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Taco saves the day (trip report)

Nab | Sep 29, 200512:50 AM

First off, thanks to you folks for the help you offered in response to my query a little while back.

Just in town for 2 quick nights and working out in Maywood at the Loyola Med. Center, so not a helluvalot of time to hit everything. Was planning on waiting for traffic to die down before leaving work, but I couldn't stop thinking about pupusas from 4pm and so I decided to hit the road at 5p. Finally got to the nabe, parked the car, walked up to Pupusa El Salvador only to see that nobody was home. Sign says closed on Tuesdays, but I was so convinced it was actually Monday, so I hung around for a few minutes thinking somebody would pop out of their apartment, open it up and start cooking. Well, that didn't happen. So I walked across the street and spotted Tacos El Pacifico which looked interesting. Always up for fish tacos. I got a regular fish taco (soft shell) and an octopus one, which the the nice lady said only comes in the hard shell. Interesting. Well these tacos kicked some ass and were true to SoCal (& Mexico) style. The octopus taco was fried and fried and fried again, but it was tasty, just a little on the salty side. The smoked (?) jalapeno with the salt on it was pretty damn fiery for me, but I still managed to eat it. I like that hot sauce they have too. Anyways, great stuff, I was on top of the world. Lady said that they need business and she thinks she may need to close down. I guess they don't get alot of love from the nabe.

Not much time on Wednesday since I was working and then heading straight to ORD, but I managed to hit the Tropical Time Jerk Chicken. Interesting place, with the bulletproof glass and the turnstile built in which you grab your food from. I wanted to try it all, so the guy (Andrew?) said he'd let me pick a few things and make a sampler. I got the oxtail, jerk chicken and the catfish. Oxtail wasn't quite as tender as I would've liked, but great flavor nonetheless. Jerk chicken was fantastic, especially the leg. And the sauce. My favorite was probably the escobiched (?) catfish. I got some of the best chunks off the fish too. So good. Washed it down with a ginger beer and headed to the airport. BTW, when I told Andrew I was from out of town he asked if I found out about this place from an internet food forum -- you guys get around ! And when I told him one of the forums even had his picture up there, he said he suspected he knew who it was (G Wiv) and would get him back for that. Watch out.

Well, looks like I'll be making more trips to Chicago in the future. Next up will most likely be the pupusas, Khan BBQ's chicken boti, maybe some nehari on Devon, and more.

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