During brief intervals in my daughter's dance competition at the Paramount Theatre last evening I looked for places to eat in downtown Aurora, which unlike my Rust Belt hometown with a gambling boat, Joliet, looks to have some fledling ethnic eateries. Has anyone eaten at any of these places?
El Coqui Puerto Rican Cuisine
7 W. Downer
A very clean storefront operated by the very engaging and savvy Zaida Chapa. The bacalaitos I had caused me to ask if El Coqui serves any actual cod despite its absence from the menu. Zaida said to call ahead and she'll have the cook make cod salad or cod en salsa.
35 S. Broadway
Zaida recommended this as the "most-homemade"-tasting of the downtown Mexican restaurants. (There's a big Mexican neighborhood east of downtown with restaurants and grocery stores.) A deeper menu than I can find in Joliet: goat and half a dozen seafood dishes. Daily specials, including chicken mole on Wednesday I want to try.
Barkada Filipino-American Cuisine
SW corner of Galena and Blues Alley
This looks to be a hotel dining room. I didn't get in 'cause it was closed for a private function.
Ciara's Place -- Fine Dining with Soul
SE corner of Broadway and New York
Soul food in an attractive room that reminded me of a university-town bistro. Dinner entrees from $10 up.