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Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008

Short Orders

Oaxacan Specialties

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One of my favorite Mexican restaurants is the tiny Oaxaca Grill (3447 W. Forest Home Ave.). The interior is like a Northwoods log cabin decorated with colorful Mexican artifacts. The menu, made up of many Oaxacan dishes, started small but has grown over the years. Be sure to visit on weekends, when the Oaxacan tamales, which are wrapped in banana leaves, are available. The Grill is also the first local eatery I know that serves chapulines—toasted grasshoppers flavored with chile pepper—which are sold in markets and by street vendors everywhere in Oaxaca. They are actually quite good, with a texture like a Rice Krispie. The remainder of the menu is far tamer. The Oaxaca Grill has the best chile rellenos to be found locally, made with two whole poblano peppers filled with cheese and coated with a thin egg batter—simply the best.