Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, March 3

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Review Thu Oct 28 2010

Nuevo Leon Offers Something Different in East Pilsen

Seeking a Mexican sit-down meal? Sulking all weekend after disrupting the cosmos Friday night, I was most certainly in the mood for a self-proclaimed "Mex-Mex"-style meal. Opposed to the more traditional taquería customary to the area, Nuevo Leon offers contemporary décor, an intimate amount of tables and booths, and an empty bar (they haven't yet nailed their alcohol license down yet, so it's BYOB).

"Are you a vegetarian?" the charming waitress quickly asks. "Yes, are you?"

"Well..." I hesitate. "Yes...yes I am. Anything you can recommend?"

"Well, I personally like the Flautitas de Queso Panela because they're bursting with flavor, and vegetarian food is often so bland... and then there's the veggie quesadillas."

"Oh, that sounds good."

"Yeah, it's good, and it's cheap," she says with a nervous laugh.

Under the crepuscular gloom, I realize how much I like the atmosphere here. The low lighting is ideal for a date, but not for a man eating alone with a book to keep him company. Everyone else here is voraciously eating, so when I hear the little bell ring from the kitchen I know it's my time to chow.

I put my napkin on my lap as an adorable mini-pizza of spinach, mushrooms and other wonders is placed on the table, but the toppings of guacamole and sour cream initially disturb me. I'm not an avid cheese eater to begin with, but I'm a galaxy apart from a topping connoisseur. It wasn't until college that I fell for guac, and I still say no to sour cream.

Despite my discomfort, I went ahead and began to eat. The sentiment switched after taking a bite. Delightful. How do vegetarians who haven't splurged on flesh for decades still have a decent meal? They eat lots of condiments and add extra spices, but mainly devour dairy. My cloud in sour cream heaven was cool and creamy.

Leaning over to refill my water, the curious waitress cautiously asked, "Do you like it?" Smiling with my mouth full, I blurted "hes-iz-rly-gud." Well, they could be less stingy on the guacamole, but I kept my mouth shut. I was busy.

Nuevo Leon
1515 W. 18th St.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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