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Fall Fiesta 

A new Mexican spot on the South Side offers a tasty alternative to typical halftime grub.

There, I will get Pork Burritos and Mole Poblano. I will get Shrimp Diablo and nachos with beans. Back home, my friends and I will chew and grunt and nod our heads. I’ll make a mess. I’ll break my pledge. I know I will. And I’ll tell you what: I can’t wait.

La Adelita is the newest Mexican grill from the folks who brought you La Milpa. I have not been to La Milpa, and every time I admit this to one of my foodie friends, his or her mouth flops open and I am assured, “Man, you’ve got to go there!” Now I know why. It’s not only good food; it’s good food that fits perfectly into a particular part of my life. For me, La Adelita’s fare is best enjoyed on the couch with halftime highlights. If you know what I’m talking about, I highly recommend that you think of La Adelita during the next 15 or 20 Sundays.

Think of the Mole Poblano ($6.99) as king-size buffalo wings. A plump breast and a leg are much meatier and tenderer than any order of hot wings you’ll get elsewhere, and at about the same price. The creamy refried beans provide a second sauce of sorts. Don’t waste any of that rich, brown mole sauce though. Scoop it up with the chicken leg. Stir it in with the rice. Coat the peas and little chunks of carrots with it, and then scoop it up, gordo. Get an extra Burrito al Pastor ($4.99). You’ll want one for lunch the next day. It’s one of the best things I’ve eaten this year. The pork is marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce, and then packed into a flour tortilla with refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes and jack cheese. The marinade is something else, and the beans are perfect. You can also get an order of nachos with the same pork ($4.49) or with a number of other toppings including beans, cheese, chicken or beef ($3.39-4.49). If you’re looking for something more entrée-like, you can’t go wrong with the Camarones a la Diabla ($12.99). Plump, butterflied shrimp are simmered in a very bitey chipotle sauce and served with rice, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and sliced avocado. I opted for the corn tortillas. Most of what I tried was top-notch — full of flavor, spicy but not painful, and with just enough cheese and sauce to complement the meats. I was disappointed, however, with the carne in the Tacos de Carne Asada. The beef was tough and lukewarm as if it had been sitting around for awhile. Also, if you’re going to order a burrito be sure to do it from the list of Burritos Tipicos. Those included with the combination dinners don’t pack the same punch.

The service dragged when I was in the dining room. It was cheerful, but I would like to see things become a bit more efficient. It wouldn’t keep me out of the dining room. My couch and television, though, will do just that over the next few months. I hope that I can avoid too many halftime trips to La Adelita. If I’m not careful, I could end up resembling those offensive linemen. S

Randall Stamper worked in restaurants in Boston, New Orleans and Indiana for seven years and has filled every job from dishwasher to general manager. All his visits are anonymous and paid for by Style.

La Adelita Mexican Grill ($$)
3025 Broad Rock Blvd.
233-3321, 233-3320
Breakfast, lunch and dinner: 9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
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