Night of the Living Tacos – El Pueblito 6712 N Clark Street Chicago, IL

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Type: Rogers Park Tacos

Price $

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It has been a long 8 months since my last taco review. I have considered retiring this blog because I simply do not have time to continue reviewing taco places, but instead the frequency will just be turned down to a level reasonable enough for me to give you a proper taco review without really rushing through it. 

What tacos have I eaten since my last review, you ask? A lot, of course. But there was one place that would always stand out in my mind, and it was El Pueblito on Clark in Rogers Park. I went there once on a whim, and I found it delightfully tacotastic. One of the things I really like about this place is that it gives you more than one delicious salsa, and any place that gives you options is good in my book. They also put all kinds of veggies in their rice, which is also awesome. Unless you are 5 years old, you should be able to appreciate this.

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After having a seat with my friend and fellow taco / burrito lover Kylene, we got to orderin’. I ordered one steak, one pastor, one conchinita pibil, and one chorizo taco. Whenever I order rainbow of tacos like this I usually explain to people it’s for a taco blog, lest I look like the world’s biggest glutton, but a true taco lover wouldn’t bat an eye. Right? 

My gaffe here was after ordering, I forgot to explicitly state I prefer onions and cilantro on all of my tacos, not just the pastor taco. So I had to sort of track her down in the restaurant and let her know before the tacos came to dinner dressed in the wrong outfits. It looked a little strange i’m sure as she was sort of in the kitchen and this place is pretty small, but priorities. 

And I know I’ve gone on about this before, what is this whole lettuce and tomato thing? Lettuce and tomatoes must be the most boring vegetables to dress your tacos with. They are the Charlie Rose and Larry King of the vegetable world. Great if you want something mellow, not great if your tastebuds want to stay awake past midnight. 

Anyways, our server came back a little while later to tell us they ran out of conchinita pibil, which is a bummer, so I substituted carnitas. Knock off some points there. 

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When the tacos finally arrived, at first glance, I really couldn’t tell the difference between any of them. I really had to kind of open them up, like a beautiful flower, to really see what was doin’ in each of these tacos. And just like a beautiful flower offers up it’s delicious pollen to the honeybee, El Pueblito’s tacos did not disappoint on flavor.

The steak taco was a solid 4 out of 5 chili’s, flavorful, salty, and delicious. Although the al pastor couldn’t really compete with places like Carmela’s, L Patron, or Big Star, it was still a solid taco that any taco lover would not kick out of bed. The chorizo taco… see, my problem with chorizo tacos, well I wouldn’t really call it a problem, but, I don’t feel the same tender loving care is really put into chorizo tacos as much as other tacos. The chorizo taco is the redheaded bastard stepchild of the taco world. There seems to be a recipe every single taco place uses to make their chorizo, and with the few exceptions of the places that maybe undersalt them, they pretty much all taste the same. We deserve a better chorizo taco! How about some variety?  As for the carnitas taco, I honestly was pretty full at that point, so carnitas did not get a fair shake. I will tell you this, it was probably the least appetizing looking of all the tacos, but that was probably my stomach telling me to slow down before I had to unbutton the top button of my pantalones. 

This is one of my favorite spots in Rogers Park, but if you’ve ever driven down Clark, you know there are a million spots on that row, so of course it is my duty to try every single one of them. And if you’re a good American, you will make it your duty as well. See what I did there?  The tacos were pretty affordable, I think actually under 2 dollars each if my memory serves me, which it usually doesn’t. There almost always is parking out front, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think I had to pay a meter, which is unheard of on Clark. And lastly, I should say the the art is pretty amazing. That’s pretty much it, now go get yourself some tacos!  

I give El Pueblito 3.5 out of 5 chiles.

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Give Me Tacos or Give Me Death – Taqueria El Asadero 2213 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL

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Type: Lincoln Square Tacos

Price $$$

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After several people recommended El Asadero to me in the last year or so, I figured it was a good time to finally see what all the fuss was about. I had eaten here years ago, before any kind of commotion started about this place, and was not impressed. So I thought, hey, they probably have a new chef, let’s give this place a second chance. What’s the worst that can happen? I enjoy some mediocre tacos?

