“Chilango” is Spanish slang for someone who is a native of Mexico City. Of the husband and wife team who own and operate the fresh-casual Mexican restaurant by the same name, Mark Bennett refers to himself as the literal Chilango, having been born and raised in Mexico City by British parents.
All nicknames aside, Chilango Fresh Mexican has elevated the notion of suburban Mexican food. The restaurant serves up delicious and authentic tacos, empanadas, flautas, enchiladas, quesadillas and more, all made with fresh ingredients prepared daily.
“We focus on very clean food. We don’t have a freezer, we don’t have a microwave, we’re shipped food every day. We make everything fresh, so it’s all truly scratch-made,” Mark says.
Growing up in Mexico City with a chef mother certainly influenced his desire to one day run his own Mexican restaurant.
“I learned from her,” Mark says. “My mother would always prepare fresh, authentic Mexican food when I was growing up, and when we decided to do this, that’s what we decided to go with.”
To that end, the Bennetts pride themselves on standing out from the crowd and making sure all their dishes have a distinct flavor profile so the menu items remain consistent.
“When you eat the tacos, you can eat them with your eyes closed and you would know which ones you were eating if you’d had them before,” Mark says. “You wouldn’t need your eyes to tell you. A lot of places you go, if you separate it all out and you taste the proteins themselves, they kind of start to blend together—there’s no real differentiator, nothing that makes them distinct.”
“A lot of our recipes are very simple, made with fresh ingredients and executed well,” Mark says with a smile.
Pico de Gallo
Pico is a really fresh, popular, five-ingredient salsa that anyone can make (perfect for football season—or any season). The best part is, all you need is a knife and a cutting board—no cooking required!
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced
1 white onion, diced
3 whole jalapeños (seeded and deveined), diced
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
Combine the diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and cilantro in a medium-sized bowl (try to dice everything the same size, if possible). Pour or squeeze over the lime juice, and add salt to taste. Mix it all together and dig in!
ChilangoMexican.com | 513.443.8226