A few weeks ago I was in Chicago for the Latin American Studies Association meeting. I organized a panel about the body in Church-State conflict in Mexico and presented a paper about blindness and Church-State conflict and convergence in the 1940s. It was a very enjoyable experience. Some friends even showed up for the panel’s 8 am start time, and other friends appeared at a much more decent hour after they had had some coffee and breakfast. I enjoyed going to other panels about Mexico, about religion and regret missing others. I do not regret organizing a taco tour.
Faithful readers of this blog may remember that I first went on a very small taco tour in January in Chicago, and then in March a colleague and I took a group of students to Chicago, and some of them (ok one of them) accompanied us on a taco tour. I jokingly concluded that post inviting others to a taco tour during LASA. Given the overwhelmingly positive response, I decided to actually do it.
One day, at a time I selected so as not to conflict with anyone’s panel, we went to Carnitas don Pedro, Reyes de Ocotlán (el lugar del bautizo taquero – the place of my taco baptism), and Nuevo León in Pilsen, Chicago. Nuevo León was a new location for the tour. I highly recommend it for vegetarians – because it is not exclusively a taquería – it has all kinds of delicious Mexican food. I couldn’t eat anything by the time we arrived. Fortunately, the bill was so low that I didn’t have my typical conflict between “Is food in a restaurant outside of Bluffton really that expensive?” and “I am sure I still owe you money, did I tip enough” that happens every time I am on a group bill or group taxi or group anything.
I had plans to conclude the tour at a pupusería, but we all were exhausted from eating too much meat so we did not make it that far. If you plan to go on a taco tour, I recommend eating only half a taco per place, walking at least 20 minutes between restaurants, or spreading the tour out over two days. The next time I am in Chicago I might just do that.