Food

Bunches o’ Brunches: These Are the Best Chilaquiles I’ve Ever Had

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Cafe con leche in logan square

Cafe con leche in logan square

Welcome to Bunches o’ Brunches, a semi-weekly series featuring superior brunch and breakfast booze from restaurants and menus throughout Chicago.

First, let’s come to an agreement: Chilaquiles are the world’s most perfect brunch food — brunch, of course, being the world’s most perfect meal. Nothing, not Crucial Conflict in ’96, not Venetian Nights on Lake Michigan in ’09, not Derrick Rose in 2011, is more perfect and universally loved as chilaquiles are today.  If thou doth protest, consider that this divine dish makes a masterpiece of whatever you’ve been letting go bad in and on your fridge. Yes, even the food on your fridge. Stale chips from last week? Check. That bag of old, almost moldy onions? Check check. Random lime wedges from when you last bought a case of Coronas? Check check check. Fry it all up with a few eggs, chiles, salsa, and you’ve got chilaquiles.

They’re a testament to making the most out of a not so hot situation. Chilaquiles are the food equivalent to Britney Spears. They endure. They overcome. They inspire.

Cafe con leche in logan square

Brunch at Café Con Leche in Logan Square

Chilaquiles Verdes

A few weeks ago, I walked into an unassuming Mexican restaurant in Logan Square expecting to have a very unassuming Mexican brunch. Not because Mexican food is underwhelming. To the contrary, ask any group of people which cuisine they prefer most and 6 out of 10 will say Mexican. The other four will say Italian but half of them are thinking italian beef and deep dish pizza, so ignore those idiots.

I expected to be underwhelmed because Café Con Leche isn’t a mom and pop Mexican restaurant and I rarely eat Mexican made by someone who doesn’t come from Durango, Guadalajara, or whose legal name isn’t Rick Bayless. So this was me trying something new.

What I got were the most, flavorful, perfectly textured Chilaquiles Verdes I’ve ever had in my life. Served honestly, generously. One bite had me feeling like Anton Ego in Ratatouille.

What made this version stand out was the thought put into layering instead of mixing. Typically, the ingredients are mixed, fried, and served with a dollop of crema and guac. Instead, these chilaquiles were stacked over a bed of salsa and refried beans, eggs on top, poached. This method left the chips firmer, crunchier. A nice contrast to the softness of the beans, eggs, and salsa. A side of steak played the piece a la resistance. Perfection!

The D’Noche Margarita is good, but nothing to write home about. It’s crafted with a citrus mix, tequila, and orange liquor. Perhaps, try instead the Bloody Mary which is made using the restaurant’s picante mix, or, if you can handle it, a Michelada — also made with the house picante.

Kari’s Recommendations

  • Drink: Bloody Mary
  • Brunch: Chilaquiles Verdes

Also …

If you’re looking for a weekday brunch, I highly suggest you go here. The Café Con Leche portion of the restaurant closes at 4:30p and the space’s alter ego next door, De Noche, opens at the same time.

Café Con Leche

2714 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL

773-289-4274

Disclosure: As is common with restaurant reviews, meals were provided by Café Con Leche.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, Kari Herrera, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Café Con Leche.

Kari Herrera is the creator of Chicagoings.com, Chicago’s indie city guide and blog. She often writes about the city’s points-of-interest as experienced by a local. She is a Social Media Marketing Manager and freelance writer. When she’s not working, Kari donates much of her time to the education of French-speaking immigrants in Chicago.

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