Thursday, October 27, 2011

Perfect Meal By: Christina Tallerico

Christina is a high school Spanish teacher who enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants and going to concerts. She says she is willing to travel as far as she needs to go to eat some delicious food. She has even planned road trips to other states so that she can try new restaurants. Her favorite restaurant is Maya del Sol which will be featured in season 11 of Check, Please!

My best friend and I used to play this game in college where, when we were really hungry, we would discuss where and what we would like to be eating. When given the prompts for the Check. Please! blog, I found it more than appropriate to take my 24-year old self back to those long lost college days and play the “Food Game.” 

 Where to begin? I guess the best place to begin my perfect meal is with location. If I could pick anywhere in the world to eat, it would have to be in an outdoor café in Spain in the early fall where I could enjoy the mild weather and people watch. I spent a semester in a small town in Spain and often find myself longing to get back to the Spanish way of life. The atmosphere of my ideal meal would hands-down have to be that of Maya del Sol, where I could sit on the patio and be part of the fast pace energy and attentive service. 

To start my meal off with, there would be a plethora of fine Italian bread a la Bari bakery in Chicago.  The restaurant would give me several of the crusty end pieces of the bread, which are my absolute favorite. I would start with the Mangaso drink from Maya Del Sol, which consists of mango puree, lime juice, tequila, rum and lined with a chile rim. Later on in the meal I would switch to the Pepinito, which is made of cucumber gin and habanero syrup with a chile rim.

My appetizer of choice would have to be the fried romaine lettuce with lemon and garlic from Danny’s Deli in Melrose Park. It is delicious and tender and makes you think you are eating healthy because you ordered lettuce. 

The entrée of my choosing would have to be the “Lair of the minotaur” burger from Kuma’s. Korner in Logan Square It has to be cooked medium and served piping hot. This burger is served on a pretzel roll and topped with bourbon soaked pears, Brie cheese and caramelized onions. I would obviously finish the entire thing and still be ready to take on the rest of my meal. As a side I would have to say that the deep fried cornbread from Heaven on Seven would take the cake. Served to me hot, crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside I would literally be in Heaven eating every delicious morsel.

My dream meal would be capped off with dessert perfection of course: the Sicilian Iris from the Purple Pig on Michigan Avenue. This decadent and unique dessert is the stuff dreams are made of.  It is deep fried brioche dough filled with chocolate chips and ricotta. Think a cannoli on steroids. And that, readers, is how I would end my perfect meal. If you will excuse me, I am getting hungry…

Maya del Sol 
144 S Oak Park Ave
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 358-9800


  1. I think you should do it, like a progressive dinner.

  2. Ditto on the Sicilian Iris! It is an AMAZING dessert. Best way to end the meal.


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