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The Verdad La Mexicana Comida Esta Out There….

1 Aug

So these three youthful Midwesterners are at NYC’s La Guardia airport baggage claim abuzz with anticipatory crackish then/Red Bullish ahora pre-embarking adrenaline rush exclusive to both visitors and residents of Gotham and maximum security prisons.


What today would have been a text and/or tweet shared among friends we the public actually participated – okay eavesdropped – in their animated public discourse.

And what today would have been a Yelp! search actually turned into a lively debate with real opinions shared from real live experience instead of online strangers.

To the dulcet caterwaul – with occasional thud – of a luggage carousel – this husky body politic weighed in on Chicago vs New York pizza: ‘I can’t wait to try Domino’s. I bet it’s way better here.’ ‘No way, ‘Yes way’ ‘No way’ ‘yes way’ ‘Chicago’ ‘New York’ Chicago New York and on and on and on and maybe text might have been less Valley Girly and distracting so the rest of us could focus on our opinions and obvious superior big city sophisticated taste, grab bags, turn up noses, bolt.


All but yo en verdad. Mi cargo fue returning con yo from Mexico. While the fuerte opinions blogged aqui suggest otrowise. I am still here to tell you the only reason Taco Bell en Mexico is better albeit more authentic than Taco Bell en Esatdos Unidos por que you get to order en Espanol.


And even though I’ve been called a snob because I refuse to eat @Chipotle – which is to Mexico as Red Lobster is to the sea – you can’t feed a more Catholic, democratic, open and omnivorous maw than mine. Beyond therapy for my PTAzMexSD, the entire purpose of this here blogging a la Marco Pollo is to document my quest for el Cocina Mexicana ultima outside the friendly confines of mi beloved Sonoran desert. I know it exists, even if I have to make it so in mi own cocineria por ejemplo:



I can’t believe you’re not Midwesternican pollo asado y chile verde y cream of chicken y corn tortillas that taste like dumplings y cheese casserolenchiladas


The chipotle variation (the chile not the chain)


North Carolina BBQ pork/Trader JoseNM salsa verde/avocado/refried frijoles/Trader Jose flour tort/burro


Elotes/frijoles/pollo asado tacos con cilantro y radishes from our urban parking garage rooftop garden

Or when I have to burn $5 on some breakfast burrito from Pret-a-Porte labeled ‘Southwestern’ because maybe that’s what Mexican food is like in France?


Egg Soufflé (Cage free) Refried Black Bean Salsa Red Peppers Cheddar Red Onions Tortilla Wrap


*To the credit of the Midwesterners who I had no intention of having personify the acronym IOWA (idiots out wandering aimlessly) the very same week I took again to wandering yet again NYC’s sts/aves rather aimlessly, confident enough in my Espanol lengua to order for lunch – much to the delight of the entire diner – a Cubana Torta’ (trans: Cuban Prostitue) and also overheard the following exchange along the way:

Scene: 8th Ave, Times Square, NYC before the greasy window of a Chinese take-out joint tastefully appointed with garlands of Peking Duck.


Cast: Two young men with Long Island accents sporting Yankees caps – backwards….of, course – studying the menu:


‘Peking Duck?’


‘How the fuck they know that duck’s

from Peking?’
And it probably tasted just as good as Long Island duck in Chinatown Chicago.

Outsourcing, Insourcing & Immigration’s Last Hurrah(che)

26 Nov

Outsourcing outcries were once all the rage.


Then insourcing (aka immigration) became the new black.


In both instances, seems to me Los Indios were again and again and again to take it on the chin, blamed and lambasted for the colonization, enslavement and/or hiring practices of most likely my proud peeps, The Anglo Saxons.


Where do I stand on ‘immigration’? Fairly obvious this one: I’m an atheist, holding the fence up for all of my amigos to corne on through. (Recordar: Borders went estomago up, what in 2011?)

AZ Border Fence Jeep_Photo 1

Escuche: Prez O  stumping on about ‘everyone is an immigrant’ kills me almost as effectively as western expansion/Manifest Destiny eradicated, a-hem: NATIVE AMERICANS (duh?) who might actually argue otherwise, El Presidente. And yeah, they vote.


Mira, here’s the only fair and just way we will ever eradicate immigrants: eradicate immigration. To be fair to both democracy here and the parliamentary process everywhere else the Brits stong-armed the red, black, brown and beige masses into Heinz products and Harry Potter let’s put it to a simple si or no vote.


