Location, location, location?

It’s not often that we decide to venture out to the almost-far west side for lunch, but we did just that on Friday. We’d heard for some time that Gammon Road’s Cilantro had much to offer in the way of Mexican fare. In fact, we’d even heard the owners had serious ties to Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill. Plus, we had a Groupon for $30 worth of treats. So, off we went. On the way, we encountered something unexpected. On our way up Old Sauk Road, and just past the Owen Conservatory, I looked to my right and spotted a few giant turkeys in the front yard of a house that was for sale. I insisted Aaron turn the car around to enter the house’s driveway so I could snap a few shots. Aaron loves turkeys so he obliged my request without resistance.

They left the scene when we arrived and I started snapping pictures, but what a sight. Those guys were huge! There were actually three of them, but I could get a shot with only two. After this excitement, we headed on our way.

We arrived shortly before 1 pm and there were several other diners in the restaurant, but it was by no means crowded. The restaurant was nice-enough looking, but not really noteworthy. There was a lunch buffet going on; it was displayed on a few tables pushed together and contained a few chafing dishes and a plate of brownies. Our server was remarkably thorough in his explanation of the menu and the specials. We ordered drinks. I had a margarita (I know – it’s lunch, but I had heard they were really good and our Groupon was for $30 and we weren’t going to reach that amount through the $9 entrees) and Aaron had a horchata, which was a rice milk with cinnamon. The margarita was really good. Aaron found the horchata really refreshing; I thought it was very sweet and quite tasty.

For lunch, I ordered the maybe-boring-to-you, quesadilla nortena with chicken. It was really divine. The chicken was seasoned so well and the quesadilla had just the right amount of cheese. The guacamole was undoubtedly some of the best I have ever had and the rich, smoky salsa on the plate was total yumsville.

Aaron ordered one of the day’s specials, which was a chile relleno. It was stuffed with cheese, along with all sorts of veggies like carrots and corn and mushrooms. He declared it tasty and not at all heavy, as it wasn’t your usual battered chile relleno.  I thought the rice in a pyramid was a fun surprise.

Although the location and the decor leave something to be desired for me, I think we will definitely return to Cilantro. The food was pretty much superb.


5 Responses to “Location, location, location?”

  1. 1 Raoser July 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Those turkeys are crazy! Well, who am I to say? They might be perfectly sane, but it’s crazy you saw them just hanging out like that!

    The food looks and sounds fab. I of course would have had to try the carne asada. Mmm… now I want that. But I suppose that would be an odd choice for breakfast.

  2. 2 kateandgracie July 4, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I think that’s a great choice for any meal!

    And the turkeys did seem crazy! I stayed close to the car.

  3. 3 Sara H July 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Agreed on Cilantro. Been there a couple times – can’t believe it’s still open, because of that weird location, bu the food is always good.

  4. 4 Raoser July 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I’m glad you stayed in the car! I’m also glad you support my carne asada obsession. It’s nice of you.

  5. 5 kateandgracie July 7, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Well, I didn’t exactly stay in the car, but very near it. And Sara, I’m so glad to hear you like Cilantro, too! The only other person I’ve spoken to who went there said she didn’t like it, but I (internally) chalked that up to her expecting something more Laredo’s-y.

    Now, who is ready for a post on Basement Redo 2011??

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July 2011

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