Monday, December 5, 2011

Eating Under the Influence: platillo nopal loco

Posted By on 12.05.11 at 02:00 PM

Los Gallo Bravos crazy cactus plate
In honor of Weed Week, I'm going to inaugurate an occasional series of posts documenting dishes best consumed while intoxicated or while recovering from altered states of consciousness. Pick your poison, but in most cases—as with the infamous Slinger, or Polk & Western Hot Dogs' abominable french fry sandwich—no one should eat these things without immoderate chemical input.

So without further ado, I give you El Gallo Bravo's platillo nopal loca, aka "crazy cactus plate," a whole, sliced, fried cactus hand reaching over a cheesy mess of grilled beef, hot dog quarters, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. At $6.99, it's priced the same as the platillo volcan, which is identical but for the cactus paddle. That makes no sense to me. I can't imagine why you wouldn't want the vitamin B6-rich succulent on your plate when you're fortifying yourself against a nasty crudo.

This particular EGB branch, which appears to be part of the local minichain, is open 24 hours, and on the weekends hosts a high-decibel karaoke party. In addition to the standard taqueria offerings, it also features a few other other unusual specials which could easily qualify as Eating Under the Influence candidates.* There are massive California burritos (though the one I ordered had no french fries inside) and tacos huerfanos ("orphans"), greasy corn tortillas smeared with refried beans, layered with a thin sheet of fried pork, and topped with cheese. On the weekends there's that classic hangover cure, menudo. "Menudo para el crudo", as they say.

El Gallo Bravo, 4503 N. Kedzie, 773-267-4900

*By all means, feel free to suggest your own reliable E.U.I.s

Read more from Weed Week:

Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky's feature story, "The politics of pot"

"Father Pfleger: end the pot possession busts!" by Mick Dumke

"The five best stoner records of the year," by Miles Raymer

"Eating Under the Influence: kimchi-bulgogi omelet," by Kate Schmidt

"A Reader poll about legalizing reefer—and not one word about Mayor Rahm," by Ben Joravsky

"Why are blacks busted more often for pot?" by Steve Bogira

"Cooking with cannabis: boat noodles," by Mike Sula

"Today's marijuana lesson comes from New York City," by Mick Dumke

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