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St. George Ct. is it (still more sopes)

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St. George Ct. is it (still more sopes)

Vital Information | Jun 9, 2003 09:58 AM

The single best thing about chowhound is the give and take amongst the eaters. Someone posts, someone else visits. Each visit expands our knowledge and produces even better eating. No where else has this interchange worked than at this amazing corner of St George Ct. and Milwaukee.

Ask any of your true Chicago hands, Rich Kogan, Studs Terkel, the ghost of Nelso Algren, do you think any of them could pin-point St. George Ct. on a map of Chicago. Hell, do you think any of those foodies cited in last week's Chicago Tribune article know what awaits near the intersection of St. George and Milwaukee? Luckily, here at chowhound, we are rapidly learning exactly what is there.

In my two reports, I noted different people serving food at this sainted intersection, and then RST revealed the full depth of the multiple vendors. Best known, now and forever as the blue van guys and the maroon van guys. I was there yesterday at about 1:30ish, just as the rain was starting. Both the blue van and the maroon van were there. The blue van at the "better" spot, the north corner of St. George and Milwaukee, where eaters could park in the lot. The maroon van was across the street on the east side of Milwaukee.

I went first to the maroon guys. Unfortunately, because of the rain, they were in the process of packing up. Also, they were out of picaditas. I was steered, amongst the many coolers in the van--yes a bounty!--to the tacos canasta. $1 for 2, chicharron and chicken mole. I totally agree that the chicharron was addictive, tasting more of bacon than pure fat. There were (at least?) 2 salsas and a pico de gallo and pickled jalepenos to accent, but the pouring rain limited my options. Imagine me spooning stuff as they were frantically trying to keep it dry.

Now, I refuse to fully comment on this place as I barely dented the surface, but I note that the tortillas on the tacos were just ok, tasting of factory not of hand, bummer. The fillings and the salsas, however, revealed their true skills. I remain, however, an acolate of the blue.

Armed with my knowledge from last week's posts, I asked if they were sopes or picaditas. The woman of blue, who speaks pretty good english, said you could call them either. As an aside, and I meant to say this last week, at Quebrada they have sopes and picaditas on their menu, and the key differences are that the picaditas are pretty much flat, no lip and the picaditas have no meat, essentially just a vehicle for sauce and masa. So, the sope-picadita here still remains one of the best things in Chicago to eat.

They only had potato yesterday. It remains a totality of superior parts: homemade masa boats, part chewy, part crisp, part toothsome; potatoes stewed in a slightly spicy sauce, yesterday a pinch of cooked chili pepper sneaking in; topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and sweet onions and finally, a truly incendiary green salsa, a pain I nurtured in my mouth all afternoon. Eat!

Who knows what this corner eats like during the week, but on Sunday at least, it is the best.

VI

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