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The Chicago Traveler

Café 28

by Matt B on October 4th, 2007

Just steps away from the Brown Line, Café 28 dishes out Cuban and Mexican cuisine with a hip, urban atmosphere. The exposed brick walls and dark wood accents keep everything comfortable and relaxed.

café 28If you think that all Latin food is the same, you’d be very mistaken. Cuban food is a bit more unorthodox: white rice, black beans, plantains, many Caribbean and Spanish flavors. Mexican dishes are more indigenous to their origin country: peppers, tortillas, etc. They are two very different worlds. Because of this interesting and unexpected pairing, many familiar dishes are kicked up with a unique twist.

For example, the green tamales aren’t the usual cylindrical shape. These triangle-cut treats are made with poblano peppers, corn, and brick cheese, all served with sour cream and pico de gallo. The almond-crusted halibut is a must-have, baked and served with jalapeño mashed potatoes. Don’t let that last part scare you off. They’re creamy and delicious with just a touch of spice, bringing out more of the jalapeño flavor, not just its heat. The ropa vieja is also a popular dish, beef slowly simmered in a garlic tomato sauce until it’s so tender, it falls apart just by looking at it. Served with white rice, black beans, and plantains, you’ll have no problems clearing your plate. The honey jalapeño pork chops are marinated, grilled, and baked to absolute perfection. Whatever you order, you can’t go wrong.

Keep the drinks flowing and the food coming, and it won’t take long for you to see why this has become such a popular hangout place for local residents.

Café 28 ($$): 1800-1806 W Irving Park Rd; 773-528-2883
Tues - Fri: 11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Sun - Mon: 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tues - Thurs: 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Fri - Sat: 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Weekend Brunch
Sat: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Sun: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Street parking, valet parking (Friday and Saturday only)
Public trans: Bus # 11, 50, 80, X80 or Brown Line train (Irving Park)

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POSTED IN: Restaurants

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