Chicago: Maxwell Street Market

Finally made my way out to the Maxwell Street Market this morning. Open every Sunday from 7:00am to 3:00pm, the Maxwell Street Market is like the love child between the flea markets back at home in San Jose and the Thai Temple Sunday brunch in Berkeley:

There are vendors selling everything from socks to power tools, dish detergent to produce. What I cared about were the food vendors. This taco tent was our first stop:

I got a lengua taco for $1.25:

Check out all the fresh cilantro. And the lengua. Ah, the lengua. I watched the Mexican lady standing next to me to figure out the right way to eat this: 1) sprinkle some salt, 2) squeeze some lime, and 3) douse with salsa. I'm weaksauce when it comes to spicy things, so I wasn't quite as liberal with the salsa. Nevertheless, SO GOOD!

My friend and I were strategic in choosing which food stalls to stop at. Basically, we checked for stands with the most people. Our next stop was Rubi's, where you can watch these dexterous women make tortillas from scratch like a well-oiled machine and flip them on the griddle bare-handed:

I'll be back here again for their tacos, but on this trip, we tried a quesadilla with asada:

Most flavorful asada I've ever tasted. No lie. And the cheese, oh, the cheese with the thick handmade tortilla. Heaven for $3.

The stall right next door had its own extensive menu. We didn't really know how to order so we stood around looking lost until one of the food stand guys took pity on us and asked us what we wanted. I knew I wanted horchata, so I started with that:

We didn't really know what huaraches were, but the nice man told us to get one. So here it is, our huarache al pastor:

Somewhere under all that pork were beans, sour cream, and cheese. The meat was incredibly juicy, with a bit of a kick to it. Messy to eat, but lots of fun.

Of course we couldn't leave without dessert. We saw this ice cream stall on our way in and we'd made a mental note to stop by before we left:

There were a lot of flavors to choose from. My friend went with the guava and I chose coconut:

Two scoops for $1.50. So very good. Next time, I'm going to try the mango con chile.

I knew I couldn't leave without getting a churro. I'd read about the blue churro truck on Yelp, and lo and behold, there it is:

You can choose between plain, strawberry, and vanilla, all for $1.25 each. We both wanted vanilla:

I wish the blue churro truck would park outside my apartment. The churro came fresh, hot and crunchy, with a sweet custard filling. I wanted seconds. And thirds.

Now that I've experienced the Maxwell Street Market, I'm going to find it hard to stay away every Sunday. In fact, I'm already planning what I'm going to eat the next time I visit.

Maxwell Street Market
On Desplaines St between Roosevelt and Polk St


  1. Rubi's at the New Maxwell street MarketApril 6, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Thanks for those positive comments about Rubi's. I hope you still visit us regularly :)


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