i knew there was a reason why i got up early today and rode thru the chilly morning for an 8am breakfast at neuvo leon. its a terrific place, but extremely crowded,and noisy. they have superb refried beans, always my personal standard of excellence in a hispanic restaurant. But....i was fretting about the impossibility of a large bunch of chowhounds all trying to eat together, so after chowing down, we wandered half a block east to Polo Restaurant, which zim had mentioned he'd been wanting to try. he forwarded very positive remarks a friend of his made about the place. So i went in, talked to esther reyes, the owner, who is from monterrey, about the possibility of having 20 or so chowhounds for lunch next sunday. she couldnt have been nicer. she sent me to talk to some regular, satisfied customers; she fed my a delicious pork guajillo stew and the long and short of it is i put down a $100 deposit for us. the place is plain, sunny, no smoking (yes!), and it will be close to a homecooked meal. while anyone is welcome to order off the lunch menu (and nothing costs more than $7.50), we agreed that she'd prepare extra amounts of chile rellenos (vegetarian), beef stew, chicken with mole, and the guajillo pork stew. all will come with homemade tortillas, rice, beans, and salad.
PLEASE NOTE:LUNCH STARTS AT 12, RATHER THAN 12:30. Then we wont be rushed. come at 12:30 if you cant make it at 12, you WILL STILL BE WELCOMED WARMLY. if you've already said you're coming for lunch, i'll assume you're still coming. if you havent yet rsvp'd, its really important that i hear from you by thursday as i need to give esther an approximate head count on friday.email me at email@example.com. dont let that deter you from showing up on the spur of the moment on sunday, either, but it'll be helpful for her shopping if the headcount is as accurate as possible.see you there. POLO RESTAURANT, 1454 W. 18TH ST., (312)829-9377, joan