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Posts Tagged ‘Mexican Restaurants’

Taqueria Las Cumbres Review, Crystal Lake, IL

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Taqueria Las Cumbres ReviewI rarely go out for Mexican food in the US for the same reason I rarely seek out Chinese cuisine.

Pretty sure I’ll be disappointed by either, as having lived and traveled so extensively, just have become a fan of the “Americanized” version of these two foods.

But once and awhile, you run into a mom and pop, hole in the wall, mini-eatery where you can enjoy the most authentic dishes (as well as the aforementioned Americanized ones), and Taqueria Las Cumbres in Crystal Lake, is one such experience.

This is a very small restaurant (in terms of seating) but also seems to do a very brisk take-out business.  It’s parked next to a Mexican style bakery on one of the main streets of downtown Crystal Lake, IL, a fairly white distant suburb of Chicago. Latino population has been growing over the last decade, and is currently estimated at about 12 % so there’s a market for “authentic.”

I was really happy with my meal, even tho is was a gringo-centric burrito. It was/they are huge tho, and I could only finish half of it at the restaurant.

I also enjoyed Mexican style corn-on-the cob, which is lathered with a mayo-cheese-chili pepper mix.

Complimentary chips and salsa for starters, and I’m confident both are made in house.

Tasty. Great value. Authentic dishes.  Taqueria Las Cumbres

The menu is reproduced below, and is also online.

Taqueria Las Cumbres Review

Taqueria Las Cumbres Review

Taqueria Las Cumbres Review

Taqueria Las Cumbres Review

Taqueria Las Cumbres Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Taqueria Las Cumbres Review

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Chi-Chi’s Corn Chips Review

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zantigoFor a time, back in the day, Minneapolis (of all places) was a hot bed of Americanized Mexican restaurants.

A local restaurateur, Marno McDermott, founded a fast food chain called Zapata (later Zantigo) which gave Taco Bell a pretty good run for the money,and was eventually assimilated by various Taco Bell parent companies and vanished. There are a half dozen “new” Zantigo’s in the Twin Cities these, started by former employees.

TV Ad for the “New” Zantigo

Amping it up to fast casual, McDermot started Chi-Chi’s in Minneapolis, which grew to over 200 locations. A few bankruptcies, and a nasty outbreak of Hep A did them in. Hormel bought the rights to the name for restaurant products, and a Belgium company now holds the rights to own and operate restaurants by that name, and they are fairly evident in Europe and Asia.

TV Ad for Chi-Chi’s Buffet

There was briefly a start-up competitor to Chi Chi’s in the Twin Cities, called “Estebans,” which developed multiple locations and was eventually purchased by Chi Chi’s.

Our hang out was the local outlet of the California chain “El Torito,” on Highway 12 in Golden Valley. We hit the happy hour quite often,cheap drinks and a free buffet were the perfect combination for youngsters in the local media biz.

Point is, I purchased some Chi Chi’s corn chips the other day, hadn’t had them before, and I quite like them. They are a little easier on the salt than many brands, and have a ‘lighter’ taste. They could become a regular entrant to the “Ameri-Mexican” foods in the pantry here – usually I make my own corn chips, but these are A-OK.

Chi-Chi’s also sells salsa and other goodies. Here’s where to find them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chi-Chi’s Corn Chips Review

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