One of the great things about living in Chicago is that we not only have an incredible diversity of types of food, but there’s also almost always something for everyone in almost any price range. While I love Mixteco, and look forward to the yumilicous dining experience the next time I go to La Encantada, I also enjoy the “dive” and “diner” eats as well. Enter Real Azteca in the Edgewater/Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago.
Real Azteca is a small mom and pop operation near Bryn Mawr on Clark street. Their menu consists of American breakfast specialities like pancakes, cinnamon french toast (with pure maple syrup), and even Eggs Benedict. They also have BBQ chicken salad, hamburgers, pizza puffs and chicken Caesar salad, if this is what you have a hankering for.
When we first sat down, we were given a bowl of chips and instead of the open bowl of salsa, we received three cold squirt bottles of salsa. I liked the idea that the salsa wasn’t uncovered and that it was obviously well chilled, and it was a novel, economical way to prevent food waste. We received a smaller glass bowl so we could put whatever salsa we wanted in it. I was partial to the red smokey one.
I ordered the chilaquiles. Okay, so I’m in a bit of a rut, but I’m so used to getting them in Pilsen that I thought it was time to branch out and try them in El Norte side of Chicago. Because the food here was home style, and almost like eating in someone’s kitchen, the chilaquiles were also reflective of this. They were not as soaked in salsa as I am used to, but wet enough to break down the tortilla chips.
Usually in Pilsen or Little Village, one doesn’t need to ask for extra lime, but on the north side I generally do. The owner obliged with not only limes but extra cilantro and onions. Squeezing fresh lime juice on beef helps break down that “I’ll be sitting in your digestive system for the next 3 days” feeling, and seems to break down any residue of fat that one might ingest as well.
I also ate the raw onions. I love the taste of raw onions, which unfortunately don’t love me back and they continued to say “hi there, remember me?” for the rest of the day and through the evening.
They also serve tacos (including lomo and pastor), chile relleno, vegetariano, lengua, tortas, burritos, and tostados as well as dinner plates. Somehow I missed that they also have sorbets and flan, no doubt a function of having been so full from lunch.
5661 N. Clark Street
773 / 516-4913