Because of the estimated 500,000+ Mexicans/Mexican-Americans living in the Metropolitan Chicago community, Chicago is blessed with a wealth of good Mexican restaurants. So many that it’s not possible to sample them all and the ones that get the mention or are promoted earn the lions-share of support from readers of forums such as this. Family-operated Los Corrales on Cermak Rd. in the Marshall Square neighborhood is one of those good restaurants that probably deserves more attention than it gets.
Occupying one corner of the historic Marshall Theater building, Los Corrales may best be described as a restaurant serving food in the “Mexico City” style. Featured specialties are giant-sized bowls of caldos (at $6.50 each: chicken, beef, fish or shrimp), quesadillas and huaraches, but the menu is a large one, encompassing a wide variety of popular items.
For lunch yesterday I chose the “Enchiladas Verdes Los Corrales” platter, consisting of three plump, chicken-filled enchiladas covered with a spicy/hot green tomatillo and chili sauce, a small lettuce and tomato salad, and generous portions of Mexican rice and refried pinto beans ($6.99). The enchiladas are also offered with a “special recipe Durango sauce.” I consumed two bottles of Mexican-produced “Sidral Mundet Manzana” (apple-flavored) soft drink during the meal; no alcoholic beverages are sold by the restaurant.
Pre-meal, as soon as I sat at the only open table at 1:00 p.m. (maybe 30 other customers were happily enjoying their meals then), the attentive and personable waiter brought a basket of totopos and a bowl of steaming-hot, direct from the stove-top red, mildly-spicy salsa. I prefer this style salsa to the cold or room temperature, uncooked “salsa pico de gallo” so many Mexican restaurants serve.
The restaurant reminds me of so many restaurants in Mexico City: clean, tiled floors and colorful painted walls, good food, full-house, television perched high on one wall, and the occasional vendor walking through the door and amongst the customers selling candy, jewelry, etc.
A very Mexican experience in the heart of the city.
Restaurant Los Corrales
2881 West Cermak Road (at Marshall Blvd.)
Chicago, IL 60623-3513
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 9a.m. > 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. > 9 p.m.
The restaurant is easy to reach by car and street parking is available. By public transport, you can take the Pink Line "L" to the California stop and walk one block to Cermak Rd. and then two blocks West to Marshall Blvd., or take the #22 Cermak Rd. bus which stops almost at the door to the restaurant.