La Calaca Comelona

2304 SE Belmont, 239-9675

At Calaca, the meat is the focus of most dishes, reminding the carnivores of why we eat meat: For the challenging texture, and of course, the taste. Here, the tacos can simply be eaten for the smoky flavor of the meat. Try the oven-roasted pork (Carnitas) or steak tacos; both are tender and fabulous. The grilled dinners offer another visit to the land of tasty meat. The Alambre dinner is a grilled combo of mozzarella, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, steak, and bacon. The meal is an entire platter filled with this deliciously salty blend, and served with corn tortillas. La Calaca also offers eight creative dinners: mole with blackberries, a quesadilla filled with red snapper; chile relleno stuffed with fruit, meat, and vegetables. Other specialties include a tangy ceviche with big chunks of fish marinated in a blend of lime juice, capers, tomato, and cilantro, and of course, their fabulous drinks. KS

Corbett Fish House

5901 SW Corbett, 246-4434

Tucked away on a random residential street in the heart of John's Landing, Corbett Fish House certainly doesn't benefit from a hip location. But if you like good ol' fashioned deep-fried fish accompanied by 20-ounce glasses of good beer, mounds of coleslaw, and extremely friendly service, then it might just be worth seeking out. My waiter recommended the Walleye, (caught in the wild in Lake Manitoba) with its sweet, nutmeg-seasoned batter coating, but I wound up preferring the catfish, with its delectably spicy kick and perfect level of crispety-crunch. The oysters are good, too. If you just want plain old halibut, there a plenty of good joints in town, but for the flavor of the Midwest, take a drive to the Corbett. JWS

Widmer Gasthaus

929 N Russell, 281-3333

I don't need to tell you Widmer's Gasthaus has great beer, but perhaps you didn't know that they also have top-notch service, incredible sandwiches (try the veggie Rueben with Swiss, a ton of kraut, and thick rye bread), and the longest damn sausages I've ever seen. They also offer a tasty fondue served with bread or soft pretzel, that won't make you any thinner, but serves as an excellent beer sponge. KS