Maxwell Street Market & Table, Donkey & Stick

Trip Start May 16, 2013
Trip End May 25, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Sunday, May 19, 2013

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I heard chef Rick Bayless, owner of Topolobampo where I had dinner last night and a number of other well-known Mexican restaurants, say he goes to the Maxwell Street Market for menu ideas.  I decided to go check it out.  I drove over, parked nearby and walked to one end of the market.  I started walking through looking at the booths.  I was expecting a bunch of food booths but instead I found more typical flea market offerings.  I kept walking and eventually found a section with food booths.

Most of the food booths only had Spanish menus displayed.  I kept wandering around and found a few with English menus.  I eventually picked one and ordered a huitlacoche quesadilla.  I waited until my number was called out and got my food.  I took a bite and didn't taste any huitlacoche.  I took another bite and tasted beef.  I opened up my quesadilla.  There was definitely beef and no huitlacoche.  I went back to where I had bought it.  At first the person who took my order told me that I had not asked for a huitlacoche quesadilla.  He said I had asked for something else that I was sure I hadn't ordered since I couldn't even pronounce it.  He eventually had them make me a huitlacoche quesadilla.

The huitlacoche quesadilla was good and not something I frequently see at the Mexican restaurants I frequent, which more often than not is a Taco Bell or Del Taco.  I picked out another booth and got another quesadilla.  This time it was a mushroom quesadilla.  It was good too.  I got a third but I've forgotten what it was.  I had a couple aqua frias.  They were both from booths that didn't have English menus and I don't know what flavor they were but they were tasty.  By then I was getting full and my parking meter was nearly expired so I left.

I was having dinner with a friend from Chicago.  He had heard good things about a relatively new restaurant called Table, Donkey & Stick so we were going to give it a try.  Their menu is relatively small and there aren't many vegetarian items. We shared a couple cheese plates and I ordered the only vegetarian entree. The dinner was fine but I'm sure we could have come up with a better choice.
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