Thursday, February 23, 2012

Senor Pan By: Jerry

Jerry Weber is a Senior Contract Buyer from New Lenox. He is an ultimate Check, Please! fan as Jerry says he's watched every single episode over our 11 season history. While it can be an expensive hobby, Jerry loves checking out as many of the Check, Please! reviewed restaurant as he can. He even created his own Check, Please! database to help him find the perfect dining spot for any occasion.

Finally it was time for my birthday family meal, it is only over a week late! Well I will say things have been quite busy around the old family home lately. This is the first free day when we could all get together.

I decided on Senor Pan, since we are a Cuban household. This restaurant came highly rated on several of the different Internet websites. The ratings have been very high for this restaurant. So we head up north to pick up our oldest daughter and then head over to Fullerton. There is a parking lot right in front of the restaurant. There is a pretty good crowd for a late Saturday lunch, early Saturday dinner.

We start out ordering two orders of the Croquetas De Jamon (Ham Croquettes). They were very good. All the Cubans at our table agreed these tasted like a true Cuban made them and reminded everyone of the home made version. We also ordered the Mariquitas Con Mojo (Homemade Plantain Chips with Garlic Sauce). These were also good. It was strange that the Plantains were cut with ridges (just like Ruffles have ridges). So they were not as thin as they could have been. Also they could have used more salt.

For our main orders I started with the Senor Pan Trio (3 mini sandwiches of my choice). I got the Sandwich Cubano (sandwich with Ham, Roast Pork, Cheese and Pickles, this was very good and I am not a big fan of ham or pickles), Sandwich De Boliche (Roasted Beef, Lettuce and Tomato, this one was even better), and finally the Sandwich De Ropa Vieja (Shredded Flank Steak in Tomato Sauce, this one was truly the BEST). I will say two of my favorite Cuban dishes have to be Ropa Vieja and Boliche and in that order too. Oh I almost forgot I also ordered a Mango Batidos (milkshake, very, very delicious).

Well my wife and my youngest son both ordered the Bistec Encebollado (Grill Onions Steak). Of course I tasted their steak and it was very good. They both thought the steak was very good but the rice, black beans, and plantains were just average. My oldest son and youngest daughter both ordered the Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef, my favorite Cuban dish). Dad had to try some (remember it is my birthday meal and my favorite dish) and I thought it was truly outstanding. They both agreed on the beef but again just thought the rice, black beans, and plantains were just average. Finally, my oldest daughter order the Boliche (Roast Eye of Round Cuban Style, my second favorite Cuban dish). I also was allowed to sample this one and again thought it was one of the best I have ever tried. My daughter agreed on the meat, but also thought her sides were just average.

For dessert, my wife and two daughters all ordered the flan. They really liked it a lot. Usually they order flan and say afterward that it was too jello like, however this flan was firmer and tasted very good. So this time at Senor Pan they all LOVED their flan and thought it was just like a true Cuban would have made.

Oh I almost forgot, (remember I am older now) I also ordered another Senor Pan Trio to go. My sandwiches were just sooo good that I had to place another order to go. I figured I had another yummy meal for the next day.

So all this food and with drinks, our total bill came to roughly $85 dollars. Actually it was a bit higher with a tip that our waitress did not want to accept (I left her a tip anyway). Since it is a family run place I think they don't want to accept tips. But the service was just sooo friendly and helpful.  
I would highly recommend Senor Pan to everyone and we do plan on heading back to Fullerton for another yummy Cuban meal.

Senor Pan
4612 West Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60639
(773) 227-1020

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