It began with three sisters leaving their home in the San Luis Potosi region of Mexico. For their trip, the trio packed up their all their belongings, their arsenal of traditional Mexican recipes, and the desire to prosper in their new home of Chicago. They named their new venture El Jardin, which was quite prophetic as their little taqueria grew faster than most gardens, and now they serve authentic Central Mexican cuisine at numerous sites around Chicago under the management of the next generation.
The staff still specializes in tender carne asada, which is so popular the restaurant offers to ship it in vacuum-sealed packs to customers’ homes. The carne asada also appears in the shop’s superburrito dinners, fajitas, and quesadillas, as well as other traditional meats such as tilapia, chorizo, chicken, and shrimp. Chefs begin crafting the fare as early as breakfast and help clients celebrate late into the night with their classic and specialty margaritas that feature more than 40 styles of tequila.
Brightly painted walls, vivid paintings of Mexican life, and flavorful margaritas lend Las Palmas' numerous locations a relaxed, distinctly "fiesta" vibe. As guests slowly unwind with friends, family, or Twister champions over ice-cold Mexican beers and cocktails, the chefs prepare fajitas, enchiladas, and tacos alongside plates of charbroiled meats and seafood. They also whip up vegetarian-friendly options, such as the signature guacamole and enchiladas banana, which they stuff with fried bananas and smother in mole sauce and melted cheese.
Glenview Park District, Glenview Ice Center immerses skaters in an icy sanctuary where they can hone their figure-skating, hockey, or recreational-skating skills. Two rinks, including a 200’x85’ main rink and a 90’x60’ instructional rink, provide ample space for skating while seated spectators applaud, shower the rink in flowers, or upload reviews of friends' skills via the facility's free WiFi. Recreational skating is available at public-skating sessions, and the rink's professional hockey and figure-skating staff offer a full range of lesson programs from beginning instruction through high-level competition and eventually living permanently on the ice.
The chefs at Zapatista cull tantalizing dishes from across the culinary regions of Mexico and spice them with piquant sauces and marinades. Diners nosh on fresh meats and veggies inside the vibrant yellow-, green-, and red-walled dining rooms, which teem with wooden tables reposing under hanging star lanterns and candelabra chandeliers. The spacious interior's rounded archways separate the dining areas, and rough-hewn-stone arches stand guard over myriad liqueurs at the bar like Rumpelstiltskin stands guard over firstborns.
The epicurean alchemists at That Little Mexican Cafe craft authentic Mexican fare that tickles taste buds with balanced spices and the restaurant’s unique blend of fresh salsa. Ingredients from local markets and intergalactic foodie conventions wend their way into tortillas enveloping seafood and meat. Dining-room booths and tables oppose a ceiling adorned with bright decorations, and margarita glasses rise in toasts to the cacti and parrots that peer down from framed wall art.
Yolo Mexican Eatery serves Mexican cuisine the traditional way, meaning less cheese and more peppers. The chefs keep plenty of water in their kitchen to ward off the flames that sometimes erupt from their cache of habanero, pasilla, serrano, morita, arbol, and poblano peppers. Such a variety might seem excessive, but they use every last one to brew the sauces that cover their grilled chicken breasts, marinated shrimp, and fried-plantain enchiladas. To temper the heat that lingers post-meal, guests can crack into BYOB beers or try the homemade vanilla flan, a staple that the Chicago Sun Times calls “irresistible.”