So those who follow the blog will know how I always bemoan the dearth of ethnic choices here. The seafood is great and there are plenty of Italian places (a number even owned by Italians but beyond that - things get dicey...
But tonight we had a huge food win with a total hole in the wall place on 26th Street - located in something that aspires to being a strip mall, a building with four small storefronts. This place would be at home in any village in South America- no sign above it. The sign at the street is a plastic banner with no light on it so you could easily drive by if you didn't know where you were going.
Approaching the front door the kitchen door looks out on the parking area and is right next to the front door to the dining area. The kitchen's fluorescent light is the brightest illumination in the whole lot as the other spaces seem closed for the night or maybe for good.... the place doesn't scream prosperity but we knew from doing our homework it has been around a number of years...
so in we went - and immediately fell in love. The welcome was genuinely warm and the place was small (three booths and maybe five tables) and cozy and just so darn appealing in a sort of divey kind of way. Before we got any food I told Phil that I was so hoping it would be good because the place was exactly the kind I was always looking for!
And we won big tonight because it was good- better than good! So we will definitely return. The chef came out to check on the food and the server was friendly and helpful when Phil asked about choosing between two dishes.... it was all good - so let's get on with the show!
We ordered starters of Anticuchos (beef heart) and calamari. The Anticuchos were better than the ones we had at Tanta (the Gaston Arcurio outpost in Chicago) that we had with Shari & Kevin.
then we shared a mixed ceviche -
then I ordered the Corvino Rellenos (stuffed with crab and smothered in a shrimp and mushroom cream sauce!) and Phil ordered the paella mariscos - a toss up decided by the server's recommendation of it over the chaufa (which is our favorite at Tanta)
the to go menu for dinners
here is the menu we ordered from when dining in house-
Everything was served fresh and hot or fresh and chilled as appropriate and they were such gracious hosts we considered the evening a HUGE success! So YEA! El Waricke- we will definitely go back! Next time we already have several things we want to try- including the Chaufa and the Aquadito de Pollo and a couple more preparations of the fish- so all the more reason to return sooner rather than later...