The place is packed when I walk in, which is a good sign. I had to wait in line for my tacos, not something I would do for most bars. The front window is lined with plants. A greenhouse/taco joint? Excellent idea. The only thing I found peculiar was the plethora of plastic toy/gumball machines by the register.  Actually, it’s probably bordering on genius when you really think about it. Lincoln Square is rather child heavy, so I can imagine  a “Shut yer yap Cody/Jaden/Quinn, we’re getting tacos for dinner! I’ll buy you a Ring-pop if you stop complaining!” happening every now and again. 

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Naturally, I ordered one of every taco. I skipped the veggies tacos this time, as I was feeling particularly carnivorous. So I ended up with 5 tacos. Looking back, I probably should have gotten a extra plate to eat all of these tacos. But I already felt like that Man vs Food guy for ordering one of every taco, so to keep the douche-level down, I just ate them picnic style. 

It was important to me to eat the steak taco first, as it is usually a good benchmark. I opened up a few of them until I found the steak, doused it in green salsa, and commenced eating. It was then I realized why El Asadero had become so popular. They subscribe to the simple and traditional, freshly grilled, skirt steak taco recipe few other taquerias have perfected. El Asadero now joins in the ranks of La Pasadita, Las Asadas, and Las Traspasadas. (And a few others I am neglecting to mention). Sometimes all you need is a good cut of meat, fresh ingredients and the right amount of salt to make any dish shine. 

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I continued on my journey, and found that pretty much all of the tacos here were pretty solid. Even the chicken taco, which actually seemed like it was fried carnitas style, had solid flavor. Granted, it wasn’t amazing or anything, but I’m sure it’s pretty fly for a chicken guy. The pastor taco was pretty good as well. Nothing to scoff at, but nothing to write home about. I guess the thing to take home here was that this place was nothing if but consistent. Which is good, especially since I was the asshole that ordered one of every taco. I would like to take the time out to mention that the chorizo taco, which at first I did not like, turned out to be one of my favorites. It was a little crunchy, which I mistook for being overcooked at first, but then I realized I hate it when they don’t cook all the grease out and the chorizo is oily. I actually found the crunchy texture to be quite appealing. Not sure if they did that on purpose. 

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I would definitely come here again, and considering the wonderful quality of the meat, I will have to try a burrito next time. The tacos were a decent price, somewhere between $2.50 and $3.00 Actually I remember thinking it was a little weird because they were off by a few pennies or so. A steak taco was something like 2.76, and a pastor taco was like 2.58, and so on. It bothered the OCD in me, but I can live with it. I would like to note that the parking here was not easy, probably due to the large intersection and a fair amount of people in Lincoln Square who own automobiles. Cash only. 

I give Taqueria El Asadero 4.0 out of 5 chiles.

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The Big State of TacoTown – The Big State 624 N Ashland Ave Chicago, IL

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Type: Tex-Mex Tacos

Price $$

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If you live in Chicago, you know it has no shortage of taco joints. Just like the food truck, cocktail, and mustache explosions of the last 5 years, tacos have become quite trendy for city dwellers. So when I heard about the Big State opening up thanks to DNAinfo.com, I knew I had to try this place. A Texan taco joint? Who do they think they are, bringing Tex Mex to Chicago? Do they think their Mexicans are better than our Mexicans? As if!

After driving down Ashland past Chicago ave, I almost didn’t see it. Like many new businesses, they had a banner put up with their name instead of an actual sign, which is pretty common. When I entered I saw the restaurant was completely empty. The ambiance was that of the most boring classroom you can remember from school. There was also a weird statue of a naked bald man who appears to be sodomizing a conquistador’s foot on a horse, but I could be misinterpreting that. It doesn’t matter, if the food is good, I can enjoy a taco pretty much anywhere. They had a chalkboard menu behind the register, with 5 tacos available: Steak, chicken, al pastor, fish, and pork belly (Panza). So naturally I wanted to order them all, but I wasn’t really feeling like fish, so sorry tilapia! Go back to California, or Texas, or wherever grilled tilapia tacos babies come from. (The Taco Stork?)

