In case you missed its appearance on an episode of “Triple D” (Guy Fieri’s own slang for his ridiculously popular Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives), this Pueblan restaurant has a giant sign commemorating the experience. Locals just shrug, as they’ve long known that this is the place to score specialties such as tacos arabes, pork tacos with thick, pitalike wrappers that are the result of Puebla’s Lebanese influence. Here, these chipotle-spiked beauties and their friend the cemita milanesa (a breaded pork steak with cheese and avocado on a sesame-studded bun) are among the best of the menu, and unique finds to boot.
With hundreds of tin robots, wind-up toys and other kitschy gewgaws covering every inch of wall space, your short wait for lunch here will be spent giggling about Pez dispensers you had as a kid. Entrées typically zoom out of the kitchen, especially on busy weekend nights. Start with the spring rolls, which are light and crisp enough that you’ll have plenty of room for a heaping plate of rama, with its rich peanut sauce, crunchy steamed broccoli and perfectly fried cubes of firm tofu.
Never tried Costa Rican food? This spot is simple, authentic, cheap, supercasual and friendly—just what the doctor ordered. Start with the hearts of palm salad—tangy stalks on a bed of shredded cabbage tossed in a lime vinaigrette, along with radishes, cilantro, cucumber, pickled beets and ripe avocado. Make it a meal by adding the steak-and-beans “pepito” sandwich and sweet plantains. Bring a bottle of malbec to match, and end the meal with an oatmeal shake (sounds strange, tastes great).
Prepared foods like goat cheese–stuffed chicken breast and grilled asparagus topped with truffle oil show the Goddess’s nod to elegance, while commuter-friendly breakfast sandwiches and steamy cups of coffee bring bustling biz in the morning. Don’t miss the fancy ice creams in the small freezer.
At this Gold Coast sushi spot, the lights are low and the candles numerous, which warms up the slick, white, space-agey design. But to warm yourself up, count on the rich, savory unagi egg rolls (avocado and eel wrapped and fried); buttery hamachi sashimi; or one of the over-the-top maki rolls.
Vegans and vegetarians who love Thai food can breathe a sigh of relief. This may look like every other neighborhood curry shack, but there is no fish sauce hiding in the peanut satay nor egg wash coating the spring rolls: Everything on the menu is 100 percent vegan. Omnivores won’t taste the sacrifice in dishes like a fragrant green curry rife with Japanese eggplant or curried tofu skewers with chunky peanut sauce.
These pizzas are distinguished from other Neapolitan pies in Chicago in that you can hold a slice and not have the tapered end slump over your hand. There is no wetness here, really. Nor is there a notable amount of crisp. If the perfect crust is one so perfectly balanced that it seems without textural inclinations, Nella’s crust indeed may be perfect.