Three yummy Mexican restaurants. Ole Chicago!

I missed good Mexican food when we lived in Colorado. There were lots of Mexican places but only a couple really good ones. There are lots and lots of great ones here!

One of the first places we went was Azteca De Oro: 3731 North Clark Street, Lakeview Chicago, IL 60613.

We had lunch here and it was really good. I had a taco plate and Mike had a burrito. Great prices and fun decor, too.

A taco plate from Azteca De Oro, Lakeview, Chicago

A taco plate from Azteca De Oro, Lakeview, Chicago

Tasty burrito from Azteca De Oro

Tasty burrito from Azteca De Oro

Fun decor at Azteca De Oro

Fun decor at Azteca De Oro

Another Mexican place we liked a lot was El Cid 2: 2645 North Kedzie Avenue, Logan Square,  Chicago, IL 60647

Not sure if there’s an El Cid 1, but El Cid 2 was very good. Big fruity margaritas, and really tasty soft tacos. It’s right by the Logan Square Blue Line so it’s convenient, too.

Mango Margarita at El Cid 2, Logan Square Chicago

Mango Margarita at El Cid 2, Logan Square Chicago

Soft taco plate with three different tacos at El Cid 2, Chicago

Soft taco plate with three different tacos at El Cid 2, Chicago

Tarascas: 2585 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park, Chicago, 60614

This place is only a block away from our apartment but it took us forever to actually go here. They have signs all over the place touting their gigantic margaritas (45 and a half ounces). I don’t really want a gigantic margarita (usually gigantic things are merely gigantic and not very good) but one day we went in anyway out of sheer laziness combined with starvation. I had a normal sized margarita which was actually very good. We also got a huge plate of  nachos, also very good.

Nachos from Tarascas, Lincoln Park, Chicago

Nachos from Tarascas, Lincoln Park, Chicago



Cafe El Paso–Tex Mex in Colorado Springs

I’ve been on a serious quest for some good Mexican food here in Colorado Springs. I’m sad to say I’ve been having kind of a hard time. Cafe El Paso is really cute from the outside and it got good reviews elsewhere so we went the other night.

Cafe El Paso is “Tex-Mex” which usually doesn’t mean much outside of  Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. But I think the owners are from Texas, so they know what they’re doing.

They have a really interesting menu that includes all the usual tacos, burritos, enchiladas, etc. But they also have huevos rancheros all day long, not just for breakfast, which is awesome. They also have some other interesting dinners that I’ve never seen before.

The decor inside is not that great, I’m sad to say, because the outside is really inviting. Oh well. The food is really good.

We started with some free chips and salsa.

Chips and salsa from Cafe El Paso

Chips and salsa from Cafe El Paso

They have a menu with several different margaritas. This is unusual and good! Most places here don’t have more than one or two kinds, even fancy places that should (Sonterra, I’m looking at you). I ordered the one that the server said was her favorite and thought it wasn’t that great. I’m pretty picky about drink mixes or drinks that taste like drink mixes but that’s just my own personal issue. Anyhow, this one was very sweet and tasted “mix-y”.  But later on in the evening some people at a neighboring table had half a pitcher of theirs left and brought it over to me to finish. LOL. Anyhow, those were made with some fancy tequila and were much better than the one I ordered.
Margarita at Cafe El Paso

Margarita at Cafe El Paso

Linda and me getting our drink on. Actually she's just having water.

Linda and me getting our drink on. Actually she's just having water.

Mike had the special of the day which was some fancy tacos.

Beef tacos at Cafe El Paso- comes with rice and beans
Beef and mango tacos with onions and cilantro at Cafe El Paso- comes with rice and beans
Huevos Rancheros for dinner at Cafe El Paso

Huevos Rancheros for dinner at Cafe El Paso

Too many margaritas and I can’t remember the name of what I got. It was seriously good, tho.

A really interesting creamy chicken dish wirth rice and beans from Cafe El Paso
A really interesting creamy chicken dish wirth rice and beans from Cafe El Paso

So, anyhow, Cafe El Paso has lame decor, decent margaritas (if you order the right one- get the fancy tequila), and really good food!

Family Vacation Part Four

Breakfast in Ridgway Colorado at Kate’s Place.

Telluride, CO. Really neat. I want to go back soon.

Apple fritter from a bakery in Telluride.

Cool old sign in Cortez, CO

Old hotel in Durango. Durango was very crowded with tourists and not as exciting as I hoped it would be.

