I love Mexican food and am pretty good at making it myself but somehow, like most ethnic foods, it never tastes the same when I make it. We went to Las Botanas for Mexican. It was a lovely night and we were seated outside so that was nice. The food was good, I could have lived with a lot less avocado on my tacos but generally it was nice, good food. What wasn’t good, though, were the margaritas. 

My Mexican food may not win any prizes but I guarantee my margaritas would beat the miserable Kool-aid drinks they were serving. It almost feels like it’s a joke. “Oh, these stupid gringos won’t realize we’re serving Wyler’s lemonade.”

And the winner is

Thursday night I had dinner at Lake Park Bistro. Ashish, my sister Ann and her boyfriend, Jay. It was very good. It cost $356 with a 20% tip. The service, which I usually find lacking at LPB was pretty good we did not have the 2 server—(which means each of them think the other is looking after you and hence, no server)—waiter situation they generally have. I had gnocchi and it was OK. The brown butter, if in fact it was brown butter was a little too browned. If it wasn’t supposed to be brown butter, it was burned. No matter, I ate it and it was fine.

Next night, 5 people at Las Botanas. The place was packed, we had no reservations, they said a 20 minute wait but seated us immediately. Margaritas were great. I had plate lunch. It was awesome. Service was good and the bill was $108 for 5 of us.

Saturday Ashish and I ate near the airport in Chicago at Carlucci’s since he was on his way back to Belgium. We had reservations for 6 pm which is early and dreaded eating in an empty restaurant but when we arrived it was reasonably full. By the time we left, an hour and fifteen minutes later, it was packed. The bread was awful. My meal was edible. I should know better than order cinghiale. Wild boar is not something we have here. Service fine. It was $120 for the 2 of us.

Give me Las Botanas any day of the week.