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Leena Eats: Elotes

By on Apr 5, 2009 in Chicago, Leena Eats | 4 comments

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Leena Eats: Elotes
The cart that makes dreams come true…and wicked good tamales.

Whoa. WHOA. I’ve been eating. A lot. Some might say I am regularly eating my weight in food, which is sort of my job. Other might say that gastric bypass surgery hurts. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. Come friends. Come see what I have eaten. One of my favorite parts about living in Chicago is spring time. The snow melts, you can actually walk outside, and most importantly, the elotes carts come back. If you are in north Chicago or west Chicago, chances are good you will run into one of these bad boys. Don’t ask questions, just hand them money and tell them you want a corn in a cup with everything. Un elotes con todo, por favor. For the mere price of $1.50-$3 USD (varies depending on location), you get this: a cup full of steamed corn just cut off the cob, Mexican crema, butter, a bit of mayo, some crumbly cotija cheese and just a smidge of chile powder. Occasionally a squeeze of lime juice. Otherwise known as the best freaking thing on earth you can buy on a street corner.

Leena Eats: Elotes
Hello, beautiful.

Give it a good mix, and it all melts together into a warm, creamy, cheesy corn casserole of happiness. Personally, I think there is an art of creating a cup of elotes. Some vendors will dump all the corn in, squirt some toppings on, and call it a day. Others, the artisans, if you will, use the layering method. A bit of corn, a bit of all the toppings, repeat. This method is superior to me. In the first elotes construction method, by the time you get to the last half of the elotes, all of the toppings have been eaten or turned into a watery mess after it combines with the corn juices. With the layering method, you get to enjoy a proper ratio of toppings to corn for the entire cup. I haven’t yet found the balls to demand the layering construction method from the cart vendors, but I do try to frequent the layering artisans when I find them.

Leena Eats: Elotes
ALWAYS stop for a tamale cart.

Tamales were also consumed on this adventure, but I was so damn excited to eat my tamales (it was after school one day, mind you), that I gobbled them up before I had a chance to photograph. My bad. More delicious Leena Eats to come! ~LTG!

Leena Eats: Elotes

4 Comments

  1. Johnjohn

    23 Apr ’09

    Post a Reply

    I am pretty sure I ride my bike past this cart on my way to work. On Milwaukee between just east of Logan Blvd. Yum. Viva tamales verdes!! Keep eatin, leena, and long live the burglaur, too!

  2. Johnjohn

    23 Apr ’09

    Post a Reply

    I am pretty sure I ride my bike past this cart on my way to work. On Milwaukee between just east of Logan Blvd. Yum. Viva tamales verdes!! Keep eatin, leena, and long live the burglaur, too!

  3. Crystal

    17 Sep ’09

    Post a Reply

    Just visited Chicago for the ump-teenth time, this time with my 1 year old. So, naturally, my friends and I take my daughter out and do tourist-y things. There was Lincoln Park Zoo; our first-ever baseball game at Wrigley Field; the mandatory White Sox game at U.S. Cellular. And it wasn’t until this last venture that I came in contact with elotes con todos (por favor). OMG. I’ve since come back to San Diego and, I tell you, I can’t find it ANYWHERE!
    Trust and believe, the recipe will become mine, and it will remain a staple in my house for years to come.

  4. Crystal

    17 Sep ’09

    Post a Reply

    Just visited Chicago for the ump-teenth time, this time with my 1 year old. So, naturally, my friends and I take my daughter out and do tourist-y things. There was Lincoln Park Zoo; our first-ever baseball game at Wrigley Field; the mandatory White Sox game at U.S. Cellular. And it wasn’t until this last venture that I came in contact with elotes con todos (por favor). OMG. I’ve since come back to San Diego and, I tell you, I can’t find it ANYWHERE!
    Trust and believe, the recipe will become mine, and it will remain a staple in my house for years to come.

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