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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Beer and Loathing in Wrigleyville: DS Tequila Company, 3352 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL


Type: All-You-Can-Eat Tacos 

Price: $$$


I don’t hang out in Wrigleyville much, but when my friend Stefania from Pizza for Life asked if I wanted to check out DS Tequila Company’s all-you-can-eat taco night, you bet your taco eating a** I said yes. Just to make sure they weren’t trying to get me in the door with one or two crappy taco options, I checked the menu, and sure enough, there was a plethora of seemingly fancy tacos at my disposal. Our Father, who art in heaven, Taco be thy name.

Margarita slushy machines!

Margarita slushy machines!

When we walked in, a friendly host immediately checked my ID, so this is not really a place you can take the kiddos. After a little table switch we sat down and began to look at the menu. Our server gave us a spiel about all their specials that I could have sworn included jalepeño poppers and pizza shooters. It seemed to go on for days. That’s great and all, but I just want to get to stuffing my face hole with all-you-can-eat tacos!

I started off with three tacos: a coffee rubbed steak taco, a battered fish taco, and a crispy chicken taco. However, in tiny little letters on the menu under “Tacos” there is a disclaimer that says all of their tacos are served on handmade flour tortillas, with gluten free corn tortillas available upon request. Serving me a taco on a flour tortilla without telling me is like kicking a cancer kid in the balls on Christmas. I tried one anyway. After all, they were handmade. And you know what? Handmade or not, it was gummy and just reaffirmed my necessity for a taco to be served on a corn tortilla. It actually might have worked if the tortilla were toasted a little more. 

The tacos themselves were not as small as I was expecting, considering it was all you can eat. The meat in the steak taco looked like somebody accidentally dropped it in a can of Folgers. It actually tasted pretty good, but the steak was dry. The spicy aioli wasn’t bad, however it was not spicy at all. And the corn tortillas were a million times better than the flour tortillas, but they started to fall apart mid-taco. Unfortunately, it only goes downhill from here, folks. 

The battered fish taco was meh, in every sense of the word. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. I’m pretty sure if you went into your freezer and nuked up a fish fillet, dropped it in a tortilla and slapped some tartar sauce on, it would pretty much be what I ate. Also, for some reason the term battered fish reminds me of a goldfish that is in some kind of terrible domestic situation. 

The crispy chicken was seriously offensive to my taco sensibilities. I pretty much felt like I just took a bite out of a crispy chicken wrap from McDonald’s. I didn’t even want to finish it, but I felt like a douche ordering more all-you-can-eat tacos when I still had food on my plate. I will not even dignify this taco with any more insults. 

I ordered two more tacos, a shrimp taco and a chorizo taco. They were both actually not that bad. The shrimp, though rubbery, had a tasty pineapple pico de gallo topping. Rubbery shrimp doesn’t really bother me all that much. The chorizo taco was pretty good, but I can’t help but think that they just drowned it in a spicy Manwich sauce.  

DS Tequila Company Taco Review

The main offender

We also ordered chips, which came with three different salsas: tomatillo, spicy ranch, and red salsa. The tomatillo had avocado and ended up being creamy and gross, like they had babies barfing up peas and half & half into the salsa bowls in the kitchen. Their spicy ranch salsa tasted pretty good, but for some reason it felt wrong to be dipping my chips into ranch dressing. You just know someone’s Mexican grandmother disapproves. The red salsa was the best and most like a traditional salsa. A little chunky and smoky, it tasted all right.

Parking might be kind of tough since this is the Wrigleyville/Boystown area, but if you come during the week you should be okay. You will have to pay a meter, though. I do not like giving places bad reviews, so you should really come check it out for yourself. You might like it. My recommendation: If you are really hungover on a Thursday and feel like you can eat your weight in tacos, come to DS Tequila Company and eat them out of house and home. Despite the not-so-amazing tacos, it really is a pretty awesome deal. 

I give DS Tequila Company 2.5 out 5 chiles. 

