Chicago’s Best Trick or Eat: Xelva Mayan Kitchen

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(ominous synth music) A beautiful car like
the Alfa Romeo Stelvio deserves a classic
American road. Although today, it
does feel a lot more like the highway to hell. Because my giggling crew
(evil laughter) cannot contain their excitement about what I’m expected to
find in the kitchen today. I’m terrified. (tense synth music) At, oh, geez! Scared me, dude. Well, it’s that time
of the year, I guess. (upbeat Latin music) – (laughs) That is
not my real face. – Okay, d’oh, my God! (laughing)
I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding. – Coconut rice. Everything looks good. – Thank you very much.
– No problem. (woman screaming) – We wanted to bring
a different concept to what typically would be
considered Mexican food. A unique twist to Mayan
dishes allow wonderful colors. – I love Mexican food. I love scary things. There’s some things
that I understand you guys make here
inside one of your tacos, which is kind of fun. Just give me the Spanish
name for right now. It’s chapenes? – Chapulines. – Chapulines!
– Correct. (woman screaming) Well, the chapuline is
really a unique dish that’s been around for
thousands of years. And, you know, we wanted
to bring to the customers, have that unique experience. And once they try it, I
think they’re gonna love it. – [Elliott] Chapuline. – Chapuline, that’s correct. – All right. So, I discovered,
entering the kitchen, what chapulines,
what that means. Grasshoppers. You catch these at Brookfield
Zoo, you got there with a net. – They are from Oaxaca, Mexico. – [Elliott] No way! – Yeah, they bring it to
us freshly every month from the state of Oaxaca. They sun dry ’em, and then
they put a little bit of lemon and a little bit
of chili powder. They have a very, very
unique, nice, clean taste. – This is Halloween and we face our
fears on Halloween. Roll the spooky music. Choose your little friend. That’s Susan. That’s Margaret. – Don’t name them,
that’s harder! (spooky laughing) – How many have you had today? – How many grasshoppers
have I had today? I’ve had many. Clink. – Cheers.
– Okay, go. – Now how about we toast one? The traditional Oaxacan
way, cheers, mate. – Cheers, mate. Tastes like chicken. – Mmm, not bad at all. – Not bad, are you surprised? – I am. – [Elliott] What
does it taste like? – Like a salty seed. – Salty and savory. – You can taste that,
that dried chili in there. – It’s just protein. – [Elliott] Would
you eat it again? – No. – Good. (laughing) I’ve got a tiny bit of leg
stuck in between my teeth. Just dangling out there. They’re great. It’s like a little grasshopper
disco goin’ on in here. They’re dancin’ to
the “Monster Mash.” ♪ The Monster Mash ♪ It was a graveyard smash ♪ He did the – [Elliott] The Guajillo sauce? – Yes. Not that spicy, though,
not what you would think. Saute there for me, Elliott. And then go and put the
homemade mango salsa. – [Elliott] How much of
this do you want in there? – [Edergil] A little
bit, like two spoons. And that’s it! – [Elliott] That’s it? – That’s it! – That was nice and simple. Now we just need
to build our tacos. Blue corn tortilla. – Yeah. Not only does it
have the cool color, but it’s also much
healthier for you. – They’re not just here to
scare the life out of you while eating grasshoppers. They’re here to take care
of your inner systems. – [Edergil] Top it
off, some goat cheese. And a little bit of cilantro. You’re all set. – Those are three
costumes that would get all the candy from me, if these three bad boys showed
up at the door at any point. (doorbell)
Yes, we’re doing the grasshopper tacos, but if you want a
little bit more treat, you guys are offering
up some like, classic unique flavors as well. So we got like a variation
almost on like a chicken tinga, your peanut butter
and jelly chicken. – Yes.
– What the hell? (laughing)
Who mashed up your brain? – [Edergil] It’s our take
on a Mexican peanut salsa. – I love that, it is just a gentle
reminder of that flavor. I’ve got shrimp
tacos here as well. – [Edergil] Our tempura-style,
Mayan style shrimp. – It’s just like lovely,
delicious, crispy, buttery melt on your mouth. They’re also bottling
up their own sodas. – [Edergil] Yes, craft soda,
all made with our sugarcane. – Anyway, this is our
Trick or Eat episode. We’re here to take
down the grasshoppers. – Absolutely. – Grasshopper taco. Some people may have
sleepless nights about this. Some people have sleepless
nights about this too. So these two things combined? Terrifying. – Cheers.
– Trick me. You gotta try it to believe it. There is no trick to
that, that’s all treat. The mangoes chutney
almost a salsa, and mixed with that on
the blue corn tortilla. That’s dynamite. Strip away the fear and
that is an incredible taco. – Just when you take a bite, it’s really a party
in your mouth. – Stop on by,
face your fear. This Halloween,
grasshopper’s for you. My God, you guys know
how to do flavors.


  1. Interesting last time I went out of my way to try this place out…the employees weren’t as hospitable and the chapulines were served dry on a cold tortilla. Might have to give them another chance after this publicity.

  2. This is the second restaurant to be featured in the same building on CB…used to be a great spot called Burgerwurks. I guess I'll give this a try too

  3. They need FAT hosts? how can this bloke look the same still? can't really be enjoying the food? never trust skinny hosts.

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