[Photograph: Michell Eloy]

Whatever your feelings on the Food Network's Guy Fieri might be, the man knows how to pick a good hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Take, for example, Bucktown's Irazú, which was featured on Fieri's show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in October. This small cafe has been serving up traditional Costa Rican dishes on Chicago's northwest side since 1990, surviving largely on word-of-mouth advertising and a reasonably priced menu full of some the most delicious Central American food you'll find in the city.

And under the sandwich portion of that menu reigns the Pepito ($4.95). Billed as a "Chicago favorite," the Pepito features rib eye steak (or chicken), huge chunks of sautéed onion, seasoned black beans and melted muenster cheese between two thick slabs of freshly-baked french bread. Topping everything off is salsa lizano, a typical Costa Rican brown sauce made from vegetables and spices. It adds a nice sweet flavor while still giving the sandwich a subtly spicy kick. Avocados cost an extra 50 cents, but are completely worth it.


1865 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 (map)


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