Las Tortugas de San Luis | Bleader

Las Tortugas de San Luis

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There aren't many eating options within walking distance of the ultimate stop of the Pink Line and the Cicero Stadium, where the Windy City Rollers currently hold their bouts (though Xni-Pec and La Quebrada are both short drives away). Hungry derby fans must settle for stale nachos, popcorn, and congealed takeout pizza re-sold by the Clyde Park District.

But about four months ago the humble Las Tortugas de San Luis opened a block south of the stadium, specializing in a particular variant of the common Mexican torta, that multitextural sandwich otherwise built on the light, hollowed out, and sometimes structurally unstable discus shaped teleras. LTDSL, however, makes seven varieties of tortas in the style of the north-central state of San Luis Potosi. These sandwiches are smaller and made with sturdier ovoid-shaped "Portuguese" rolls, which look and taste suspiciously like those Cuisine de France sourdough mini baguettes found in supermarkets and convenience stores (you could do worse). Filled with ham and cheese, grilled chicken, rib eye, pork, chorizo and egg, queso fresco, or the breaded steak milanesa they're dressed with lettuce, tomato, jalapeno slivers, mayo, mustard, and avocado. What's missing is the standard version's cheese, sour cream, and smear of refried beans that often degrade the teleras about midpoint through eating. I like these dainty, compact little tortas (hold the mayo), which come with thick seasoned wedge-cut fries and are priced between $4 (for the queso) and $6.25 (for the rib eye).

The rest of the menu is dominated by buffalo wings, mozz sticks, burgers, hot dogs, and for breakfast, pancakes and eggs, but on weekends there's menudo, and that other famous San Luis Potosi dish, enchiladas potosinas -- ancho chile-infused masa, pressed into tortillas, stuffed with chicken and cheese, folded over, and fried. Last Saturday we were served two baskets of house-made tortilla chips, hot from the fryer with a bright salsa (see attached pics) to boot.

The derby crowd still hasn't noticed this place, though boxing and lucha libre fans and the crowds at the nearby soccer pitches might be more hip to it.

Las Tortugas de San Luis, 2105 S. Laramie, Cicero, 708-656-0214

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