Saturday, November 7, 2009

A BBQ Trip Diverted to Cuba

Today I was all set to go to the newly opened (as of Halloweekend) Brand Market BBQ for lunch.  I mainly wanted to get out of the house and away from my law review article since it was a wonderful global warmingly induced 77 degree day in November in Chicago.  Brand BBQ Market is located at 2824 W. Armitage and their website is  We hopped in my car and headed out to this new bbq place.  I parked on the street and was nearly annihilated by a bus that got way too close to my parking spot.  After luckily dodging near certain death, I walked a block to Brand BBQ.  During this block walk, I thought about how I was going to write a compare and contrast to the Chicago bbq standard, Smoque BBQ.  I got to the entrance, tried to fling open the door to announce my presence, but alas, a paper sign in the window said that they were not open for lunch, despite the workers being in there.  Brand BBQ, you have earned yourself a powerful enemy (shakes fist). 

Not knowing what to do next, but still being hungry, I remembered that I saw the other outpost of 90 Miles Cuban Cafe a few blocks back.  I remembered this because I nearly completely blew a stop sign pointing it out to John.  You may recall that I reviewed the 90 Miles that is on Belmont and Western a couple weeks ago.  This is the second, and much larger, location that they have opened.  It is located at 2540 W. Armitage and its website is  This location is also BYOB, but since we didn't know we were coming here, I didn't prepare for this.  This 90 Miles also has a greenhouse-like room attached for semi-outdoor eating.  It has things like white couches and palm trees, which makes it look like a place where Tony Montana would be face down in a mountain of coke. 

Although I greatly enjoy the lechon sandwich, I had that last time.  I owe both you and I the duty to try all sorts of different things.  Today I decided on the Media Noche sandwich.  This sandwich is sliced roast pork, pickles, and mustard served on a sweet bun.  Michelle, predictably, ordered the garlic steak.  John ordered the ropa vieja (braised pork) with peppers.  I did not try either of these dishes, but they both looked quite tasty.  My sandwich was decent, but not great.  The bun was interesting tasting, and the pork was flavorful.  However, the pork was dry and the pickles and mustard were not assertive enough, so they were largely washed out by the pork flavor.  I would have much rather re-ordered the lechon sandwich, but there is only one way to find out what things you like.

Even though the sandwich certainly was not the best that I have had at 90 Miles, I still got to drink delicious delicious Iron Beer.  I really have to find out where I can buy a case of this stuff because it is addictive.  Anyway, 90 Miles still has high praise in my book, so give it a shot.

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