So, I’ve been doing my research; gotta make sure we hit the good spots on Saturday and not waste time or calories. I’ve got some changes to the lineup that I want to run by the group before I carve anything in stone.
For starters, I went down to Delicias Mexicanas to check out the Sonoran Hot Dog. I have to say; not at all impressed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly good Hot Dog, but it needs to be a lot better before I’ll drag a group of 15-20 people miles out of our way from the rest of the tour.
I’m not sure what I expected. The typical Sonoran hot dog is a bacon-wrapped dog nestled in a soft Mexican roll topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno sauce, cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard. I guess I wanted more of the sandwich’s Southwestern roots to shine through and it didn’t happen. For starters, the version served at Delicias Mexicanas didn’t look anything like the images I’ve seen on the internet. The jalapeno sauce/relish was severely lacking in quantity—maybe that was one reason the Southwestern flavors didn’t come across.
Bottom line, with all the other Hispanic influenced food we’ve got lined up; I’m dropping Delicias Mexicanas and the Sonoran Hot Dog.
If we really want another Mexican sandwich, there’s a place called Cemitas Puebla, not far from the Humboldt Park food trailers that might be worth a stop. The house specialty is called a Cemita. It’s kind of like a torta, only way better. You can see one being made here: http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?erube_fh=cp&cp.submit.restaurantDetail=1&cp.id=343
If we don’t want another Mexican based meal, we can opt for George’s Kabob House for Middle Eastern. I stopped in here Monday night for a late night snack. My Chicken Shwarma sandwich was quite good, although I really want to go back to try their appetizer called, “Borak”, described as “Stuffed eggroll wraps with lamb meat and prepared with special spices”.
Entrees at Georges are a bit pricey, but they have a full line of much less expensive sandwiches and kabobs.
Another change is that we’ll do a “three-fer” when we go to Bari’s Italian Deli. As CSD points out Bari, D’Amato’s, and Terry’s Toffee are all in very close proximity to each other. No reason we can’t visit all of these places; parking our cars just once.
Finally, based on CSD’s raving, I paid a visit to Red Hot Ranch. I gotta admit; those are some darned good deep fried shrimp. Maybe worth a visit, I’ll let the group decide.
So without any specific times listed (yet), here’s the potential lineup, in order of appearance: Hagen’s Fish Market
for Pittsburgh style Fish Sandwiches, smoked fish, and Salmon Candy (yep, Salmon Candy! It’s a special recipe: Wild salmon fillet brined with syrup and brown sugar coated with honey and then smoked—it’s like a sweet salmon jerky! Yum!) George’s Kabob House
for Shwarma Sandwiches, Borak Appetizers, and other Middle Eastern street food delights. Humboldt Park Food Trailers
for Puerto Rican and Cuban street foods in a lovely park setting. Cemitas Puebla
for Cemita Sandwiches Red Hot Ranch
for Deep Fried Shrimp, Depression Style Chicago Hot Dogs, and excellent Hand Cut Fries. Bari Italian Deli, D’Amato’s Bakery, and Terry’s Toffee
(all in the 1100 block of West Grand Avenue) for Subs, Italian baked and deli goods, and Toffee. Hoosier Mama Pie Company
for take-away pies to be eaten for dessert at La Palapa. I’ll call to see what pies will be offered on Saturday. If there are certain preferences, maybe we can reserve some slices, as they tend to sell out quickly. La Palapa
for our Grand Finale of Mexican Seafood, Margaritas, Cerveza, and Pie.
That’s eight stops (I guess we treat Bari/D’Amato/Terry’s as one big stop) with ten potential restaurants. We have all learned from experience that ten is a very bad idea. So, let’s whittle it down to the best four plus La Palapa as a solid lock.
Whatever we choose, the above will be the order in which we make the stops—for now, we can plug in or remove whichever places we want leading up to a final itinerary. This starts us on the North Side and works us steadily south with a slight and unavoidable east/west zigzag. If we do stop at the National Museum of Mexican Art, it will be after the Grand Avenue and Hoosier Mama stops, and before we finish up at La Palapa. Also, if anyone has any ideas for other non-food stops, I’m open to your thoughts.
That’s all I got for now. Peruse the list, pick your faves, and weigh in. I’ll make a final itinerary after getting a little feedback.