notes from the mexican kitchen

Topolo unveils Mexico City, 1941

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The newest Perfect 7 menu at Topolobampo is the latest to reach into the past for inspiration. But this time, it’s a shorter trip. Instead of reaching to, say, Mexico City circa 1671, we head to Mexico City, 1941. Here you’ll find a lot of dishes that are now classics— fideos, mole de olla, pan de […]


Xoco’s Real Deal Tacos Al Pastor

That chill in the air…the whiff of smoke…it can only mean one thing: it’s Tacos Al Pastor season at Xoco! Every Wednesday night starting at 5PM, at Xoco River North AND Xoco Wicker Park, our chefs layer sustainably raised, red chile-marinated pork on a spit, building a trompo, that turns in front of charcoal-fire.  The trompo’s funnel shape means […]

Mexican Weekend/

So buttery it’s scary: Rick’s Pan de Muerto

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These are the days of Halloween and Day of the Dead, and both of those things mean one thing: It’s time to make Pan de Muerto. Our pan de muerto (a.k.a. Day of the Dead bread) is rich with butter and eggs, sprinkled lightly with sugar and made into individual rolls decorated with decadent crossbones. It’s addictive whether eaten […]

Mexican Weekend/

Sweet, spicy autumn, in cocktail form


We drink classic margaritas full of puckery-sweet limonada all year round. But we’d be lying if we said it didn’t taste best outside on a warm day, in the sun, preferably near some water. Not the Apple-Habanero Margarita from Rick’s latest book. This margarita is infused with autumn in three different ways: an apple-habanero puree; a dose of apple […]

Mexican Weekend/

Wild mushrooms, wildly flavorful


This is a farmers market weekend, because in many cities it will be the last market of the season (or, in some cases, the last weekend before the market moves indoors). The thing to look for at the market: Mushrooms. Wild ones. Pick up as many—and as many varieties—as you can, keeping in mind that they shrink […]