Just as sunrise pokes its fingers through the back windows, glints across a pallet of two liter bottles of RC Cola and sets a glitter-coated poster of San Andrés el Apóstol ashimmer, Rosa Garcia starts her Sunday as she has for the last thirty-six years: staring down 600 pounds of cachete, aka beef cheek.
She’s the last original standing. Her brother was a constant companion in the back kitchen at La Favorita #2 grocery store located on the corner of May and 19th Street in Pilsen. He’d help stir the weekend menudo and grind the pork for the chorizo, but a few weeks ago he broke his arm. So her oldest son, Froylan, his father’s namesake, joins her. Having bellied up to the kitchen’s butcher block since he was 5 years old, way before a large half moon had been worried away from its wooden top, he’s already a veteran anyway.
His brother Andy (not that Andy Garcia), who in his Bears jersey looks equipped to take over as a walk-on linebacker, joins them often too. He and his other brother Evy, who started as a cashier at the grocery at 12, are studying their mother’s trade in preparation for opening Del Toro taqueria a few blocks over at 2133 South Halsted in the spring. Read the rest of this entry »