January 16, 2006

mmmm, meat!

My friend M came to visit last weekend, and on the way home from Midway we were reading the Reader trying to find a place to eat breakfast (brunch really, since it was after 11am by that time). I'd sort of set my heart on Pilsen, since the Ashland bus goes right through it and what a perfect excuse. Happily the Reader did part II of its regional-mexican feature that week, and we settled on Sabas Vega Carnitas, at Ashland & 18th.

Oh my heavens to betsy. Yum. Yum. Did I mention, yum? We were the only gringas in the place, but everyone there is friendly and there's enough english spoken to get the job done. It's mostly a takeout place, which means that you can walk in there and buy two pounds of top-notch carnitas or barbacoa for your next party, or tubs of birria and menudo, for which I will be returning sometime soon -- readers of this blog know about my minor obsession with birria and posole -- and on weekends they do table-service also. We had two tacos apiece, plus some pickled nopalitos and some velvety soft refritos. Every table gets some homemade tortilla chips & bowls of very good thin red and green salsas, plus some pickled carrots & jalapenos. I got coffee, the cinnamon-infused mexican kind I am growing very attached to, and our lovely waitress kept that mug full -- for which I am endlessly grateful, since I stayed up the night before till 3am reading the new Neil Gaiman novel.

There's pretty much two taco choices, carnitas & barbacoa, both fantastic. The barbacoa is redder and saucier than some that I have had, moist and delicious. The carnitas is savory & rich, toothsome pork cooked in its own fat but in no way greasy, and if you order it in a taco be prepared for its glorious immensity. That thing was the biggest taco I've ever seen, practically a small burrito.

THAT is my kinda fuckin' breakfast. YUM.

Sabas Vega Carnitas & Restaurant
1808 S. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608

Posted by foodnerd at January 16, 2006 10:50 AM
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