After paying, I sat down and waited for my tacos. The cashier doubled as my server and brought out some chips and salsa. She was pleasant and friendly. The homemade roasted Tomatillo and Salsa Roja was absolutely heavenly. One of the salsas was pretty spicy from what I recall, but I don’t remember which one, so there’s a little game for you to play. Both were excellent and somewhat chunky.

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After about a 5 minute wait, she brings out my beautifully laid out tacos. And let me tell you something folks, these tacos were nothing to scoff at. They spared no expense, as these babies were rather large. Big ol’ chunks of meat, if you like that sort of thing. But what really sold me was the flavor. Perfectly seasoned and marinated, a bite of each of these tacos were like I died and went to taco heaven. Let me make this perfectly clear: These tacos were Taco-tastic. Taco-noon delight. Taco-riffic. Even though the steak and chicken tacos came with tomato and lettuce in addition to onions and cilantro, it didn’t even bother me, because I was so blown away by the flavor of it all. Everything cooked perfectly and made to order, not reheated garbage many places do. And the pastor marinade? Done just right, with plenty of pineapple. Unfortunately, no amount of descriptors can really do these tacos justice, it’s best you go and check them out for yourself.

Metered parking is pretty easy on Ashland. The tacos were around (give or take) $2.75 each. There is a $10 credit card minimum, so plan on eating big or bring some cash. Plus there’s always leftovers, which is the only way I rationalize my over-ordering problem. And while you’re there, tell them Chicago Taco Talk sent you. They will probably have no idea what you are talking about.

I give The Big State 4.5 out 5 chiles. 

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Authentically Taco – Authentaco 1141 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL

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Type: Hole-in-the-Wall Patio Tacos

Price $$$

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In the space of the old La Pasadita (the one on the east side of Ashland RIP) opened up Authentaco, breathing life back into the old hole-in-the-wall that fed many of Chicago’s late night eaters for so many years. With a name like Authentaco filling in the shoes of La Pasadita, these guys really set the bar pretty high. They could have called it “Shitty Taco”, served mediocre tacos and called it a day. But anyone from around here knows that’s not how we do things in Chicago. If you open a new restaurant it has to be fucking awesome, and if it’s not it will fade into the background like so many Greenville Taverns before it.  

Upon arriving, I park across the street at La Pasadita, and then risked my life running across Ashland. I could have walked up to Divison, but that would have involved walking 90 extra feet, and I needed to save my energy for eating those tacos. On the awning outside it says “Tortillas Hechas a Mano”, which translates to “We don’t have crappy tacos”. In the window I could see someone actually making the tortillas, so at this point I started to get a little excited. The space was small, and unlike La Pasadita, has no inside seating, save for a small counter to stand and eat your tacos. A hanging menu offered me a miriad of options, including cow tongue, chicharron (pig skin), al pastor, chicken, and several vegetarian tacos. These included rajas (poblanos), nopales (cacti), and a seasonal veggies taco. If you want more than tacos, Authentaco also offers quesadillas and platillos, which come with tortillas on the side.

Surprisingly, I was the only person there. I ordered a veggie, nopales, pastor, and chicken taco at the register. The gentleman informed me it was “Cash Only” and pointed to an ATM behind me. Luckily, I was prepared. After ordering my tacos I kind of stood around for a minute, thinking “Well, I guess I’m going to have to eat my tacos standing up”, until I noticed a door that led to a small back patio where some fellow patrons were enjoying their food. I went out back, and copped a seat at one of tables.

The back patio was pretty nice and had that comfortable gazebo-ish feeling. There was a mural of an old truck, with some cacti decorating the edge of the patio, offering a nice backdrop to the gravel filled enclosed lot. If you use your imagination, you can sort of pretend you are eating tacos in the backyard of a mechanic’s shop in Tijuana. Some gentleman were having a work conversation, and I noticed a couple ladies were seated with a six pack of beer, so I guess this place is BYO?  

