Takeout from Las Palmas just got easier. You can now click Order on our website or click Order Online from our Facebook page. Pick the items you would like, select the time you want everything to be ready, and even split the bill with friends going in on a group order. We will prepare your takeout order and have it ready to pick up. Check it out next time you are planning a dinner at home. The ORDER button on our home screen looks like this one (which works too).
We love summer in the city. There are SO many things to do in Wicker Park. It is about this time every year that we start to make a big list of the festivals, art exhibits, bike rides, and other summer fun that we want to check out. Last weekend as we were making our list, we realized that it takes a lot of work to find the info. We couldn’t find any one website with all of the types of things we look forward to in the summer. So we decided to publish our own “things to do in Wicker Park” calendar on our website so can share a few favorite local events.
Things to do in Wicker Park this weekend
Do Division Street Festival runs May 30 through June 2. Empty Bottle and Subterranean have organized an awesome lineup. Over 25 live bands and DJs will be performing throughout the weekend.
This year the Do Division festival also has a dedicated Family Fun Fest area on Hoyne and Crystal with pony rides, bounce houses, and face painting. They even have their own stage. The kids area is open Saturday and Sunday.
Our Wicker Park Farmers Market starts this Sunday too. That runs through October.
These are just a few. We have more on our Local Events page. Please feel free to share if you have other favorites on YOUR things to do in Wicker Park list. It is going to be a fun summer!
Guacamole is hands down our best selling appetizer. My father has been making it for decades. He uses a very traditional recipe with avocados, salt, garlic, cilantro, jalapenos, lime juice, and tomatoes. You could say he has it down to a science. We consistently rate high for Best Guacamole in Chicago according to Yelp and CBS local. It is a really tasty appetizer. So how do we make it? Here are a few tips if you want to make it at home.
Guacamole Tip #1 – Spot the Ripe Avocados
A ripe avocado should have a bit of give when pressed, but it should not be mushy. Avocados are far from ripe when they are shipped, and when we get them (or if you find them in the grocery) they are usually too firm and not at their prime. If the avocados aren’t ripe, the guacamole will be chunkier and not very flavorful. If it’s too old, the guacamole will be mushy, darker, and have an odd taste.
Guacamole Tip #2 – Quickly Ripen Avocados
Usually you will want to buy avocados a few days or even a week before you want to use them. That way you can properly ripen them up. Ideally you would store them in a cool dry place and pull them out when they are ready…like we do in the restaurant. Be careful though. Avocados do not ripen if the temperature is too cold. They won’t ripen much at all in the refrigerator for instance.
If you’re looking to speed up the ripening process, you can place unripe avocados in a brown paper bag. This traps the ethylene gas from them and helps the fruit ripen faster. To speed things even more, you could add a another ripe fruit like a banana or apple to the bag. Check the bag daily. As the avocados ripen, their skin color will darken. A firm avocado placed in a paper bag will ripen at room temperature in about two to four days. Once they are ripe, or if you have a surplus of avocados, store them in the refrigerator to prevent further ripening. You can store ripe ones in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Guacamole Tip #3 – Mash the Onion, Garlic, and Peppers with Lime Juice
We start by mashing everything EXCEPT for the avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro together. This releases flavors from the onion, garlic, and peppers into the lime juice. We use a mortar and pestle to mash. If you don’t have one of those you could use the back of an ice cream scoop with a mixing bowl. You will probably want a mortar and pestle if you do this a lot though.
Guacamole Tip #4 – Onions Prevent Browning
At the restaurant we make our guacamole fresh every time a guest orders it, but at home if you are throwing a party, you may want to make it in advance. Be careful though, the top will brown if it is left too long. You can avoid this with by sprinkling some minced red onions on top before you cover it with plastic wrap (pressed close to the top). Red onions make a nice garnish too.
Our Best Guacamole Recipe
For two people
Mash these together:
- 1 Tablespoons – finely chopped onion
- ½ Tablespoons – jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
- 1 clove – garlic, finely chopped
- Juice of one half lime
- A dash of sea salt
Then mix these in:
- 2 ripe avocados (just the soft green part under the skin)
- 2 Tablespoons – diced grape or cherry tomatoes
- ½ Tablespoons – coarsely chopped cilantro
Obviously you can scale this up for a larger party or adjust it to your taste. For kids we often prepare it “mild” with all the jalapenos on the side. That way parents can raise the spiciness of their servings.
Please let us know if you try this out!