non-pretentious vibe. The menus came out on a slip of paper, and we quickly ordered guacamole and the corn esquites to start.
Guacamole and chips
When it came out, the waitress told me not to forget to squeeze the lime on the corn and mix it up before we ate it. Both were so fresh and especially appreciated the spicy chili powder mixed in with the corn.
Corn esquites served in a cup
Hurricane, winter storms, and the generally miserable weather on the east coast warrants a visit to California. And MAYBE my friends Yasir and Sarah moving out here had something to do with it. But 70s (aka perfect) and sun made it a little bit of a selfish vacation to get away from the madness in the city. I don’t think I realized how many people are out here but my days already have been full of good company, including having brunch yesterday at Frida at the Americana mall with the lovely Nadia of Sweet Pillar & Co..
We split a burrito vegetariano (sautéed asparagus and zucchini with white rice, black beans, lettuce, sour cream, queso fresco and guacamole, wrapped in a flour tortilla) and burrito mazatlán (sautéed shrimp in a chile-pasilla orange sauce, onions, lettuce, and guacamole wrapped in a flour tortilla. Served with rice and beans). Without meat, you would think it would fall short but both burritos were fresh, tasty, and in the case of the mazatlan, spiced perfectly. We finished off with green tea and a very strong, but well-timed, latte.
Plus with plenty of outdoor seating, we felt like we weren’t missing the extremely beautiful day I was hoping for…even after sitting there comfortably for four hours. Time flies with good food and good company!
By Summar Ghias
Chicago’s trendy taco scene may always be distinguished (and ruled) by late night favorite Big Star. But that doesn’t mean Chef Paul Kahan doesn’t have his fair share of competitors. Fellow Wicker Park joint Antique Taco serves up similarly scrumptious tacos packed with punches of unexpected flavors. Given that I’ve dined there three times this month and somehow still can’t stop daydreaming about the dessert-like horchata milkshake, I’d say Antique Taco gives Big Star a run for its money. Almost.
Inside Antique Taco
The restaurant couples market Mexican fare with an antique vibe, complete with communal seating, wooden benches, and vintage china. And though it gets a little too loud on the weekends, it’s the perfect spot for an inexpensive weekday jaunt.
Here’s the thing about guacamole: it’s not difficult to make, but if you mess it up, what is the point of your existence? (This might be totally subjective).
Fresh Avocados from Mexico
Which is why, as simple as the recipe is, I was still intimidated to try it out for the first time for a group of my friends as my Hey-I’m-Bringing dish. But I love guac. And I was also sent three Haas avocados from Avocados from Mexico and thought, “OH. Why not?”
So I looked up “best guacamole recipes ever” on Google and figured from the reviews that Alton Brown’s was the way to go. I even watched his kinda random video before I began.
By Munia Islam
Starving on a Saturday morning with no idea of what to eat is not a fun way to start the day. Recently, in a haste of studying for grad school midterms (ick!), we needed a quick and filling brunch.
Our saving grace? El Vez! With its flashy signs and mix of formal and informal decor, the ecclectic restaurant is a must to visit if you’re ever in Philadelphia. I’ve been there on several occasions–once on my own birthday–but always at night. I did learn from these dinners though that the queso fundido de hongos (truffled wild mushrooms with chihuahua cheese and huitlacoche served with flour tortillas, $12.50) is a must for my appetizer. Luckily, that’s also available for brunch so it’s exactly what I ordered.
Queso fundido de hongos
Gah. Sorry about the quiet few days here, but I’ve been in Texas ya’ll! I flew down last weekend for my gorgeous friend Mariam’s wedding (I mean, STUNNING), and haven’t had much time at the comp. It was my very first time down in Texas and besides the wedding festivities, I was excited about the FOOD. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to explore Dallas by way of calories, but a group of us did manage to get away one day for brunch. My friend Masuma who lives down there recommended a few places, and we ended up going to La Duni Latin Kitchen at the Northpark mall location which was near our hotel.
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posted on: 11.14.11 | filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, FOOD - "The Delicious", Mexican, Spanish/Latin American, Travel Feasts
| tags: Breakfast/Brunch, Dallas, La Duni, La Duni Latin Kitchen & Coffee Studio, mexican, Spanish/Latin American, Tex-Mex, Travel Feasts