We did have a nice dinner at one of their local brew pubs, I think it was called Steamworks.

I had the Steam Engine Lager.

And a steak salad.

While my brother mocked me with his Coors Light.

The nephews and their usual homemade root beer.

Silverton, CO. Very cute. We had coffee and wireless internet in a great little cafe there, that for some reason I took no pictures of. It was a shack/house that was turned into a cafe. I also don’t remember the name. Leave a comment if you know the name of the place. Doh. I am a bad blogger.

Silverton Jail!

Dad and me waiting for mom to get off the phone. The usual.

We made a loop back to Ouray. I liked Ouray but not as much as Telluride.

Lunch! I had tomato soup.

And grilled cheese with pesto sandwich and truffle fries.

Mom had chicken salad.

Continental Divide

Salida. It was raining and late by the time we go there and this little place was the only thing open. They had the best margaritas!

I had a really good shrimp salad. We went there the next day for lunch, too. I had a steak salad but it wasn’t as good as the shrimp one!

Coffee the next day at a cute little coffee house. Name I can’t remember, of course.

The place we went back to to have lunch. It was right on the river and there were kyakers and rafters floating on by while we had lunch.

Family Vacation Part Three

On Saturday we went up to Buena Vista for river rafting. I didn’t take any pics cuz i didn’t want to get my camera wet. it was fun, tho!
Then we drove over to Gunnison- really pretty roads:

Gotta take pics of the cool old signs!

Dinner in Gunnison. I can’t remember the name of the place. I guess I better take notes or at least more pics. My brother had a Coors Light on tap.

I had a Jack and Coke

I love salad bars!

Look at all that cowboy grub:

I had flatiron steak, mashed potatoes and baked beans, it was excellent.

My brother had a bacon cheeseburger which he said was tasty, too.

The Dange couldn’t get the weekend off work so I just pretended he was there.

The next day we drove out to Ridgway, CO where we found a funky resort type place.
They had a great little bar with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.

And yummy drinks! Mom had a strawberry basil margarita or something, Dad and I had regular margaritas.

Then the kids showed up after spending some time in the private hot tub.

Brie cheese quesadillas.

Crab cakes.

Bison sliders.

Pretty rainbow, we had to take turns getting our pictures taken under it.

Later we went to True Grit Cafe

I had another margarita.

And a salad.

Nephew had fettucini alfredo with chicken.

I also had the bison meatloaf. It was all really good! But they were out of a whole bunch of things and had to keep coming back to tell us so. Then they didn’t take American Express.

Then they charged us 25 cents for a to go box. GIVE ME A BREAK. We called the manager over and bitched at her and she gave us a free slice of pie. Whatev. It’s still lame.

After dinner my brother and his GF went up to Ouray to get a drink (no bars in Ridgway)

Then we went in the hot tub!
More later!

Nederland, Territory Days Colorado Springs, Henri’s, Toast

First things first. Friday we went up to The Nordstrom Rack so I could return a dress and DM could look at shoes. It’s near Littleton so we went over to a yummy place called Toast in downtown historical Littleton. Seems like it used to be a cute place. A Little Town. Now of course it’s a sprawling ugly suburban hell.

I had what else, french toast! And eggs. Yum. The french toast was sort of creamy inside and made with thick bread. Sort of cinnamony too but not too much. I could have lived without the whipped cream, but other than that it was delish. I was also considering the Grilled Chicken and Pear Sandwich, The Roasted Turkey and Avocado Sandwich, or The Apple and Brie Sandwich. I’m going to save this menu and see if I can make some of this stuff myself.

Oddly, given their name, the toast was the least interesting item they had. DM liked his cornbeef hash, tho.

We wanted to go on a hike to see wildflowers. After I reasearched it a little I realized there weren’t going to be any wildflowers yet. That happens in July. Still we wanted to check out the area so we headed up to Eldora/Nederland and walked this little hike. By the time we go there it was chilly (49 degrees!) and sort of late so we only spent about an hour on the trail. It will be a nice place to come back to in summer tho. Eldora is a pretty cute funky place. There’s no town there anymore, just a boarded up general store and some log cabins. The log cabins were cuuuuuuute. Little tiny things with lace curtains in the windows and stuff like that. It would be fun to stay in one sometime.

Yea, there was even still lots of snow on the ground!

