Chicago: Alegria's Seafood

My best new discovery in Chicago came on my last day.  The only warning CK gave me was that we were getting Mexican seafood for lunch.  Alegria's Seafood looked relatively normal from the outside:

The downstairs was packed, but there was plenty of seating upstairs:

I knew I could trust CK with ordering what's delicious.  But I was a bit concerned about quantity as her typical MO is to order everything that remotely interests her on a menu.  Even if there's only three of us at the table.

The meal began with a complimentary seafood tostada:

I would take one of these over complimentary bread any day of the week.  Add a squeeze of lime to give your mouth a refreshing treat.  Just be careful when you take a bite.  I'd like to see if there's anyone in the world who can make it through a tostada without it cracking and dropping all over the plate.

Also complimentary was a basket of tostadas and saltine crackers:

And a habanero salsa that I steered well clear of:

I know my limits.

Then the real feast began.  First came the pulpo especial ($29.99):

The octopus came in Alegria's house guajillo pepper sauce with tomato and onion.  Octopus is easy to overcook and screw up, but Alegria had no such problem.  And that sauce!  Even though it was spicy, I couldn't get enough.

Next came the camarones cucaracha (small for $24.99):

The shrimp was deep fried in a red hot Huichol sauce.  While it was certainly tasty, we quickly lost interest in it when the langostinos estilo Nayarit (market price...I don't know what it was that day) arrived:

Oh.  My.  Gawd.  That had to be the most delicious thing I had that trip.  Heck, that entire month.  Think mini lobsters.  I still dream about that butter sauce. 

CK was worried we wouldn't have enough, so she ordered two plates.  For once, I had no complaints.  Not only did we kill those two plates, I also sopped up all that sauce with everything I could get my hands on, from cucumbers to tostadas to saltine crackers.  I would have spooned it directly into my mouth if it hadn't been so salty.  And mostly butter.

That wasn't a cheap meal.  I don't know what the final bill was, but damn, I'm sure it was worth it.  There's lots of other seafood options on the menu, but when I go back (and I definitely will the next time I'm in Chitown), I'm going to insist on at least one order of the langoustines.

Best send off ever.  EVER!

Thanks, CK and AG for housing and feeding me!  It's my turn next, so come visit me in California soon!

Alegria's Seafood
1024 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-7200


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