Tag Archives: Churros

Don Churro in Pilsen – Churros with a Soul

 

At Don Churro, in Pilsen, churros are an artform.

At Don Churro, in Pilsen, churros are an artform.

I was touched by the sight of the churros that welcomed us, as if they had somewhow been coaxed into perfectly spelling out “La Vitamina T.” We were asked to arrive early since, like it is the case with any kind of magic, at Don Churro, these delicious fried-dough desserts  can only be conjured up in the dark.  

It was barely dawn when we got to the quaint Pilsen establishment, and the Molinas had been up all night. With no sleep and even in the the sweltering heat of the friers that have been going on for hours, the owners of Pilsen´s Don Churro, el Moro de Letrán (an homage to the iconic downtown Mexico City establishment) are extraordinary hosts.

María, the matriarch, speaks proudly and animatedly about how a mix of hard work and bravado landed her a business for which she had to fight every day to keep afloat. At first, she says, she would go out to sell churros on her bicycle. Fast-forward thirty years and Don Churro is making 5,000 pastries a day to keep up with a demand that spans beyond state lines, and has earned a spot as a community fixture. 

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The Molina family add passion and pride to their delicious churro recipe.

Edwin Molina, one of María’s three children, gives us a quick glimpse at the struggle and sacrifice that have built both, the family business, and his character.  Armed with a grateful attitude and a superhuman work ethic, Edwin  works  to  find new opportunities to merchandise his product and to continue to innovate. This place is not called Don Churro in vain. Here, churros are  serious business.

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What makes Don Churro so special? These churros have a soul. And I am not just talking about the delicious guava, cream cheese, bavarian cream, strawberry or chocolate fillings that make these crispy and chewy bundles of goodness extra special.

These popular transplants have gone through fire to become who they are, and much like the Molina’s, they are a real success, and they will steal your heart.

Don Churro

Address: 1626 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

Phone:(312) 733-3173

M-S 6:00 am to 7:00 pm

Get there early, churros are particularly tasty when hot.

A Cup of Magic with a Hint of Baroque

Churros and chocolate at El Moro - Mexico, CityPhoto: Brenda Storch

Churros and chocolate at Churrería El Moro – Mexico, City, Mexico
Photo: Brenda Storch

     

RUTA MEXICANA

It was not by coincidence or like we say in Mexico, “de puro churro” * that Churrería El Moro was on my agenda as a place I had to check out this time.  I usually visit my family in Mexico City during the holiday season, which makes it almost impossible to make a stop at all the places I either want to go back to, or experience for the first time. This time around, I made sure to move this famous establishment to the top of my list.

I visited El Moro, like locals call it, on New Year’s Day, and I was particularly impressed to find quite a large group of people lined up outside. A look at the menu makes it clear- El Moro masters the alchemy of  churros con chocolate, and its simple menu has delighted guests for nearly a century.  Here you can find four types of chocolate differentiated primarily by thickness and degree of sweetness. These deliciously baroque concoctions have been simmering to perfection since this legendary café opened in 1935.

Churrería El Moro - Mexico City, Mexico Photo by: Brenda Storch

Churrería El Moro – Mexico City, Mexico
Photo by: Brenda Storch

The line moved quickly, and after a short wait, we were warmly greeted and escorted to a table by someone so cheerful to see me on a holiday, I almost felt like family.  I was delighted to have a front row seat to a performance, as churros were being charmed into delicate wheels of fried dough destined to vanish in a matter of seconds.

The city’s hustle and bustle are part of the décor and the overall experience of this urban, simple and non-pretentious locale: El Moro welcomes locals and tourists from all walks of life.

Growing up in a place like Mexico City, where you can find  a cathedral built on top of an Aztec building ( originally built on a lake that is no longer there), I anticipate magic whenever I visit. I have never been disappointed, and this time around, I drank magic in a cup.

*Literally translated as “by virtue of a churro” which means, “accidentally.”

El Moro, Mexico City- Mexico Photo by: Brenda Storch

El Moro, Mexico City- Mexico
Photo by: Brenda Storch

If you visit: 
Don’t be deterred by long lines if you encounter them, they move quickly. The area is busy, but generally safe. Exercise precautions you would observe in any major city. Consider getting your churros to go, as this is also an option.

Churrería El Moro

Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 42

Centro Histórico

México, D.F.

Tel. 55 12 0896