Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0
Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003
06.22.08

Tracing the Taste of Chiles Rellenos

Bites: News and Miscellany


Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/mjnagran/hungrymag.com/wp-content/plugins/polls/polls.php on line 303

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away (a little place called Mexico), the world came to taste a soon-to-be classic meal. Otherwise translated as “stuffed peppers” to the English linguist, chile rellenos are a damn fine creation born and bred in Mexico. Spoken by the god of Mexican cookery himself in his book, Mexico One Plate at a Time, Rick Bayless exalts chile rellenos as the ultimate special occasion meal.

The tender technique of cleaning and stuffing the chiles by hand is done with effort and a spoonful of love. The variety of chile used may vary by region, but dark green poblanos are most popular. It’s only in and around U.S. borderland that New Mexican and Anaheim chiles see some use. Cheese-heads will be happy to find that the most common relleno is con queso, filled to bursting with a good melting cheese like Chihuahua or Panela, a creamy Mexican cheese similar to ricotta.

Skim a few menus however, and you’re sure to find some picadillo offerings. The laundry list of possible picadillo ingredients includes: ground pork, beef, or chicken, accompanied by onions, tomatoes, cilantro, spices, walnuts, and raisins.

The dinner of champions in a typical pueblo is a plate of twin chiles: one con queso and one picadillo. It was inevitable that Tex-Mex cookery would eventually wrangle their hands on yet another south of the border classic. While some may scoff at Tex-Mex as culinary pish posh, perhaps it serves a well-meaning purpose; it introduces the tame American palate to foods that would once have been taboo. Pre-Texas, Southwestern food lovers may have cried, “Chile peppers stuffed with Chihuahua? What is this, dog meat?” Thanks in part to restaurants in Austin, El Paso, and their Texas ilk, diners were made to understand the dish in all its mouth-watering glory- or at least a version of the dish. Whether or not chile rellenos are sufficiently scrumptious on either side of the Rio Grande is not the matter of debate; after all, most anything stuffed with cheese and deep fried is great. The details in question are those that regard ingredients versus taste. Does it really matter if taquerias bend the recipe rules, or does flavor triumph over authenticity?

My introduction to rellenos came, appropriately enough, on a raucous Cinco de Mayo weekend. While the restaurant bustled with a margarita-happy crowd, my mom and I cut into our first plate of chile rellenos. Now here was one hefty Mexican entrée we had no problem polishing off. The word “chile” had me initially fooled into thinking that I was in for a plateful of unforgiving heat. I was pleasantly surprised to taste the piquant spice of the chile, elevated by an aroma of smokiness. The bundle of cheese tucked inside came gushing each time I went in for a bite. The final feather in the chile’s cap was the light-as-fluff batter that enrobed it. Time after time, I’ve been enticed by the sentient and almighty chile relleno. What could be better than a couple of filled and fried chiles bathed in a tangy sweet tomato sauce? Upon my first bite, I was a relleno junkie; officially transfixed by the quasi-mysteriousness of the dish. I wanted to dive headfirst into a taste test of fried cheese-filled chile around the U.S. and Mexico- or at least in several restaurants within city limits that serve regional cuisine. Whatever the variety or region, there are plenty of chile goods around town to quench those cravings.

With the “Texification” and “New Mexicination” of chile rellenos, the dish has experienced a rush of popularity and accessibility. Just because every corner cantina may hawk rellenos on their menu, don’t let mediocrity set your standard. I make frequent trips to Mexico, exploring the ins and outs of praise-worthy authentic menus. By Mexico, I mean of course 18th St., and by authentic menus I mean Nuevo Leon (1515 W. 18th St.). If ever you’ve heard hype for this family-run stalwart, believe it; it’s hyped for a reason. The chile rellenos executed here are the best around, with the Gutierrez family delivering a consistently perfect product. Though Southwestern influence may urge cooks to fry the poblanos prior to peeling and stuffing, the folks at Nuevo Leon know that the laborious roasting-on-an-open-fire method is worth the effort. As co-owner Daniel Gutierrez Jr. told me, flame roasting preserves the taste of the chile, as does the process of “sweating” the chile in a plastic bag to loosen the skin. Next, he makes a finger-wide slit, and he cleans out the seeds. Fresh Chihuahua fills the chile cavity while the outside gets dredged in flour and a soufflé-like egg white batter. Stem and all, it’s on to the stovetop, where the chiles are pan-fried before being served with a balanced sauce of red tomatoes, grilled white onions, and chile dulces (sweet green peppers).

