I made the trek to Little Village on the coldest weekend of the year for one reason and one reason only: sweet-potato empanadas. I’d heard El Nopal Bakery’s (3648 W. 26th St.) were particularly delicious, “perfect with coffee or hot chocolate,” according to one Yelp review.
It is that time of year when everyone picks the things they’re most thankful for. Most of those things are pies, apparently.
Fresh-baked pies will always smell like home for me. Every holiday growing up, my father put my sister and I to work on one or two. His grandmother had owned a pie shop back in the day, and we followed her recipes, which called for lard crusts and sugary fillings. As we cleaned up after, the kitchen would fill with the scent of baking apples, pumpkin, or blueberry, depending on the season.