Bright Latin flavors on a dreary stretch of Cermak.

Our Review

On a dismal industrial stretch of Cermak, the bright, tropical-toned facade of May Street Cafe jumps out like a red-hot tamale. There are other surprises in the cuisine: never having met an alligator we liked, we ordered it for an appetizer, and with a nutty, sage-based mojo criollo, it’s not bad, tasting something like--you guessed it--chicken. Michoacan-style mole was more hot than sweet, with pasilla and ancho chiles and just a touch of chocolate, and the chiles rellenos also packed a lot of peppery punch. The Caesar salad wasn’t one--just knife-cut romaine with croutons and what could be bottled dressing, but the double-cream Brie and pear quesadillas were inspired; served with sweet crema and chipotle ketchup and listed as an appetizer, they would also be a rich, sweet way to end the meal.

David Hammond

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