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After a few more minutes, someone brought out my tacos, along with a cup of water that I had requested. They came out on a tray, in a metallic “taco holder”. They looked heavenly. I started with the al pastor taco. Magnificent. It was what the kids would call  “Amazeballs”. I don’t want to call it that because then I would feel like I’m eating someone’s balls. But if you have enjoyed the al pastor at Big Star or L’Patron, this taco is as good or better. For reals.

Biting into the nopales taco, I begin to realize these guys really know what they are doing. To keep an avid meat eater like myself happy, vegetarian tacos need to be on point, and this taco was off the hizzoook. It was incredibly flavorful and juicy, and who knew cactuses tasted so damn good? Well, I’m sure a lot of you knew that, but it’s more fun if you pretend you don’t. And of course there aren’t any prickly quills, so it’s not like making out with someone’s unshaven leg. Nopales? More like YESpales!

Next up: My old nemesis, the chicken taco. I don’t know what it is, but no one knows how to make a good griled chicken or grilled fish taco in this town. I’m sure there are plenty of you who will disagree with me, but unless these taco places have started marinating these tacos in something other than forced air, I have yet to taste one. Until now. This goddamn taco was so good I would have pooped my pants if it meant making more room for these delicious chicken tacos. We all know only Sith Lords deal in absolutes, and I am no Sith Lord, but I am tempted to say this is absolutely the best chicken taco in Chicago. The best Jerry!

Authentaco Tacos

Although still incredibly tasty, the veggie taco was probably the most disappointing of the bunch. It was a tad slimy, and with all the different cooked veggies, felt much closer to actually eating a taco full of amazeballs. Although I enjoy eating squishy cooked vegetables, they really need to be served in moderation, or at least with something dry or crunchy to balance them out. That being said, this was still a delicious taco, and I would not think twice about scarfing it down. If you enjoy murdering plants, cooking them until they are squishy and eating them, you will love this taco.

Before I finish, I need to expound here on the benefits of handmade tortillas. They can make or break a taco. First off, flour tortillas, get that shit the hell out of my face. I will cut you! Secondly, a good handmade corn tortilla is like the soft bed linens for the delicious taco fillings. Now, do you want to put your yummy taco fillings in a low thread count, raspy, uncomfortable corn tortilla linen you would find at the HoJo? Or do you want to lovingly lay them down to rest on a super soft, silky smooth corn tortilla linen of the Four Seasons? I think you know what I’m getting at here. And this is why Authentaco knocks it out of the ballpark. Their tortillas are simply divine. Soft, almost chewy, they provide the perfect resting place for your taco fillings. 

Does Authentaco serve authentic tacos? You be the judge. But it definitely is a bright, shining star among the many taco restaurants popping up in Chicago. Meter parking can be kind of tough on Ashland, but luckily it is right next to the Division blue line stop, so I recommend hopping on that train and or hitting that Ashland bus.

 * Side note: They do NOT carry steak tacos, which is rather unfortunate, but the rest of the tacos are so good it more than makes up for it. Maybe they will in the future? Who knows.

I give Authentaco 4.5 out 5 chiles. 

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Out of the Frying Pan and into El Fuego – El Fuego 8018 Lincoln Ave Skokie, IL

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Type: Patio Tacos

Price $$$ 

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For many years Skokie has been seriously lacking a decent taco joint. It has always felt incomplete to me without a real place to get decent tacos. Sure you could pay out the nose at El Tipico for some bland restaurant style tacos that won’t make grandpa’s dentures come unstuck, but if you really wanted something even remotely close to classic Mexican street fare, you had to venture to 4 Hermanos in Niles or El Pueblito in Lincolnwood…until now. (Cue dramatic music).

