Chicago Trip Report – Dusek’s, The Publican, Bohemian House, Xoco, Beef and Brandy

That fried chicken looks amazing!!
I don’t think you can make any wrong moves, you just go for what you want!


“That fried chicken looks amazing!!”,

…and the spiciness is just right. I was kicking myself for not asking for hot sauce but I didn’t need it.

My aunt used to say “Go for what you know”! She was a great cook. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I think I’m going to get to Publican too. Communal tables should work when dining alone, right?

Oh, and cochinita pibil torta with a side of guacamole at Tortas Frontera at the airport.


chicago has a large Mexican/Latino population and food presence.


Okay! And there seems to be a lot of Rick Bayless influence.
I guess I just eat SO much Mexican in Ca!ifornia. I will keep it on the list!

Definitely different than West Coast Mexican food.


No online reservations for the rest of the week at Bavette!

I lived in Chicago many moons ago, in the mid- to late-1990’s. Specifically, I lived in Pilsen, a now gentrified neighborhood but it used to have a very high concentration of mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants that served absolutely scrumptious food. I haven’t been back to the old neighborhood in years, but I fear that a lot of those mom-and-pops may have been bought up by big-time investors. I don’t even want to look.

But even with my old data in hand, I would say heartily YES, Mexican food in Chicago (and I’m not talking Bayless) is well-worth seeking out.


Different and worth a try in the case of Rick Bayless; Topolobampo and Frontera have different approaches to delivering tasty plates. The celebrity chef aspect was downplayed – we saw him sneaking into the kitchen, head down, through a side entrance during service without announcing his presence to the dining room. On the other hand, his brother . . .


Try calling. And I think you’d have a blast on your own at the communal tables at the Publican.


Made it to Xoco!


I had the pozole, which I ate after walking back to the hotel ( Brrrr! Windy City!), and the torta ahogada, which I’m eating now. Both great! Thanks HO’s!

Didn’t notice until I had ordered that the Wednesday special was cochinita pibil. :expressionless:


Fisk and Co for mussles and fries today. Although a few didn’t seem open to me, they were good; that’s why there are no pictures.


Did the architecture tour! So glad!


The Publican? Check!
Sort of empty and quiet when I arrived for the latest available reservation at 5:45 on a Friday night, but a cacaphony by the time I left an hour later.

I chose four west coast oysters ( Kusshi and Island Creek) ; excellent.

And the hamachi crudo; also excellent

…but was a bit surprised with the $80.00 tab for one. Maybe that was the glass of wine, and the ham tasting to go.

Surprised isn’t the right word.


Thanks for taking one for the team.


On my way home, at Torta Frontera, B10 in O’Hare.
Long line at 5:00 PM.
Italian Pinot Grigio, (Del Vento) and a seat for $15.00 a glass. $10 for the California Altitude Project Chardonnay.

Smoked pork molletes

…and …wait for it…conchinita pibil torta to go! (picture later, maybe).
Not much of a line at 5:45.
“All savory tortas available breadless over black beans topped with arugula and tortilla chips”. Good to know.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2