Ravenswood’s El Sangarito – NBC Chicago

Mexican restaurants are only 10 cents in Chicago, but sometimes you can find a hidden gem.

Just two cooks run the tiny kitchen at El Sangalito, a no-frills Mexican restaurant on a side street in Ravenswood. One of them is Rogelio Marroquin, a veteran of several Lettuce Entertain You restaurants. He and his wife combined his recipes with her storefront hospitality to open a restaurant during the pandemic.

“We thought we could start a restaurant that showcases his food and ideas,” said Erica Marroquin, Rogelio’s wife and co-owner of El Sangalito.

Ceviche is like the tropical flavor Seurat describes. Combine plump shrimp with fresh cilantro, mango, red peppers and cuke. Squeeze a fresh lime and toss it vigorously, add fresh avocado cubes and serve in a ring for a presentation point, surround with a mild tamarind sauce and garnish with microgreens. Do you know what tortilla chips are for?

Grill carne asada on a griddle and cover 3 corn tortillas with chihuahua cheese. Once the beef is cooked, roll it in a tortilla and top it with a smooth Mole Negro.

“Black moles are usually a little sweeter than red ones. The red ones will be a little spicier than the others,” Marroquin said.

Moles are to Mexico what curry is to Thailand. In each he contains nearly 24 different ingredients. From Negro chocolate and peanuts to red Colorado almonds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. Common to all moles is dried chiles, in this case anchos and parsillas, toasted back and blended with other ingredients.

Back to the enchiladas, Marroquin is topped with crushed queso añejo and rich crema, and topped with tart-pickled red onions to balance the richness.

Coloradeto wraps cooked chicken, sautés and heats. Served with garlic flavored green beans and Mexican rice. There is a garnish of sesame seeds in a slightly spicy sauce finished with reddish pasilla chili, which echoes the ground seeds within. A cinnamon-sweet horchata is the perfect complement to a statement sauce.

“Even the sauces are made by Chef Rogelio and they all taste different,” she said.

Reservations are highly recommended as there are only 11 tables. It’s BYOB, so bring your favorite wine or Mexican beer.

You can go here:

El Sangarito

4811 N. Rockwell Street


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