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



Type: Shredded Tacos

Price: $$$

http://www.tacojoint.com/  facebooksmall zagat_icon urbanspoon_icon yelp-icon-small

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