Chicago is fortunate enough to have a thriving neighborhood with a bounty of authentic Mexican cuisine. The area is known as Pilsen, which is on the South Side, just west of Chinatown. There are several options to choose from, but I regularly develop a hankering for tacos de sabinas from Nuevo Leon. The focus of the restaurant is the Nuevo Leon region in northern Mexico, which is the native land for the owners. Tacos de sabinas are filled with ribeye steak, grilled onions, jalapeno peppers, refried beans and melty chihuahua cheese. Once the tacos are filled, they get a quick flip on the griddle creating a lightly crisped flour tortilla. The contents of the tacos are always piping hot making the cheese stringy and gooey. These tacos are a little different from what you might find at an average tacqueria due to the flour tortilla and beans. They so good, I have never even tried anything else on the menu!
I didn't get pictures, but while you wait for your food, you are brought fresh tortilla chips, red salsa, tomatillo salsa, pickled jalapenos, and homemade chicken soup or pork and beans with a corn tortilla. In anticipation of the spicy tacos, I always order an horchata. Since it's a rice milk spiced with cinnamon, it provides a cool and refreshing reprieve in between spicy bites.
Nuevo Leon is very affordable and cash only, but they have an ATM in the restaurant. They also sell freshly made tortillas and gorditas at the counter. You may have seen their tortillas in the Chicagoland supermarkets. It has a very festive atmosphere given all the families and large parties enjoying themselves and the food. I hope you'll give it a try!