Belmont Cragin, North Side

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Fantastic Flor de Calabaza at El Huarache de Maria

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. More

Sausage City: The Original Gene's Sausage Shop

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. More

Czech out Operetta in Chicago

"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... More

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