This policy of whoever got there first but not really has obviously failed. Also in the interest of fairness, let only the Indians up and down the Americas and from across the pond in India vote (y si, I include Los Mestisos in the final tally).


The Stakes:

Yes = great everyone stays

No = All non-natives to return to their country of origin immediately or face incarceration (This means you El Presidente O.)

Tambien ASAP. Tambien on Thanksgiving day. Tambien via text. Tambien eating estas:

 photo 2 (3)

 El Dulce Papa Hurrache Sobre El Naan Pan

How to get to that:

1. The yams: soft and mashed

2. The mixed in masala y/o mole to taste:

Canned chipotle sauce – Cinnamon – Nutmeg – Cocoa -Coffee – Salt- Pepper- Brown sugar- Butter – Lech

3. Garlic naan upon which it’s spread

4.Heat till burbling in 350 degree oven

5. Top con onion y zucchini slices seared in dry, red hot skillet

6. Queso blanco crumbles

 photo 1 (4)


‘This is the best thing you’ve ever cooked!’ – Mi Esposa

 ‘Share please.‘ – Me

FYI: Should Black Friday’s Eradicate Immigration Vote 2014 returns return me to my country of origin I’ll be facing hard time. Mira, I was adopted.

My vote for chain gang karaoke?

The Diff is the Riff

23 Oct

In the beginning…

IFLAG was founded on the principle that amongst the feeding millions there must be at least a couple of gringos like me whose culinary Corazon knows no love greater than that of the cuisine of Mexico – the Original Mexico, stretching el Norte to Oregon.


Well, this hombre’s metaphorical heart, just as some prophetic poet waxed, has been ripped out by and sent on a journey around the world for good with last year’s arrival of the little buckaroo. Anywhere he goes so go I. The boy’s owns me like so many ex-Guvs’ Cook County Rolexes. And because this is I am more or less his father, I anyways owe to him a minimum of several thousand “HFS”s daily…and no, dearest CPS, I do not refer her to “Hos Fo Sho”. He hasn’t actually found the front door out. Mostly adventures happen here in Chicago, pops at the wheel to a soundtrack plucked on ukulele strings.



Don’t hate the game, hate the playa (as in Ice-T, not the beach – sorry Tyga.)

While nobody’s gonna hashtag me the Hendrix or Heifetz or Khorshid of the uke in this lifetime, my remedial musical skills somehow doubled down as this week’s muse.


Diga me: most pre-sampling popular songs can be realized on only three to four chords, quite often THE SAME THREE OR FOUR CHORDS. Across the decades I’ve listened to hundreds of thousands of songs and never really picked up on the profundity of this fact. What’s the diff? “The Riff”.


Uno, dos, one, two tres, quatro….

It should have been as obvious as the salsa on my sleeves, shoes, and son: Most Awesome Mexican-American dishes are made using THE SAME THREE TO FOUR (give or take a minor Aeolian augmented second note) ingredients. The Diff = The Riff.


Por lo tanto

Let us then riff on chicken, cheese, chile, beans, tomatoes, guac and tortillas (never to revisit this small beer metaphor again ever). These note’s I’ve riffed on pretty much every day since I heard the first three chords to “I Fought The Law” which is also “White Riot” and/or “Highway To Hell” which is also “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and/or “Bad Moon Rising” which is also “Blitzkrieg Bop” all of which sound amazing on the uke, as played by others.


The Main Ingredient


The Main Ingredients


The Power Chord: Greco-Roma Grilled Chicken Breasts

Marinade overnight in:

Trader Joe’s Olive Oil

Salt/Pepper/Mexican Oregano/Rosemary/Garlic Powder to taste

Pre-heat grill to 500-600. Grill five minutes a side, covered.

Major Chords

Tomato and/or salsa

Shredded cheddar  and/or smoked cheddar (from Tenuta’s in Kenosha)

Pinto beans (refried and caned or dry/boiled/salt & peppered)

Avocado and/or Guacamole

Roasted NM Green Chile and/or Roasted Jalapeno

Tortillas and/or Fritos

Minor Chords:

Roasted corn



The Hits

Thin Crust Smoked Cheddar Chicago-Style Mexican Pizza

Chic-Mex Thin Crust Pizza

Roasted Jalapeno/Chicken/Pinto/Cheese/Scallion/Heirloom tomato/upside-down Frito pie


Tacos Del Halsted con pollo y maize

Chi-mex taco

The Notorious B.I.G.