Authentic Chicken Mole Poblano and authentic greek and thai restaurant
Perhaps you mexican food addicts can help. Last november I came to chicago and ate at a very authentic mexican restaurant which was a train ride away from downtown, and then a walk from the train.
It was a family place which consisted of two storefronts (very long , not wide stores) and had the best chicken mole poblano ON THE BONE (as it should be to be authentic). No bells and whistles, no tourists , just mexican families and good food.
Returning and forgot the name/address.
Or if anyone can recommend a similar family authentic place with chicken mole poblano on the bone, please....
also looking for authentic greek restaurant and thai
Sticky Rice, Tac Quick, and Spoon Thai all have "secret" Thai menus that have some really really good food on them.
3930 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
4608 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
4018 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
I love moles, but wasn't impressed with the ones at Sol de Mexico (or the rest of the food, either). The menu there sounds great but the food is much too bland.
The places that have the best moles I've had in Chicago include Mixteco Grill, Rustico Grill, and Fuego in the city, and Yolo in Skokie does a nice job too. I have not yet tried Los Moles but I've enjoyed Chef Bahena's other restaurants.
I think that people who have an understanding of food as served and prepared in Mexico will recognize the closeness in what Sol de Mexico serves and what the trendy (or want to be trendy) places do (not). I don't recommend a visit to Mixteco (which serves little or nothing related to the Mixteco culture of Mexico) or Rustico . . . and Yolo is a joke. But, as we know ... beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Chicago has lots of good regional Mexican fare ... but many renditions of mole's improperly made. Enjoy!
I have lived in Mexico and I have enjoyed the food and culture there, where it originated. So I actually do have an understanding of food as served and prepared in Mexico. Sol de Mexico is a representation of food that is trying to be creative but turns out to be bland and unimpressive. If you go to Mexico looking for that kind of bland food, you can find it there, too.
I think people who have one set idea of how a food MUST taste are limiting themselves by preventing the enjoyment of foods that are different from what they are accustomed to or grew up with. I don't have that one set idea; it's important to me to approach food with an open mind. I care about food that is delicious, not whether it's "properly" made, which you apparently define as food that must taste one way and not another. I enjoy foods that are creative and some of which may be different from the way they are traditionally prepared (such as at Chilam Balam, which doesn't have moles but presents food not found in Mexico itself, or our Mexican restaurants with French influences, Mexique and Sabor Saveur). What matters to me is TASTE - and I am very impressed when food tastes good and is bursting with delicious flavor, regardless of whether or not it is exactly like food I have eaten elsewhere. Mixteco Grill (conveniently located near the CTA Brown Line stop at Montrose), Rustico Grill, Fuego, and Yolo, are all EXCELLENT (regardless of the relevance of the restaurant's name - LOL, what a silly thing to worry about!). Yolo, in particular, does a great rendition of chicken in mole poblano, although it's not on their latest menu. (The chef-owner at Yolo, whose niece is the hostess-waitress, was a chef at a restaurant in Mexico City for over 25 years; when he came here to open Yolo, he made a point of NOT modifying the dishes to accommodate "American tastes".)
The food is the thing, and I go to where the food tastes the best to me. Yes, it's a matter of personal opinion and taste - and I encourage people to try as many local restaurants as they can, to decide for themselves. But if I were an out-of-town visitor to Chicago here for a short stay, I wouldn't start with a place with bland food that is geographically inconvenient, when there are so many places with more delicious food and more convenient locations (particularly Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, although they don't specialize in moles the way these other places do).
Thank you for the comment "I think people who have one set idea of how a food MUST taste are limiting themselves by preventing the enjoyment of foods that are different from what they are accustomed to or grew up with." I'm not sure why these arguments seem to come up when talking about ethnic food. Is it not conceivable that improvements can be made to "traditional" ethnic cuisine? I am glad that some restaurants are bold enough to break out of the traditional mold. Do the dishes always work? Of course not. But the experiment is worth doing.
Based on your description, it appears that you dined at Nuevo Leon located in Pilsen on 18th street, near the el train. People seem to love this place, but I personally think it's overrated and pretty darn greasy...although I do occasionally indulge in the refried beans appetizer piled high with jalapenos, tomatos, and onions on top, YUM! I grew up with moms authentic moles and guisados from that region of Mexico and beyond. I much prefer Los Nopales, no greasy food there. I hear great things about Sol de Mexico.
I would recommend Santorini's or Greek Islands for Greek cuisine. Santorini's is a little romantic, a bit upscale, and more expensive than Greek Islands.
Also check out Siboney Cuban Cuisine on Western Avenue in Bucktown for the very best Cuban food in Chicago!
Nuevo Leon Restaurant
1515 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
138 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661