Hours: Breakfast, lunch, dinner: seven days
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 1:30, Monday-Thursday till 11
Little Village restaurants offering exotics like eel, rattlesnake, and iguana along with Mexican standards and homemade tortillas.
La Casa de Samuel offers exotica of a sort you wont find at many other restaurants. We started with a bowl of tiny eels--looking a lot like white mung beans with eyes--and enjoyed a platter of frog legs, the meat firm and juicy. The absolute knockout dish was cecina de venado, slabs of salted and dried venison that are rehydrated and griddled; its deep, dark flavor will please those who like beef as well as those who prefer their food on the wild side. We had a chicken breast with a blisteringly spicy brick red India sauce that was excellent with the tortillas, homemade as is the salsa. The extensive menu offers goat, boar, and alligator; we took the plunge with the rattlesnake, which was . . . odd, gnarly and jerkylike. For dessert, my dining companion made the right choice: our waiter had only to hear the words banana flambe and he was off, preparing his citrus zest, pan, and liquor bottles; the result, served with a spumoni-type ice cream, was fabulous.
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