Where to eat in Chicago: Maxwell Street

14. October 2006 Chicago, Illinois 0

Anna picked us up from our hotel and drove us to Maxwell Street where a few avenues are blocked every Sunday to set up a market and food fair. It was hard to find parking but as soon as we started walking around, we couldn’t help but feel like we were in another country. I’ve always liked visiting markets whenever I’m traveling, and in Chicago, Maxwell Street is the place to be if you need duct tape, electric cords, Mexican beads, Guadalupe posters, tomatillos, peppers and of course, tacos and tamales. The sight and the different smells were intoxicating. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was the perfect day to be bargaining for a Lucha Libre mask.

I tried not to eat too many tacos from one stand lest I miss out on the other offerings down the block. From the first stand, we had chorizo tacos. They were deliciously salty with mad cilantro and lime juice. They were the beginning of a beautiful afternoon.

Then we moved on to the next where I had lengua, or tongue. It was so soft and the green salsa kept it juicy.

The next stand only sold beef tacos. The beef had been stewing in some thick sauce, so the meat fell apart at every bite. It was a delicious mess.

I had the squash blossom taco next, but it was too funky to finish. I think it had been sitting in the bowl for a while so it didn’t taste fresh, but the pork barbeque taco was pretty good.

We also picked up a glass of the crushed iced lime juice from another stand. About an hour later, we were very full and happy, but I still bought a pork tamale to take with me to the airport. For the love of tacos, we missed our scheduled flight.