1529 west chicago avenue
chicago, il 60622
our final meal in chicago came in the form of a saturday brunch at chef carlos gaytan's restaurant mexique. situated in chicago's noble square neighborhood, mexique is known for serving mexican cuisine with a french influence, and was recently named to the michelin guides bib gourmand list which recognizes restaurants offering great food at a reasonable price. although mexique's location was almost two miles from our hotel, the weather was beautiful, and we opted to get some exercise and see a new area of chicago by walking.
we arrived at mexique around 11:45am, and were promptly seated by a very friendly young man near the back of the restaurant. at this point, we virtually had the place to ourselves with only one other group present. this was not the case for long however, and as morning became afternoon, mexique began to fill rapidly. visually, mexique is an attractive contemporary space with hard wood floors, exposed brick walls, and fresh flowers on all the tables.
the friendly host who seated us also turned out to be our server, and quickly obliged our request for mimosas as we browsed the impressive menu. with roughly twenty five choices including french toast, sandwiches, tacos, sopes, crepes, and more, i knew deciding on a single entree was not going to be a possibility for me.
my first selection was mexique's take on french toast. dipped in a tequila/orange mix and topped with chopped strawberries and powdered sugar, the toast was a nice interpretation of a classic breakfast dish. as good as it was however, after tasting the next two dishes, i wish i would have substituted something with more mexican flare instead.
carrie's selection, which came after much debate, was an order of the chorizo stuffed crepes. featuring scrambled eggs, homemade chorizo, gruyere cheese, pico de galo, creamy guajillo sauce, green beans, and breakfast potatoes, this was an excellent entree overall with each component pulling its weight.
arriving a few minutes after the french toast and crepes was my second selection, the cochinita pibil tacos. accompanied by a pear salad, the tacos were prepared with annatto-tequila braised pork, purple pickled onion, and a mango habenero coulis. the tacos were outstanding, with the savory pork being wonderfully offset by the sweet and spicy coulis.
with both carrie and i feeling quite full at this point, we elected to split a dessert. upon browsing the rather short dessert menu, we both knew immediately which one we would be ordering. our choice was the dessert enchiladas, which was two crepes filled with chocolate ganache, toasted walnuts, ancho chile-chocolate fondue, and served with a side of creme anglaise vanilla bean ice cream. served warm, the enchiladas were every bit as good as they sound, and proved to be an excellent ending to an already delicious meal.
mexique easily lived up to my expectations from start to finish. the environment was laid back and stylish, the service was extremely warm and friendly, and everything we ate was top notch. i would love to come back to mexique for dinner someday, as the menu is even more extensive and complex.