Archive for the ‘enchilladas’ Tag

Ignore the Sign   Leave a comment

QuickSamsquickSamsiiiThe name Quick Sam’s conjures images of Quick Draw McGraw and Yosemite Sam, neither of which has anything to do with south of the border cuisine. But then the sign for this unassuming, three-table eatery is misleading, too; it boasts pizza, fried chicken and sandwiches, which aren’t even on the menu. Nothing suggests authentic Mexican food. Add to this the fact that Galesburg, Ill., is not a locale that immediately comes to mind for enchiladas, rice and beans.


In a building that stands out only because it’s next to a cemetery on one side and a row of two-story clapboard houses on the other, Quick Sam’s is an anomaly on several levels. The place is small: part tiny diner, part miniature-convenience store complete with glass coolers where much of the inventory for the diminutive kitchen. Yet, it’s muy grande when it comes to flavors.


The menu features standard Mexican fare: tacos, burritos, enchiladas and chile rellenos. Chips and fresh made salsa are the precursors of tastes to come. Quick Sam’s salsa is the kind to ruin an appetite only because it’s easy to eat too much. Self-restraint comes in handy here.

The chile rellenos combined the smokiness of roasted poblanos with creamy Jack cheese that had all been coated in an egg, flour and cornmeal mix and fried. It wasn’t greasy, but not quite as crispy as I like.

Prices are reasonable: less than $8 for a meal that includes rice and beans. All items are also available a la carte.


Quick Sam’s
Four Plates
275 S. Academy St.
Galesburg, Ill

Building Better Burritos   Leave a comment

When food is good, I mean really good, it’s easy to overlook things like long lines, odd
hours, and even Styrofoam containers. Ordinarily, just one of those could off-putting,
but at El Taco Rey all three go hand-in-hand with made-to-order exceptional Mexican

Once the food arrives (in the environmentally-incorrect containers for dine-in or take-
out) all attention focuses on the flavors: green chili with a kick and tender bits of pork.
The signature dish is the Avocado Pork Burrito. This is spicy enough to wake up the
sinuses, but not so much that watering eyes drown the taste. The burrito is filled with
diced pork and the cool, smooth texture of avocado. This helps offset some of the heat
from the chili, which is a thick gravy smothering the burrito. The sauce has a tendency
to make the large flour tortilla a little gummy and hard to cut – this is not food to eat
with your hands. The plastic fork and knife require a lot of pressure to separate a bite
from the whole. Of course, once that’s achieved, it’s worth the effort.

The menu features traditional Mexican food from enchiladas to tamales, from tacos to
burritos. They may be ordered a la carte or as a combination plate served with rice and
beans, or beans and salad. This family-run business has been drawing diners to the
seven-table eatery (two other tables are available outside) since 1976. People stand in
line for a reason: the food is worth it.

El Taco Rey
Four Plates
330 W. Colorado Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO