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Restaurants & Bars 25

Maxwell Street Foray, 9/15/02

David Hammond | Sep 15, 200205:46 PM

It was “good eating” weather (cool and overcast) when about 20 of us arrived at Maxwell (Canal) street for a major chow foray through this remarkable Chicago culinary landmark.

I’m sure others will want to post about their favorites – but I’d like to focus on the subject of multiple posts on this board: empanadas flor de calabaza.

Many posts have speculated on the preparation of ingredients in this dish, and no doubt, those ingredients vary by location, day, chef, availability of materials, etc. My feeling is that the everyday Mexican cook chops up everything – pistil, stamen, squash itself – and puts it all together. That’s definitely the way they do it at La Colonial, one of my first stops every time I go to Maxwell Street -- and the first stop on today’s foray.

I like to come La Colonial first because the empanadas flor de calabaza are so simple and clean tasting that I’m afraid their delicate flavor would wither beneath the high-spice juggernaut of such piquant platters as tacos de los chicharones (knockout juicy pig skin, big flavor) and de los ojos (beef eye and head meat: weird, though memorable – with a taste that held on for a very long time).

For those who couldn’t make it (or for those who did and want to relive the flavor), I’ve attached a link to a site with a few photos so you can see the empanadas flor de calabaza prepared at La Colonial – when you get to the homepage, click the Photos tab.


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