Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-02-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

DISH: SAVOR Mago Grill & Cantina; Pokeworks; State and Lake
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-12-22

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


There are authentic Mexican restaurants—and there are spots that say they're "Mexican" but are actually more "Mexican-American."

Mago Grill & Cantina ( various locations, including 1010 S. Delano Ct., in Chicago; MagoGrill.com ) falls squarely in the latter category, although it makes sure to have all the bells and whistles in place, including sugar skulls and luchador masks.

However, that doesn't mean the food can't be good. Overall, Mago's cuisine is pretty tasty.

The meal began with a couple delicious drinks, including an horchata that I could've drunk all day. These were followed by empanadas that were mostly on the mark—as well as guacamole that a woman named Delores made at tableside, and that was pretty delicious.

The lunch entrees include chicken Azteca, which my dining companion really liked, and a jibarito that, for me, was the meal's one true misfire. The skirt steak was expertly cooked; however, instead of bread, fried plantains were used—and they were unpalatable to the point where I just ate the rest of the sandwich as a salad and removed the fruit.

Fortunately, dessert was a high point, with an appropriately moist ( and large ) slice of tres leches cake. BTW, this holiday season, Mago is offering pumpkin cream-cheese flan and eggnog tres leches—compelling ( albeit non-traditional ) reasons to visit Mago.

Pokeworks

Pokeworks ( 79 E. Madison St.; Pokeworks.com ) has a stated mission to serve "high-quality, healthy food in a convenient and responsible way"—and succeeds, deliciously.

For those not in the know, poke ( which originated in Hawaii ) is a salad containing raw fish. My experience has been that's made primarily with tuna, although Pokeworks has expanded that concept to include salmon, chicken or even tofu—which almost sounds like an "Americanizing" of traditional Hawaiian food, even though Hawaii is part of the United States.

Pokeworks takes what I call a Chipotle-like approach, with patrons choosing menu or customized options. From there, people select the base ( e.g., bowl, burrito or salad ), protein, "mix-ins" ( like diced mango, edamame and ogo seaweed ), flavor/sauce, toppings and even crunch ( leading to my current addiction to toasted rice puffs ).

The result was a pretty tasty salmon shiso ( shiso being a Japanese herb that's similar to basil, according to manager Matt ). And as for anyone who's worried about raw fish and what I call the "E. coli factor," Matt clarified to me that the fish is kept no longer than one day.

State and Lake

I have visited State and Lake Chicago Tavern ( 201 N. State St.; StateAndLakeChicago.com ) several times, and enjoyed the cuisine each time—and a recent dinner visit, done in conjunction with an overnight stay at a nearby hotel, only confirmed how pleasant this restaurant is.

In a spot with warm woods and an artfully decorated bar, State and Lake offers cold appetizers like smoked trout dip ( with trout, mascarpone, lemon, house hot sauce and crackers ) and a succulent golden beet salad ( roasted golden beets, avocado, napa cabbage, hard cider vinaigrette, hazelnuts and spices ) as well as some tasty hot apps like pork meatballs and crab fat-braised pork belly, which is worth the price of admission alone.

The entrees are just as indulgent, if not more, than the appetizers. A perfectly cooked tavern chicken ( actually, a half-chicken ) was accompanied by spaghetti squash, pickled ginger and root-vegetable panzanella. Unfortunately, my dining companion was not too keen on the cauliflower risotto ( the only non-meat entree ), which she said was a bit flavorless—and I had to concur. However, there are other options ( for carnivores, anyway ), including Faroe Island salmon and grilled New York strip. Desserts are sufficiently creative and delicious, with items such as maple banana croissant bread pudding and pumpkin cheesecake parfait.

Also, State and Lake has a late-night menu ( 11 p.m.-2 a.m. ), with big-bite items ( like the Diner Burger and the SLCT House Bratwurst ) that are no more than $9 each.

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Chicago Magic Lounge: A Family Show' Feb. 16 2019-02-13 - "Chicago Magic Lounge: A Family Show" will take place Saturday, Feb. 16, 2:30-4:30 p.m. at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. The ...


Gay News

DINING New Nico chef, DropShot, Valentine's Day options 2019-02-13 - —Joe Lambert has been named the new executive chef at Nico Osteria and the Thompson Chicago hotel, 1015 N. Rush St. Lambert has ...


Gay News

SAVOR Taureaux Tavern; Black Restaurant Week 2019-02-12 - Those fluent in French probably know what Taureaux Tavern ( 155 W. Van Buren St.; TaureauxTavern.com ) is all about—especially when its location ...


Gay News

Cider Summit at Navy Pier benefits Heartland Alliance 2019-02-12 - Part of a tour that takes place throughout the United States, Cider Summit took place Feb. 9 in Navy Pier's Aon Grand Ballroom. ...


Gay News

DINING Asians & Friends dinner, Pizza museum, Valentine's Day options 2019-02-05 - —Asians & Friends Chicago will host a Chinese New Year's dinner on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at Jade Court, 626 S. ...


Gay News

SAVOR Publican Quality Meats; Banchet Awards 2019-01-29 - Fittingly located in the heart of Chicago's meatpacking district, Publican Quality Meats ( PQM ) ( 825 W. Fulton Market; PublicanQualityMeats.com ) will ...


Gay News

DINING Fried Chicken & Champagne, $1 Food Festival, Super Bowl specials 2019-01-29 - —Kendall College Trust's fourth annual Fried Chicken & Champagne Fest will take place Saturday, Feb. 2, at Kendall College, 900 N. North Branch ...


Gay News

DINING '90s event, ramen giveaway, Chinese New Year, Super Bowl specials 2019-01-23 - —Replay Lincoln Park, 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., is hosting "Party Like It's 1996," in collaboration with The Chill Foundation and Burton Snowboards, on ...


Gay News

SAVOR Roanoke brunch; Chicago Restaurant Week 2019-01-15 - During the week, Roanoke Restaurant and Club ( 135 W. Madison St.; https://www.theroanokerestaurant.com/ ) is as busy as a beehive, thanks to its ...


Gay News

DINING Stan's tea partnership, Winnetka spot, Cocoa Crawl 2019-01-15 - —Stan's Donuts & Coffee has launched a Rishi Tea partnership. To celebrate the launch, the donut destination is coining Tuesday, Jan. 29, "Tea ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.