Chicago out of the Loop   Leave a comment

There’s no doubt Chicago is a culinary haven. Mention a culture and its cuisine is represented. A recent, albeit quick, trip included stops at two brunch spots, a bahn mi shop and an excellent dinner enhanced by the company of one of my sons and a new friend. I have no photos of our food at Ba Le Sandwiches or Pauline’s, but I would return to both — especially to the former for the barbecue pork bahn mi.

m.henry, a popular spot in Andersonville, features an array of baked goods, traditional egg entrees and quiche, among other items. The rustic peasant quiche was chock full of asparagus, leeks, bacon and gruyere cheese on a flakey crust. The side salad was practically a meal in itself.

Oaxaca, Mexico, is known for its mole — among other food specialties. The red mole, in particular, at Kie-Gol-Kanee is among the best I’ve ever had. Mole enchiladas and Oaxaquenos tamales are two preparations here. In order to sample the two types of moles on the menu, I had the pork green mole and chicken red mole tamales. These are wrapped in plantain leaves with a thin layer of masa. Once the leaves are removed, the mole escapes onto the plate. The green is tart and spicy, but my palate belongs to the dark red, earthy variety.

Another typical Oaxacan dish is the tlayuda, a large,crispy handmade corn tortilla is topped with a choice of meats, sliced tomatoes, avocados and cabbage. Think nachos on steroids.

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