Monday, August 29, 2011

Road Trip: Nuevo Leon - Chicago

Asado de Puerco

On our way out of Chicago on our most recent trip, we also stopped to have breakfast at another of our friend’s favorite places, Restaurante Nuevo León.  He had told us how good the Huevos Rancheros were and the homemade flour tortillas.  It was perfect timing for us and an easy stop on the way to the highway (it is located in the Pilsen neighborhood, which is full of many Mexican restaurants).
We were seated right away in this bustling, extremely busy little restaurant.  The servers were nice, although a bit gruff and quick, but after ordering, we were brought the usual chips and salsa (two salsas, a verde that was more roasted and mild, and a hot red salsa) as well as a complimentary sample of their Asado de Puerco (who would have thought you would get an amuse bouche at a little Mexican place where the breakfast entrées average about $5?).  The thinly sliced pork was really good too—it was super flavorful, marinated in an ancho chili sauce and grilled and was served with bits of onion and cilantro, beans and a corn tortilla.  I knew after eating this, we were going to be quite full when we left. I mean, we hadn’t even gotten our meals yet!
For my breakfast, I had the Chilaquiles ($5), which were scrambled eggs, mixed with bits of fried tortilla chips, tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos.  Classic beans and rice on the side.  At first bite, I thought this dish was just okay, but the more I ate it, the more mix of flavors I got and I got addicted to the crispy bits of tortilla mixed in, giving it not just crunch, but a nice bit of corn flavor.   The refried beans were also very good—deep and rich in flavor, they had been cooking awhile.  Our friend told us to order the flour tortillas as well because he thinks they are the best and he is right.  They are superb—little slightly burnt spots from where they were just freshly made.  Some of the best flour tortillas I have had.
Hubby had the Huevos Rancheros ($4) which are 2 eggs cooked over easy and served with a red salsa type sauce (ranchero sauce).  He loved his dish.  The flour tortillas with the perfectly cooked eggs and sauce and more of those beans made for a happy husband. 
This place is great.  I look forward to having this exact meal again on a future trip to Chicago. And after spending a small fortune on a couple of dinners the previous two nights, it was awesome to get out of this place for under $15 including drinks. (And it’s cash only, so make sure you’ve got some in your pocket).
Restaurante Nuevo León
1515 West 18th Street
Chicago, IL  60608

Nuevo Leon on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. El Nuevo also has easy parking, either at the meters on the street or their free parking lot 1/2 a block east - always a consideration when driving in Chicago. Lunch is really good there too.

    A couple other Chicago classics near I 90/94 and south of the loop are:

    Manny's Delicatessen
    1141 South Jefferson Street
    Chicago, IL 60607
    (go for lunch only)

    Al's #1 Italian Beef
    1079 West Taylor Street
    (11am to midnight)

    Don Pedro's Carnitas
    1113 West 18th Street
    Chicago, IL 60608
    (for breakfast or lunch)

    Parking is easy at any of these places, so they're good stops for excellent cheap eats either on the way in or out of town before you dump your car at the hotel.