The Green House of Steak adding to the Maxwell Street database
Last Sunday morning I was at Maxwell St. with my 3-year-old getting out of Antoniuss hair so he could get some writing done. My son and I had a deal: I would buy him one, just one, toy if hed let me have some snacks. The must-have toy was spotted right away (forget about comparative shopping or bargaining) and he willingly trudged with me all the way up to the far north end of the market so Mommy could have a pupusa. His own hunger pangs kicked in about then and he announced in no uncertain terms that he wanted to eat a TACO WITH BEEF, SITTING DOWN. By the time we got back to the Mexican places further south I was lugging my big boy and his new, oversized van, wishing I had brought a stroller (not a $1200 model, yall!) I wasnt sure where wed end up. Those of you who frequent Maxwell St. know that many stands have few if any places to sit, and often if you *can* sit you get jostled and crowded by passersby or folks placing their orders.
So the big green tent of the Green House of Steak was a welcome sight (west side, next to Dominicks parking lot): plenty of tables under the tent and several empty seats at around 11 a.m. on a slightly chilly day. I dont think this place has been commented on in previous posts. Its affiliated with a restaurant of the same name in La Villita (2700 S. Millard). We got a couple tacos de carne asada and sank gratefully into our seats.
Now some of you hounds will be asking is this place benchmark for this or worth a special trip for that well, I cant make such big claims here. The carne asada had spent some post-grill time on a griddle and the tortillas were not handmade. But the tacos were tasty and perfectly fine (my son called for a second round as we sat there). I didnt have a chance to see the slip of paper that passed for a menu nor to chat with the busy staff so I dont know the full range of antojitos available or where in Mexico these folks are from. Our tablemates, however, were eating some awfully good-looking gorditas of chorizo and potato and tasty-looking flautas. I heard someone else order a taco of tinga, the pork with chipotle stew associated with the city of Puebla, so perhaps the Green House owners are Poblanos. I would definitely go back and try more of their offerings, especially since one can actually relax there and recover a bit from the bustle of the market.
Ive stopped in the Green House, and I think I liked it okay, but to me, a hand-made tortilla makes all the difference. I would rather eat mediocre meat/salsa in a hand-made tortilla than Ultimo-class meat/salsa in a store-bought tortilla. In fact, I was thinking the other day that it might be nice to buy some of the freshly griddled tortillas from Rubis or elsewhere, and just get them to go as is. As a starving college professor in the late 70s, I would frequently make a whole meal out of fresh tortillas, bought and eaten in the street, straight up.
Amata, thanks for adding to the Maxwell St. Market database (I need to update the guidebook which, as Ive mentioned on this board, includes pictures and is free to anyone who emails me and asks for one).
Incidentally, Gorilla Gourmet/Maxwell Street Mexican (starring Vital Info, Pdanne and others) airs again this Saturday, May 8th, at 12 noon, on CAN-TV Channel 21 (Chicago only).