- Joe Penkrot
This Lincolnwood place on the north side of Touhy, east of Crawford, and next to a Baskin Robbins, was a cheap eats selection by the trib a few months back and we finally got around to trying it. It's fantastic, but not as cheap as the other chowhound places related elsewhere. But then you save money since they don't serve alcohol, so maybe it's a push.
You start with the salsa and chips they bring to your table. It's really a delicious concoction. The salsa is not quite a puree, but more like a mince of tomatoes in a sauce with serrano rather than jalapeno heat. It's hard to stop eating this stuff.
Last night I tried the chef's specialty (on the menu), stuffed chicken breast with mushrooms, poblano and queso. The two breasts come with a nice mound of mashed potatoes and jicama strips. The same sides, plus rice, accompanied Peggy's barbecued shrimp. Five good sized, not humongous, shrimp were nicely marinated in lime (we think) and grilled nicely. We both had their homemade lemonade (which also tasted faintly of lime) which is a little sweet, but quite good. And free refills. You also get soup or salad. I had the tortilla soup which was not a clear broth as I make it, but colored with tomatillos. Really tasty. Peggy had the salad which comes with a mayonaisse-based dressing. It was a nice clean taste, perfectly acceptable. Total bill was $26 plus change. Service was flawless.
On an earlier trip, I had a chicken enchilada with green sauce. They elevated this simple dish magnificently. Ensconced in the tortilla with the chicken were small pieces of carrots and other vegetables. It really worked. This time the sides were strips of red pepper and jicama. The soup that night was potato. I expected to get a creammy version, but they surprised me with a beef-based broth. Again, very nice.
The restaurant only has seating for about 25-30. Avoid the tables that face the front door if you can. The wind will be blowing in all night.
According to the menu, the chef worked at the Seasons of Long Grove as well as the Pump Room. No web site, but I've attached the metromix paragraph.
They also have a carry-out menu, which somehow offers family style. It looks great too.