El Fuego opened up in the summer of 2014 smack in the middle of downtown Skokie, effectively giving the middle finger to The Village Inn, which has ruled downtown Skokie’s eating establishments for many years. Instead of charging an arm and a leg for a fancy Mexican dining experience, these guys are happy to just sling some good old fashioned tacos and Mexican food your way. A mere minutes away from the Skokie Public Library and Ace Hardware, you can a purchase a garden hoe, catch up on some Samuel Beckett, and chow down on some tacos all in one afternoon. 

On the sign outside there is a suspiciously happy wild-eyed chile that looks like he just hit a crack pipe right before giving the thumbs up. It’s likely he does not know his fate lies eviscerated in my salsa and subsequently in my belly. The front dining room is rather small, but a decent paint job and fancy wooden furniture help give it that “We just opened and like to keep things simple but don’t want it to look like complete shit” feel. I have no doubt paintings of Aztec Indians crying over scantily clad maidens will soon adorn the walls. However, the real star of El Fuego is the back patio. It is huge, and on a nice summer day it is only a few tiki torches away from becoming a decent late night hang out spot for Skokie’s happy hour crowd and misguided youth. 

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Getting down to business, I ordered four tacos. On my menu it says “TOO INSURE THAT OUR FOOD IS ALWAYS HOT AND FRESH, WE PREPARE ALL FOOD AT TIME OF ORDER. ALL DELIVERYS $2.50”. I always find it endearing when places misspell things, like when shrimp becomes ‘scrimps’ at my favorite Chinese restaurant. All tacos are served with cilantro, onions, lettuce, and tomato. I prefer just cilantro and onion, but for the purpose of proper investigative journalism, I always default to however the chef prefers to serve the dish. I have ordered burgers at semi-fancy gastropubs, asking for ketchup and mustard, only to have the server give me that look of simultaneous disgust and pity before informing me my burger is fine just the way it fucking is.

My waitress immediately brings out a small dish of red salsa with a large basket of chips. The salsa is delicious and clearly made in-house, possibly slaved over by someone’s grandmother, but I cannot confirm. After several napkin rescues (it was a little windy) and one water refill, my tacos arrived. They looked pretty good, but there was no tomatillo salsa in sight. Of course I could have just scooped up some of that red salsa for my chips and dressed my tacos with that, but Jesus Christ, I’m not a caveman, I do have some standards. 

Several business people are seated as I wait for my extra salsa. One of them loudly began exclaiming how he loves enchiladas but maybe should get something different this time. How about the tacos, asshole. Man, I must be getting hangry. I cannot get distracted. I am here on a mission. 

My salsas finally arrive: one bottle of creamy tomatillo and a bottle of orange salsa, which after squirting on my tacos, looks suspiciously like cheese whiz. My order:  “El Fuego”, which is a steak chorizo and hot sauce taco, a regular steak taco, a barbacoa taco, and an al pastor taco.

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To be completely honest, I couldn’t really tell the difference between the steak and chorizo taco and the regular steak taco. Maybe my taco pallet is off, but it just tasted like a regular old steak taco. It wasn’t bad, but I have a feeling the flavors would have ‘popped’ a little more if the lettuce and tomato wasn’t fucking up the flavor profile. The barbacoa taco was so-so, possibly a little dry. The al pastor was magnificent. Strangely enough, it tasted more like steak than the regular steak taco did. Pineapple was present, but there was room for more. I can always use a little more pineapple in my life.

Regardless of the dyslexic flavors, the tacos themselves were not bad. The meat was not overcooked and marinated well (perhaps a little underseasoned, but I like salty tacos), the tortillas were fresh, and all together the tacos might have exceeded expectations if not for the lettuce and tomato. For you carnitas lovers out there, El Fuego does not have carnitas tacos, so you’re SOL. 

After asking my waitress if they served alcohol, she informed me they do not, but will in the future and plan on extending the location into the building next door, effectively turning it into a sports bar, much to my chagrin. I told her there are a million sports bars and not enough margarita slinging taco joints, but I don’t think she really understood. She just kind of nodded with this look on her face that said “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand why you no like sports bar?” We shall see what will become of El Fuego. I was pretty happy, and in the immortal words of the Terminator “I’ll be back”. Parking is usually pretty easy at the lot up the street on Lincoln Ave. 

