(Chicago) - The other week I was craving for an authentic Mexican food and the first restaurant that came to mind is Nuevo Leon. I have visited this place many times for the past 8 years and the food never disappoints me. I could go to this place everyday but the only constraint is distance. That night when my craving was intense, I did not realize that there was a thunderstorm heading to Chicago. Nonetheless, my friend and I drove bravely through the wind and rain to check if there's something ”new” with Nuevo Leon.
The ambiance of this restaurant sets the mood for an authentic Mexican food experience. The walls are brightly painted with images that reference to Mexican kitchen and the neat waiters wearing white raffled plump skirts are friendly and very accommodating, considering that such place is no territory for Asians like me. I just feel at home here for some reason. Perhaps I was Mexican in my past life.
Most Mexican restaurants in Chicago start with a free basket of tortilla chips and salsa. But there's more to Nuevo Leon; they serve rustic pork and beans with corn tortilla and pickled vegetable. The best part of all is that the chips are made fresh in-house. It is so good that it’s now being sold in most groceries in Chicago.
The Mexican “caldos” (soups) are my favorite next to Filipino soups. On the topmost of my fave list are ”caldo de res con arroz” and “menudo” (tripe soup). Since this restaurant can serve soup in “chico” (small) bowls, I have the luxury of getting both “caldos” every time I visit. This is not gluttony; this is appreciation of good food.
Carne a la Tampiquena – Broiled skirt steak with a cheese enchilada, guacamole, refried beans and rice . The steak is tasty and big enough to share. Every component of this dish is delicious.
1515 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60613