DS Tequila Company can be found at 3352 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL (773) 697-9127

Taco Review: Tio Luis Tacos, 3856 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL


Type: Mexican Restaurant Tacos 

Price: $$ 


On their website it says that the Chicago Tribune gave them the title “Best Tacos in Chicago.” We shall see about that. Arriving at Tio Luis, we noticed a police car outside, which is usually a good sign. Cops drive around a lot and really enjoy eating, which i’m sure you know if you have ever seen a Chicago cop. The place is bright and friendly, and there are lots of tables. We were able to sit wherever we wanted, and they immediately brought out some chips and roasted red salsa.  They also had squeeze bottles of tomatillo salsa, red salsa, and a green creamy sauce I’ll call soylent green.

Tio Luis Carrots

Without pickled veggies, I just don’t carrot all.

The roasted salsa was tasty. It was chunky and garlicky, with lots of flavor. If this salsa were a rapper, it would be Flavor-Flavio. The red and green salsas were much milder and a little watery, but not terrible. However, the soylent green was the most offensive of the three. It tasted like nothing and everything at the same time. I actually think it was a kind of creamy cilantro concoction, but it just didn’t work for me. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a photo, so you will have to use your imagination or go and try it yourself. They also had a little box of pickled carrots, and pickled snacks are the best of all the snacks. In case you didn’t know, in heaven there are pickled vegetables everywhere.

So far what I’ve learned from eating tacos from all over Chicago is that different taquerias usually specialize in making one or two types tacos really well. I have yet to visit a place that knocks every single taco out of the park, but it’s better to be good at one thing than mediocre at everything, right? Tio Luis is no exception.

I ordered steak, al pastor, and chorizo tacos. Unfortunately they had run out of barbocoa, which I was keen to try. They did have tongue tacos, but I wasn’t really in the mood for tastebud on tastebud action. 

Tio Luis Tacos

What you tacoin’ about Willis?

I forgot to ask, but I’m pretty sure the tortillas were made in-house. They had that freshly matted feeling to them, like they were just pressed the same day. They also did not fall apart, which is a sign of a fresh tortilla. All the tacos automatically came with cilantro and onions, which scores bonus points in my book. Get that lettuce and tomato outta my face!

The chorizo taco was damn good. I gotta say, I feel like a lot of the time chorizo tacos are overpowered by the marinade. I think it’s because the pork is ground very finely, which allows for excess marinade to really saturate the meat and seep out when it’s cooked, drowning the taco in chorizo juice (somehow that sounds dirty). I’m not sure what kind of Santeria is being practiced here, but Tio Luis was somehow able to avoid that. The balance of marinade and meat was perfect. Maybe some more veggies or a little potato in the mix would have been nice, but really it held up on its own quite well and the pork was delicious. 

The steak taco was the most disappointing of the three. The chunks of steak were too large, which resulted in my taking a bite that caused a steak tug-o-war between my my mouth and the taco. Not cool, Tio. I also found the steak itself to be pretty bland and a little dry, but the delicious salsa and freshly made tortillas made up for it. A bad steak taco is a sin, and if I am starving, aka hangry, I might hulk out and flip tables over a bad steak taco. 

Tio Luis Taco Review

Movie stars getting fresh next to us in the window.

The staff was overly friendly and multiple people checked on us regularly. They were so nice, in fact, that it got a little weird and I was starting to wonder if there was some kind of hostage situation going on in back. We paid credit, and they had no problem splitting the bill. There is plenty of parking on Archer, but it’s all metered. Although their al pastor is nothing to scoff at (indeed it is quite good), I would not say this place is worthy of the title “Best Tacos in Chicago.” I’m not sure who’s being paid off at the Trib, but I will have to see about getting on that taco payroll. 

I give Tio Luis Tacos 3.5 out of 5 chiles. 

