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Review: Amelia's

By Chuck Sudo in Food on May 11, 2009 5:00PM

Eusebio Garcia's creative meshing of Mexican and Mediterranean influences was one of many reasons that Pilsen's Mundial Cocina Mestiza developed a steady base of customers. Recently, he and wife Kate divorced, and each sold their shares of Mundial to third partner Mario Cota. Eusebio Garcia then struck out on his own in, of all places, Canaryville, with a gleaming new restaurant, bringing his killer salmon al carbón, langostinos and homemade corn tortillas with him to Amelia's (4559 S. Halsted, 773-538-8200).

It's that location — nestled in the middle of the vacant lots and sepia toned memories of the Stockyards and International Ampitheatre — that's the biggest obstacle Garcia faces in making Amelia's a success. The other is convincing residents of the Canaryville, Back of the Yards and New City neighborhoods to shell out an average of $16 for an entrée when they can just go to a taqueria for "some Mexican."

For those looking for more than a burrito as big as your head, Garcia's cooking remains one of the most inventive takes on Mixteco in the city, with its balance of spice and savory. And Amelia's is BYOB while Garcia and his partners work on getting their liquor license.