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Markelos (24 Hour Guatemalan Bakery)

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Markelos (24 Hour Guatemalan Bakery)

Rene G | Feb 11, 2002 10:06 PM

Markelos is a Guatemalan bakery that I’ve stopped at several times in the last few years. From what I can tell Guatemalan pastries are fairly similar to Mexican (I don’t know very much about either). Markelos has quite a large variety and I can never keep track of what I liked or disliked on my previous visits. Luckily everything is very inexpensive so it’s no big deal to take some chances. The setup is similar to most Mexican bakeries, just take a tray and tongs and select whatever looks good. Markelos is strictly takeout and very little English is spoken.

On my last visit I noticed several things I hadn’t seen before. Piles of foil-wrapped packets turned out to be Guatemalan tamales, quite different from the Mexican version. The texture is very light and pudding-like and the meat and sauce are on top rather than in the center. I’m not certain what the meat was but I’d guess pig tail, complete with bone. The reddish sauce was mild but flavorful and there was a green olive and a strip of roasted red pepper. Underneath was a square of banana leaf that stained the dough green.

Another new item was Guatemalan chiles rellenos, large poblanos stuffed with a mild mixture of finely shredded meat, potatoes, peas, and carrots. They had been dipped in a thin egg coating and fried (not exactly greaselessly). They were arranged on a large lettuce-covered tray garnished with onion slices and chopped parsley. I enjoyed both the tamales and chiles but can’t say how they compare with the same from other area Guatemalan places.

There were also a few trays of baklava-like pastries. I don’t know if these could be standard Guatemalan fare or are a concession to neighborhood tastes. Actually I think Markelos might be Greek-owned so that may be the explanation.

I think the tamales and chiles are each $1.50 (both are large) and few pastries are over $0.50. This could be a useful place to know about especially for a simple late snack.

Markelos
3520 W Lawrence Av
Chicago
773-539-9344
Always open

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