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(Annie Grossinger / Chicago Tribune)Beatnik is a study in texture.From the exuberantly ornate dining room to the best dishes on the menu, the West Loop restaurant delights in serving up layers upon layers of style. A beet hummus kicked off a recent meal with sparks of citrus zest and dusky notes of clove, offset by the crunch of fried chickpeas and the salty tang of blue cheese.A curving window wall in the bar takes in the action at the corner of Kinzie and Clark streets — a perfect perch for people watching during the holiday season.65 W.
As we walked out, back into the stark, cold street, something Jack Kerouac wrote in “The Dharma Bums” came to mind: “I think it’s all lovely hallucination but I love it sorta.”Chicago abounds with tamales.
As the Tribune reported around the time Barrio opened last summer, look for “Mexican-ish” here.
Lunch is a creative take on Mexican dishes and flavors that pull in American and Japanese additions.
You can grab them at grocery stores, order them at an untold number of Mexican restaurants and pick them up by the dozen from vendors on select street corners.
You can also do nothing but nurse a beer at some North Side watering holes and wait for the red-cooler-toting Tamale Guy to spring through the door, like Santa for the seriously sauced.
But, while the 53-year-old regularly shares photos of her creations with her 12,500 followers, her choice of hashtags seemed interesting.