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February 4, 2007

Caliente

by gastronomicbypass

Location – 3910 N. Sheridan

www.calientechicago.com

In one word – Unfulfilling

Food – Okay, I am usually easily sold on Mexican food, but Caliente just didn’t do it for me. I found the food to be far too standard. There was nothing special about it, they gave me no reason to trek all the way to Uptown. I started with the ensalada fresca which sounded promising: spinach, mango, jimaca, cucumber and an orange vinegrette. Only I never found the vinegrette. Call me picky, but I don’t go for the dressing-less salad. I had the tamales as well…nothing exciting to report. My table shared the empanadas, there were supposed to be three types. Only two varieties ended up at our table…Entree portions are large here, but I’m a fan of quality over quantity.

Drink – It’s BYOB, which I appreciate given that I’m still struggling with my New Year’s resolution to stay within my budget.

Service – Pretty standard. Our waiter knew about the dishes and went to ask the chef for any of our left field questions. There’s a relaxed feel about this place, so the service is not too formal.

Occasion – I came to catch up with friends, that seemed to be the general trend amongst the other patrons. You could probably come here if you were in a very stable relationship and wanted to go some place low key (and not impressive).

Dress – Jeans are totally appropriate. Anything more would be overdressed.

Cost – You’d probably spend $20 – 30 a person here. The portions are huge, so I’m pretty sure you’ll go home with a doggie bag, but I still don’t know if this place is worth the price.

If you like…, try – Uncle Julio’s Hacienda (but keep in mind that Caliente is much much much more low key than UJH)

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