One little tiny wildflower!

After the hike we went down into the town of Nederland. It’s not much of a town. Just 5 or 6 blocks. We had dinner and beers made on site at Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery. It was VERY Colorado. I had the Otis Pale Ale- it was cute and had a pig on the tap. DM had some other thing that was a “guest beer” meaning it was from another local brewery not this one. I liked mine better. It was sort of sweet. We shared some sweet potato fries which were really good. As good at the ones at Paradox Lounge here in Colorado Springs.

DM had the brisket with the sampler sauce platter, baked beans and garlic mashed potatoes. I tasted it all and it was really good. One of the sauces was a Thai sauce and it was yummy. The rest of them were your standard bbq sauces. A couple of them were super hot and spicy. I liked them all but aside from the Thai one they weren’t outstanding. Not even close to Missouri Hicks! That’s the best sauce ever. I can’t wait to go back in September on a road trip with the DM. ANYHOW, this was very good. We did great as far as food went on Friday.

I was still pretty full from breakfast so I had a Buffalo pulled chicken salad. It was much smaller than I expected it to be (just a regular dinner salad plate) but even then I didn’t finish it. It was really good, tho! It was a perfect idea. I love Buffalo wings (despite the fact that the first time I ate them like 15 years ago I got major food poisoning from them- hey, that never stops me!) and to have it in a salad makes a lot of sense. The sauce was really hot and the blue cheese dressing and lettuce and carrots and celery were nice and cool and crunchy. I’m gonna for sure make this at home.

There are tons of street fairs almost every weekend here or nearby this summer. Yesterday we went to the first one, The Territory Days in Old Colorado City which is about 5 miles from here in an old historical part of town. It was PACKED. It was ok but not that exciting.

I love lilacs ans they’re everywhere here! I can’t remember them being everywhere in Southern California but maybe they are and I just somehow missed them.

We got hungry but didn’t want to eat $10 turkey legs or $6 funnel cakes so we popped into a little Mexican restaurant called Henri’s. I’d never heard of it or seen a review of it or anything. Yikes! That always scares me. Anyhow we sat at the bar, ordered up some drinks.

Chips and salsa were $2.

This is annoying and LAME! Mexican restaurants should not charge for chips and salsa. But by then I was hungry and getting a little drunk so we went ahead and ordered them anyway. Grrr. The salsa was really good. Hot but not overwhelmingly so. No raw onions in it which I appreciated as you know how fond I am of the raw onions.

I had my fave: posole. It was pretty good. Not as good as the one at Dona Rosa in Pasadena. I KNOW some people really hate that place and honestly I’ve only been a couple times but that posole will live in my memory forever. Anyhow, this one was good and hit the spot with the drinkin.

DM had some kind of enormous burrito. He enjoyed it.

After the fair we went over to Target for a few things. Then to Cheers liquor store so I could get more margarita fixins. I wanted to spend the day outside on the grass cuz it was so nice out. By this time DM was ready to crash tho. So he napped and watched hockey inside and I laid out in the sun for awhile. I neglected to buy triple sec cuz I bought margarita mix and figured it would have it in it. I dunno, it’s been forever since I’ve made margaritas. I would have made them from scratch but Colorado has the most retarded liquor laws that say you can’t sell food (limes!) in a liquor store. So screw it, I bought the mix. It’s a locally made mix with all natural ingredients and no HFCS so it wasn’t THAT bad. Homemade would have been way better. Anyhow I made the drink with the mix, the tequilla, and some OJ and it was pretty good. I only drank about half of it tho cuz I started to get a headache. I went inside and took a two hour nap but still had a headache so I took a fiorinal and had some coffee and felt better. Sheesh, not a good idea to drink first thing in the morning before eating anything, I guess.

Today we went to Home Depot to scout out flooring and carpet and other things cuz DM needs to do some work on his condo in Phoenix. The place was empty. Sundays in Colorado Springs. Sheesh. It’s good to be a heathen in this town. We also had hot dogs. Home Depot hot dogs are my faves.

Now DM is at work and I’m gonna go outside and sit in the sun for awhile then come back in and do some cooking. I guess I need to lay off the carbs for awhile because not only am I getting fat but I’m super cranky and low enrgy from them, too. I found some veggie recipes, too cuz I have been seriously lacking in them as well. I used to be so much better about food than I am now. I dunno what the deal is. I’ll keep you posted if I find some good ones.