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in Andersonville or in Edgewater or Berwyn on the Red line

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La Cocina de Frida

View Map5403 N. Clark St., Chicago
Tel: (773) 271-1907
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Editorial Review of La Cocina de Frida

Two devoted fans of artist Frida Kahlo have taken over the old Angel's spot in Andersonville. La Cocina de Frida is owned and operated by sisters Lydia and Marlene Benitez, who undertook numerous renovations while putting the final touches on their Kahlo-inspired offerings.

Not only does the menu highlight Kahlo's favorite foods, but according to Lydia, the restaurant is painted in her favorite colors: hot pink and screaming orange. Vibrant drapes hang sporadically between paintings and photographs of Kahlo, most of which were crafted by the girls' older sister, Victoria. The festive dining room seats about 40 and during the warmer seasons a quiet back patio makes room for a few more.

Try a trio of handmade tamales served with refried beans (topped with crumbly white cheese) and rice. The sisters hold the key to 100 original tamale recipes and feature different versions each day. An endless $10 brunch on weekends includes chorizo, Mexican potatoes, French toast, fresh fruit and of course, coffee. For dessert, choose from flan, arroz en leche (rice pudding) or bunuelos con nieve (honey-drizzled tortilla strips). Lydia recommends the rice pudding that she makes from scratch every morning. "I start cooking at 6 a.m.," she says. And yet she's still cheerful and ready to greet guests by the time dinner rolls around.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: Stacy Warden

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11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday

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chicago, metromix