No doubt Mexican food is made for street-eats. Just like a gourmet taco or a tableside guacamole though, chile rellenos can just as easily be found in fine dining as it can in fast food. For the familiar quick service option, Flash Taco (1570 N. Damen Ave.), nestled in the hyperactive “crotch” of Damen, Milwaukee, and North Ave., serves a handy version of relleno for nearby El-goers and the in-and-out crowd. Try the wildly well-priced chile relleno taco for a mere $2.25. Liliana Salamanca, Flash owner, says that by offering it in taco format, the unfamiliar customer can easily try it. Depending on your hunger level however, Flash offers both a handheld taco and a full dish, accompanied by the old school rice n’ beans. Sure, I know foodies everywhere are groaning at the idea of eating at Flash Taco, but when you’re in a rush, Flash Taco’s way better than grabbing a Big Mac, and the rellenos here are tasty.

On the other end of the budget spectrum, there’s the Frontera Grill (445 N. Clark St.) option for a gustatory tour de force that weaves from Veracruz to Guerrero and virtually everywhere in between. The menu changes every few weeks though, so while a snazzy version of chile rellenos may not be available currently, keep a watchful eye- you never know what Rick Bayless has up his sleeve.

To make a case for those Americanized rellenos I mentioned earlier, Zia Café (340 W. Armitage Ave.) is whipping up some chile rellenos like you’re mom never made (assuming you grew up with a chile-cookin’ mama). Touted as the only authentic New Mexican restaurant in Chicago, owners Sarah and Pete Torres serve their version of chile rellenos in a Zen-like dining den. New Mexican chiles are de rigor at Zia, imparting a spicier-than-expected twist on poblano. The kitchen makes one mean plate of chiles, following a recipe passed down through several generations. Service is gracious and accommodating to taste and spice preference. They’re more than willing to tame the heat burning your tongue up with an icy mug of root beer. Stick up your nose at non-traditional Mexican food? The rellenos and the reputation at Zia may very well legitimize Southwestern as not just the ugly cousin to the more attractive Mexican.

As my entrada of choice whenever I dine Mexican, I would like to offer a mighty big “thank you” to our friendly national neighbor for bestowing such a divine dish as the chile relleno. While I scan many a lengthy menu of tacos, sopes, and combo plates up the wazoo, I find myself always coming back to the tried and true. Don’t tell the die-hard purists, but I certainly do enjoy a plate of Texas-style rellenos now and again as well. Sure the batter may not adhere to the protocol of say, Oaxaca, and the chile might skew in the direction of a milder Anaheim, but my tongue doesn’t know the different. Good food is good food, and good chile rellenos are good chile rellenos, regardless of the heritage.

2 Comments on "Tracing the Taste of Chiles Rellenos"

marshall guerra

Tex-Mex is what I grew up on. My Dad’s
side of the family is from San Antonio, Tx and you can’t find that style of food many places outside of Texas. There is a place in St. Louis called Arcelia’s that is authentic San Antonio style Mexican food. There used to be a place run by a guy named Mr. Romo here in Chicago. I was very little when we used to go there in the early 1980’s. I know it was near the train tracks. It was very authentic. The owner went to high school with my grandfather in San Antonio. Where can I find that style of food in Chicago? Are there any restauranteurs from San Antonio serving that style of Mexican food?



Cynthia

Chile rellenos can make a great party, too. When I was a kid, my parents had friends who would invite us over for a day of preparing chile rellenos — everything from scratch. Then we’d go home and change for dinner, and come back to feast on the fruit of our labors. I’ve been a fan ever since those days. It’s nice to know there are others who became addicts at an early age.



Comments

Please Leave a Comment!




Please note: Comments may be moderated. It may take a while for them to show on the page.





Features/Archive
Podcast Interviews
Feeds
Everytime Hungry Magazine is updated, you can be notified. Just click on your preferred feed (What's a Feed?) below:

Chef Interview Podcasts Only

All Hungry Magazine Content

Theme By fruta planta