While visiting the Gourmet Non Cook’s family in Highland Park, Illinois, we had lunch at La Casa de Isaac. Issac, the owner/proprietor, is one of 12 children from a Mexican family. The twist is that his family converted [one assumes from Roman Catholicism] to Judaism so the restaurant is closed Friday evening and Saturday day, in observation of the sabbath. However, the Kosher rules of no meat with dairy seem not to apply here, as the steak enchiladas were smothered with cheese. They were also perfectly flavored with a delicate, subtle green salsa.
The advertised house specialty is King David’s Quesadillas with lox, cream cheese and onions, but for my money the specialty of the house is the pozole, a soup traditionally made with hominy and pork but, since this is Issac’s house, is here made with chicken.
Served alongside is a tiny plate of the traditional garnishes including lime, avocado, diced onion, red chili flakes, and dried oregano. I added more lime and more red pepper as I ate, upping the spice ante with each spoonful.
My father, a true aficionado of Mexican food, says that pozole is like meatloaf–every house has its own recipe. If you’re anywhere near Highland Park, Isaac’s recipe is definitely worth checking out!