Although my travels took me close to Chicago, I posted these here as part of the roadtrip continuation. Wednesday evening I took my MA to Petey's II located at 159th & Rte 45 in Orland park as a thank you for lodging me for a few days. Petey's has been around since I was a kid and always was a popular spot w/ the prom crowd, etc. although I never tried it. We were seated quickly and drink orders arrived poste haste. The dry martinis were just right and we were allowed time to peruse the menu. A big relish tray w/ very fresh veggies, 2 kinds of olives and 2 kinds of peppers arrived as a teaser. We had a tomato bread appetizer topped w/ blue cheese. The blue cheese was about as creamy and light as I have had. I thought that it might be a Nauvoo or Maytag. The cheese was plentiful and the bread had a fine garlic undertone. As an added old school bonus, small dishes of macaroni salad, pickled beets, and a cucumber salad were brought. I ordered a bone-in NY Strip and MA had the fried scallops. Salads arrived after some prerequisite grazing time. Salads were nice sized. I had the homemade Roquefort which was thick and laden with chunks of cheese. My steak averaged about 16 to 18 ounces and was done to order...medium. Although a small portion was a bit tough, it was a good piece of beef and had good flavor without any adornment of sauces. Ma's scallops were nice and large; numbering about 9. They were quite juicy inside a light tempura style batter. We both had twice baked potatoes which were quite good. Needless to say, there was no room for the dessert menu. The waitress was a seasoned pro that entertained us with her dry wit and subtle conversation that made me feel like I was a millionaire and we were the only people in the place. It's a great old school type of place.
Thursday lunch took me to Erik's Taco's now known as El Balcon at 431 N. Bolingbrook Rd in Bolingbrook, IL. It took me some calls to the heavily accented waitress and some searching to find it on the 2nd floor of a strip mall behind a car wash. I was in a sampling mood so I started with a Rajas con Queso Taco which was strips of seeded pablanco peppers on a handmade corn tortilla with cheese and sour cream. It broke a sweat but didn't really burn the old tongue. I then ordered the Guisado de Chicharron taco which was pork skins simmered in a mild tomato sauce laid overlay in a corn tortilla. I was a little anxious about eating pork skins although I love them fried. I was surprised at how tasty it was. It was very tender and really had pronounced flavors of the tomatoes and the green sauce which I added. Finally I had a Pastor Guaraches which was a handmade white corn tortilla that was about the thickness and consistency of pita bread and shaped like an oval about 5 " wide and 16" long. It was laid with a light frosting of frijoles and then covered with small chunks of marinated pork in a dark red sauce. It was all covered with the crumbly white cheese, the name of which I can't recall. I added the table-set green sauce and really enjoyed the consistency of the "bread'. The pork bits were plentiful and nicely seasoned. The total tab including raspberry tea was right at $10. They offer many more authentic dishes including breakfast and no menu item or combination exceeds $7.99. I was the only non-Hispanic customer which I believe speaks well for the food authenticity. Overall I had some nice food experiences and now it's time to recuperate from strained stomach muscles..LOL