I made my way over to El Originale Mexican Restaurante at 6304 Vine St. in Elmwood Place for lunch today.
It's a little bigger than I thought, but still just one server with broken English, and one older gentleman who speaks no English running the kitchen.
Folks, this is traditional, old fashioned no frills Mexican food here. The salsa was a tomatillo based green salsa served warm ( go figgure) with tortilla chips and was given to every table no matter the order.
Their fare was simple but covered the bases. Tacos, Burritos, Chimichangas, Pambazos, Sopes, Tortas and Quesadillas.
Taco and burrito choices included beef toungue (lengua) among many others. Everything from al pastor (sliced pork marinated in spices), to carne asada, bistec, chorizo, and pollo could be had.
Tortas (hard roll sandwiches) could have the above or even be ordered Cubano, milanese, Jamon or Salchicha (hot dog). Tacos were $2, burritos $6, Sopas $4, Chimichangas $7 and Torta $6-8.
I ended up getting the Al Pastor (marinated pork) torta. Let me tell you, the thing was the size of an actual football (9" long and almost as wide) and came on actual Mexican style bread that looked exactly like that in the link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torta
With the chips and salsa, I ended up taking half to go. Sandwich had lots of griddle cooked pork, lettuce, tomato,. onion, queso fresco (yes, the real stuff) and roasted jalepenos on top. The interesting part was that they spread the bottom bun with refried beans before they put the pork on, so it makes for a unique suprise once you realize it's there.
Sandwich was very good. But, two gentleman next to me ordered the Thursday special Chimichangas and they looked spectacular and were as big as my head.
Daily lunch Specials:
Monday: Taco Salad
Tuesday: Soft Tacos
Wednesday: Green Enchiladas
Friday: Chicken tamales
If you want an adventure and a need to take a chance on some unique dishes, give it a go. I'll head back for the Wed., Thurs, and Fri. specials soon and give them a second and likely third try. most of thier business is local, whether it be Spanish speaking neighbors or folks coming for lunch from the P&G facility around the corner.
I'll post a pic of the Torta later tonite but his is true mom and pop Mexican cooking.
Here is a pic of 1/2 of the torta which I brough home for a second lunch. That is a full size Skyline 3-way plate it sits on. Jalepeno's Restaurant Kenwood:
I drove by last week and there is a construction fence around teh place and major demolition going on with the building. I was sad. Pasquale's Bellvue:
I drove past on Sat. and it looks nice, new and clean. I can't wait to give it a try to see if it indeed tastes like the pizza I ate 20 years ago...