 I give El Fuego 3.5 out of 5 chiles. 

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Taking a Trip to the Taco Side! Zacatacos 5925 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago IL

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Type: South Side Tacos

Price: $$

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After being open for a solid 17 years and bragging about it on a white sign in the window, how could I not travel to Zacatacos to check out their fine array of tacos. I have to admit, I was nowhere near the neighborhood when I decided to stop by, but multiple sources assured me Zacatacos was a place I needed to visit if my love for tacos was real. Let me explain something to those people: I don’t need much convincing to go anywhere if you want me to eat tacos. I already have a Pavlovian response to the word “taco”. 

They have multiple locations, but I thought it best to visit the original on South Pulaski. When you enter, there is a small section in front where you can order your food to go. The main dining room is pretty big. I have to say it was kind of lacking in any cool Mexican art or flat screens with telenovelas, but it still managed to feel comfortable. 

The salsas were delicious. Super spicy, so much so that I couldn’t even really tell the difference between the red or the green salsa because my mouth was pretty much numb from the first bite. I like spicy, but I also want to be able to taste my food. My server was a little slow, and she forgot to bring me utensils, which I had to ask for. They also served me a complimentary quesadilla that was quesadelicious. 

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Zacatacos lives up to it’s name, in the sense that, they have a shitload of tacos you can eat. When presented with this many options, I begin to shut down and I just end up ordering everything on the menu. Of course I cannot tell you in detail about all of the tacos because we would be here all night, so I’ll just go over a few major key points. I would also like to add that if you look closely, you can probably figure out what order I consumed the tacos in as my plate got progressively messier with each photo.

First off, these guys are definitely old school. Probably not as old school as El Milagro, but they know what they are doing when it comes to Mexican food.The steak tacos are reminiscent of La Pasadita and Las Asadas: skirt steak salted, grilled, and chopped into chunks. Delicious, but really gave my jaw a workout and instantly activated my TMJ. 

The Al Pastor was just alright. The main difference I’ve noticed in Al Pastor comes down to the marinade and spit roasting. Reheated on the griddle is just not the same. What I did notice was a heavy nutmeg flavor to it. It distracted me and I began to dream about making tacos for Thanksgiving.

The cecina taco, which is cured/marinated steak, was excellent, and probably the best taco out of the bunch. Flavors of salt and garlic were strong and delicious, and I expect vampires will be kept away for quite some time. A little chewy, it seemed to wrap well with the tortillas. (They give you two here per taco)

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They had a fried potato taco, which sounded pretty interesting, so my fat ass ordered it. I have to admit I was pretty psyched for it, because I enjoy eating fried things. However, when the the tacos arrived, I came to a quick realization: they fry the whole taco! I guess I was kind of picturing something like tator-tots inside of a taco, which would have been glorious. Instead it was more of a taco they dumped in the deep fryer that fused shut, with some very bland steaming hot potato inside. And yes, I did my best to pry it open and get some salsa up in that piece. Taco fail.

On to the worst taco of the bunch, the chicken taco. I don’t know what it is about chicken tacos, but so many places seem to not really know what to do with the chicken. If you ask me, your best bet is to season/marinate the the f*ck out of that chicken and shred it, so flavors and spices are evenly dispersed. Zacatacos did not do that. Instead they decided to cut up giant chunks of chicken, steam them or something, and put them in my motherf*cking taco. It was basically the blandest taco this side of the Rio Grande. The only thing I could do at this point was drown it in salsa to give some flavor to the chicken inside my taco.

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If I am in the area I will definitely stop by, although I don’t think I will make that long trek just for tacos again. They have a parking lot and there are plenty of metered spots on Pulaski.Tacos run about 3 dollars each. I would say this is a good place to grab some tacos on the go.

I give Zacatacos 3.5 out of 5 chiles!

