Last night, after listening to some fine music at Fitzgeralds in Berwyn, my friend Richard and I went in search of late night (11:00 PM) grub. Went to Cermack Ave, found that Costa Azul was open, so went in and sat next to some guys who were enjoying Tequila and grapefruit soda. We talked with them in Spanish for a while, but when it was clear that their English was better than our Spanish, we switched to English (story of my marginally bilingual life).
A few minutes after entering, I noticed a toxic smell, thought it might be some kind of disinfectant or cleanser, and that it would dissipate. It didnt. It was intense, but as I didnt want to offend anyone with a question like what is that vile stench, we ordered when our waitress arrived she was friendly, so we chatted with her. At this point, one of the guys suggested that we should maybe just finish our drinks and leave.
Food arrives: I had shrimp in chipotle sauce (camarones diaboles), and it was not bad. Richard had chiles rellenos, which were very good: light breading, good flavor to the peppers, non-gloppy cheese. Toxic smell still in room.
Guy at other table announces that they are not little people running across the border, which I cant imagine anyone had insinuated. Then its offered that the waitress is married to one of the guys at the table, and that he keeps his eyes on her. Also, Im informed, she can drive herself home, which I was glad to hear, I guess.
We ate, bid adios to our amigos in what was now a toxic atmosphere in more ways than one -- and left.
When I got home, I had to air out my sweater and pants the vile vapors of the restaurant atmosphere still clinging to them, and still faintly detectable this morning.
Still, the chiles rellenos were good.