According to Emily Post, napkins may only be used to cover laps, clean up spills, or signal the waiter via semaphore that your table has hit an iceberg. Master restaurant etiquette over an upscale meal with today's Groupon to San Gabriel Mexican Cafe in Bannockburn. Choose between the following options:
• For $15, you get $30 worth of upscale Mexican fare during dinner.
• For $10, you get $20 worth of upscale Mexican fare during lunch.
The creative chefs of San Gabriel Mexican Cafe concoct creative south-of-the-border dishes with house-made tortillas and pairs them with margaritas soused in fresh lime juice. Culinary spectators can watch the metamorphosis of avocado to guacamole ($8.40 at dinner, $8.25 at lunch) as a pestle-wielding chef mashes up the Mexican staple tableside in a stone mortar. Dinner entrees include the garlicky red snapper veracruzana beached on poblano rice ($19.95 fillet, $26.95 whole) and the juicy pork chops manchamanteles frolicking in a fruity mole of pineapple, pear, and apple ($17.85). The Mexican café's cuisine captains dole out a dizzying array of lunches, such as the grilled tilapia tacos ($13.95) and the Azteca salad ($13.95), featuring mixed greens dotted with grilled chicken, jicama, tortilla strips, fresco cheese, and circles from a Twister mat.
Quaff a passion-fruit margarita ($8.25) in San Gabriel Mexican Cafe's cozy environs lit by dimly glowing wall sconces, or crabwalk around the fresh-air-laden outdoor patio that welcomes the sun's rays like a jack-o-lantern welcomes a tea-light candle into its skull.
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San Gabriel Mexican Cafe
All too often, embracing authenticity means sacrificing creativity, but the chefs in San Gabriel Mexican Café’s kitchen strive to incorporate both. They infuse classic tuna ceviche with bites of mango and passion fruit, melding tropical sweetness into the savory dish. They busily wield mortars and pestles all day to grind guacamole to order, while their ovens churn out a continuous stream of fresh-baked tortillas. Those tortillas enwrap tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas, but the chefs’ true specialties lie elsewhere on the menu. They enrich the flavor of pablano-chile sauced chicken with ground huitlacoche, an earthy, sweet fungus that grows on corn. They heartily recommend the molcajete, a traditional bowl made from volcanic stone and filled with stewed meat, three chile salsa, and cactus leaf.
2535 Waukegan Rd.
Bannockburn, Illinois 60015