All you need is steak with a couple of cebollitas (grilled green onions), which seems to be what all these steak combinations come down to.
Belmont Cragin, North Side
El Huarache de Maria means "Maria's Slipper," and it specializes in the long freshly-made tortillas called huaraches, which here would seem to suggest that Maria wears a 27EEEE. So that's what the flor de la calabaza go on here, and combined with their smoky, robust refried beans, it's a first-rate version.
They're not artisan doughnuts, they're just doughnuts, less than a buck apiece, and darned good. In short, hardworking doughnuts for the city that works.
I visited La Chilangueada to try one thing, but that plan changed fast. Now I'm kind of convinced that La Chilangueada is one of the best all-around taquerias in Chicago, especially on the North Side.
Like most places that fly under the radar, Central Gyros is worth a look. Though I'll leave dispatch of the namesake itself to abler hands, their fried offerings are well within my enthused purview.
At first glance, nothing about the gyros sandwich ($5.95) from Central Gyros looks particularly different about the setup. But take a closer look, and you'll notice that the meat is shaved extra thin.
The Italian beef at Marco's Beef and Pizza in Belmont Cragin is a beauty—tender, beefy, and spicy. Why I am so shocked?
Drive west on Grand Ave. far enough and eventually you'll find Ody's Drive Inn. Doesn't matter if you're looking for it, it'll make itself known. Painted bright red and yellow, it calls out, beckoning hungry travelers to pull in. Perhaps that's just me.
I've already written about Gene's Sausage Shop in Lincoln Square, a beautiful, pristine place that almost glistens, with modern refrigerators, fresh produce, a wine selection, and a beer garden on top. But many of the sausages you see there originate at a more unassuming shop on Belmont Avenue much further west: the original Gene's Sausage Shop. It's a little rougher around the edges, a little more faded, and a lot more charming.
"Czech food historically tends to be a peasant-fueling winter warming type of cuisine.." Like many well-intentioned supposedly smart kids, I once thought I'd go to medical school. Then I took organic chemistry. It wasn't that the nuances of covalent bonds...