Monday, November 08, 2004

Places Already Mentioned - Less Satisfied Edition

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I got to go to three places I generally enjoy, but in each case, I enjoyed them less than usual. I offer this not so much as "downhill alerts", just data points. Mostly, it goes to show, it's not all good.

The Colombian Place on Fullerton near Kedzie - Gloria's
There has been a place offering Colombian food, especially roasted chicken on Fullerton just west of Kedzie for about 6 or so years. For many years, it was owned by the same family that owned Flying Chicken of various locations on Lincoln. Sometime in recent times, the place on Fullerton changed ownership. While it is not widely noted on-site, I believe the current name is Gloria's. Now, I have been a few times since Gloria took over. Until Friday, I found the quality the same--very good. Not Friday. The roast chicken had a very off taste, like maybe it was just old, the grilled chicken breast was devoid of any marinade and hence was devoid of much taste. Only a grilled steak satisfied. Some sides were decent enough. (Sorry, I do not have the exact address)

With the demise of the Slovakian restaurant, Happy Noodle, can the 2900 block of N. Central still carry weight as the best chow block in Chicago? After a week of pain and anguish, I thought a bit of pigging out would help. Groto, for a while, has been our favorite Polish buffet. And yes, for $6.75, it was worth it, but it was not quite as worth it as usual. Some of the things that always "make" the buffets for me, paled. The potato pancakes were especially greasy, and the blintzes were not much better. I still liked the stuffed cabbage a lot and all the cold salads and Polish style spareribs, and the buffet included soup, like all Polish soup, that would be delicious to the extreme. Again, it was more than enough good food for the money, but in the past, I have not had anything to quibble with at Grota besides weak coffee. Saturday, the results were mixed. (3112 N. Central, Chicago, IL)

El Guanaco
We met SethZ and Kerensa for my new passion, pupusas last night. Like Grota, there was still a lot of great things on the table, especially for the money, but it was not all good this time. The biggest disappointment was the homemade sausage. Like the Colombian chicken above, it just tasted too old. The herbs seemed dead. The other problem with the dinner was, you just cannot share pupusas across six people. It was just unsatisfying eating the slices. I liked fried yucca with bits of chicharron and a slightly spicy red sauce, but no one else liked it that much. A pastel de carne, which I had not had before, was worth ordering. (6345 W. Grand, Chicago, IL)