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Rikki Tikki Tikki Taco Joint – Taco Joint 1969 N Halsted St, Chicago IL

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Type: Shredded Tacos

Price: $$$

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Balancing good food and atmosphere is no easy task, and Taco Joint seems to be one of the places that goes for the chain restaurant feel rather than an artsy setting. If you like to play tourist and pretend you are in a Chili’s, then Taco Joint is the place for you. It’s deceptively small, but low lighting and candles give it a cozy feel.  But let’s say you really just want to stuff your face with delicious tacos until you have to ask your partner to drive home because you have rendered yourself incapable of thought and movement.  Taco Joint has at least 10 different tacos for you to do this with, including rotating specials that change depending on the day of the week. 

Taco Joint Dining Room

Let me get something straight here. I write a taco blog, so sometimes that means I need to eat as many tacos as possible in order to bring to you, my fellow taco lovers, the lowdown on what these places have to offer. So that might mean I order and eat 7 different tacos at once. And that is exactly what happened. But just because I eat all of the tacos doesn’t mean all of the tacos are good. I just don’t like to waste food. And I hate taking home half a taco. I usually think to myself, just finish that shit and make Kobayashi proud. 

Since I have so many tacos to cover in a short period of time, I’m going give you the long and short of it: Taco Joint has a shredding problem. Those mofos like to shred everything. Quite frankly, I was surprised they didn’t figure out a way to shred the margaritas we got. It was as if the chef recently purchased a food processor he really liked and just tossed everything in there. 

They had an al pastor (not shredded, but finely chopped) they made with chicken (gasp!) that actually was pretty good.The conchinita pibil and barbacoa were pretty much the same taco, albeit tasty in their own right. I mean, they nailed the flavors, but the shredding, man. It just equalizes everything. 

Taco Joint Taco Review

Barbacoa Taco

The carnitas taco might have even been better, but I can’t quite put my finger on why. It might have had something to do with the orange-fanta piquin glaze. Fanta. Sersiously. Like the soda drink. Don’t you wanna? Although honestly, you couldn’t really taste it. The taco did have what seemed to be chunks of cotija cheese that complimented it well. 

Taco Joint Carnitas Taco

Carnitas Taco

The michelada was pretty much the closest thing they had to a steak taco, and it was good! For some reason they hide it close to the bottom of the taco list and it was not among the tacos our server recommended, but it might have been the best out of the bunch because it was the only taco that wasn’t shredded. After a while of eating just shredded tacos you begin to feel like you just have a mouth full of paper. So the “Michelada” aka steak taco was a nice break from the shredding mania.

Taco Joint Michelada Taco

Michelada Taco

Here is where I shame you Taco Joint. Your fish taco was alright. Pretty much like every fish taco in the city, perhaps a little underseasoned and uninspired. But your taco of the day, the Arabe, was the laziest piece of crap taco I have ever encountered. I didn’t even finish it because it sucked that bad. Could it hurt to dress your taco? Have you heard of things called vegetables or cheese? Or if you’re really just going to do only meat inside a tortilla, at least salsa that shit up good so it doesn’t feel like i’m eating yesterdays leftovers. And to add insult to injury, they put it in a flour tortilla! What the what! I will cut you! No one should have to drink a sip of water with every bite just to get their food down. Bad Taco Joint! 

Taco Joint Taco Review

This sad, sad little taco.

Were the tacos at Taco Joint bad? Of course not. We’re they amazing? Definitely not. I would say teetering above average, but nothing that will knock your sombrero off. Unless I am in the area and I’m hungry or I am invited, I will probably not be returning to Taco Joint. It’s not a bad place, it’s just not really close to my stomping grounds and I wouldn’t really go out of the way for it. If I lived around the corner it would be a different story. Parking should be pretty easy, unless it’s a heavy shopping day on Halsted. Meters abound, so make sure you put some money in or risk getting a ticket. Although I have to say next time, I’m probably gonna just walk around the corner to Butcher and the Burger. 

I give Taco Joint 3.5 out of 5 stars.  Like Chicago Taco Talk on Facebook! facebooksmall