Go South of the border, but skip the TSA line

Chicago is home to arguably some of the best Mexican restaurants around, many of which are located on the North Side’s Clark st. Unofficially dedicated to Chicago Mexican Americans, it is the perfect place to get a taste of Mexico without a pat-down by the TSA. Take a listen to hear what to expect from N. Clark st.’s Mexican food scene and what local residents have to say about it.

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Shrimp fajitas from El Chorrito, located on 6404 N. Clark st.

The Americanization of ethnic food

The Americaniziation (real technical term) of ethnic food is something I am incredibly argumentative over. Don’t get me wrong, I love chipotle as much as the next college girl, but the fact that ethnic food is being marketed to an American audience in such a watered down way is a waste of the flavors and tradition ethnic food offers us. After visiting my local Whole Foods the other day and being assaulted by a variety of Americanized ethnic foods (red pepper hummus?? Hummus isn’t just any ol’ vegetable pulverized into a dip…but I digress) I realized how the American palette is so used to Taco Bell and Olive Garden that when confronted with real authentic ethnic food, it is completely foreign (pun intended).
This is why when I went to breakfast this morning at newly opened Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club and saw “Italian pancakes” on the menu, I was a little confused as to what that would entail. But my craving for pancakes got the best of me and I ordered them, and out came a stack of ordinary, though very pretty looking, pancakes. The server explained that the “Italian” aspect of the dish was that the batter was lightened with whipped mascarpone cheese, a classic Italian cheese used in several desserts like tiramisu. Though incredibly delicious, stamping on any country’s name on a dish with little influence from the country is a little cheap to me. Though it may not be a big deal to some, I feel that Italians have a lot more culinary genius to offer us than mascarpone pancakes (try anything at Eataly if you don’t believe me)
Overall, the pancakes at Breakfast club were amazing, and also a great reason for me to touch upon this topic to anyone who may listen.

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Dia de los Muertos

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In honor of Dia de Los Muertos today, here are a few food ideas to help you celebrate this week

Cook one of the 12 Spanish and Mexican recipes Cosmopolitan (yes…that cosmopolitan) chose as the easiest and most delicious

Bake these cinnamon skull cookies that use popular Mexican ingredient corn flour (impressive frosting piping skills optional)

And if (when?) your cooking fails, eat at Cesar’s in Andersonville, and take a walk around the block after your delicious and food-coma inducing fajitas