Type: Lincoln Square Tacos
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.
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.
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.
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.