Tio Luis Tacos can be found at 3856 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL (773) 843-0098

Taco Review: Bullhead Cantina, 1143 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL


Type: Fancy Bar Tacos

Price: $$$


When I walked into Bullhead Cantina it was pretty loud. Not with music, but tables filled with drunk, happy houring twenty somethings who had taken over the bar. My old man “Turn down the racket!” urge was beginning to bubble up, but then I thought it was a good thing there was a friendly bar in Humboldt Park that allowed people to simultaneously drink copious amounts of alcohol while stuffing their faces with 12 different kinds of tacos. 

Bullhead Cantina Wall

Jimmy John’s Cantina?

Our very friendly server came by, and we ordered some chips and salsa (not complimentary @ $4 a pop). The salsa she brought out was pretty much just blended tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños. But for it’s simplicity, it was surprisingly good. Friday night is $5 dollar craft cocktail night, so we decided to take full advantage and order as many drinks as our wallets and livers could handle. Bullhead “Cantina” (which serves mostly whiskey and bourbon) has a lot of knickknacks and dumb signs on the walls that do little more than fill up space and make it look like a Jimmy John’s. But this is not Chicago Interior Design Talk, it’s Chicago Taco Talk, so let me get back to the matter at hand here: Motherf*cking tacos.

I ordered four tacos: hanger steak, southern fried chicken, brisket, and al pastor. My taco partner ordered all vegetarian tacos: roasted beets, spicy avocado, sweet potato, and kale and grits. Let me start with the steak taco. The hanger steak was delicious, sliced long and thin, and seasoned well. It was tasty, but there wasn’t too much of it present in the taco. More meat please! There was also a good amount of sour cream, which tasted good but was not completely necessary. Whenever places add a ton of sour cream, I start to wonder “What are you hiding? Do your tacos suck?”

Bullhead Cantina Tacos

Meat tacos. Macos.

I should add that all tacos come with pickled cabbage, which had a vinegary taste to it and was kind of strange paired with sour cream. The southern fried chicken taco, as delicious as it was, had nothing southern about it. They were really just regular miniature fried chicken tenders. The Colonel would have been disappointed. They didn’t even try to figure out at least 5 of his 11 herbs and spices.

On the other hand, the brisket taco came with a ton of meat. It was dry rubbed and not smoked. It tasted alright, but when I think brisket, my expectations are raised. Maybe I am being too critical here, but it could have been spicier. And saltier. And smokier. It was still not a bad taco, so I devoured the whole thing. 

On to the al pastor. The best of the four, marinated nicely, though lacking a little salt for my taste. There were pineapple and veggies, but for some reason all of the flavors weren’t working together. There seemed to be a crucial component lacking. It was still a damn good taco and I have a feeling one the most popular ones there.

Bullhead Cantina Veggie Tacos

Veggie Tacos

As for the vegetarian tacos, I had a bite of the sweet potato, which was great. There wasn’t too much potato, and it was balanced nicely with the sour cream and vegetables. I also tried a slice of beet from the beet taco. Normally I hate beets; they taste like fresh garden soil to me. But this beet was beatific! Maybe it was the citrus marinade or the roasting, but I actually liked it. However the kale and grits taco was the clear winner. I was fully expecting it to taste like baby food mixed with lettuce, and it totally did, but it was great! The grits were buttery and delicious, and the kale really soaked up the flavor of the white wine and garlic, as well as adding a nice texture to the taco. I have a sneaking suspicion the veggie tacos here are much better than the meat tacos. 

They ran out of the pomegranate they were putting in my margarita as well as the smoked tequila we wanted to try, which was kind of a bummer. The drinks were kind of weak and our server was also super slow in bringing us the check, but it was Friday night and the cocktails were 5 bucks. It wasn’t her fault, and you get what you pay for. You might need to park at the meters on Division, but if you’re lucky you can get a free spot on California. This place is cash only, so remember to hit up your bank beforehand!

Bullhead Cantina Veggie Tacos


I give Bullhead Cantina 3.5 out of 5 chiles. 

Bullhead Cantina can be found at 1143 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL (773) 772-8895

Taco Review: Antique Taco, 1360 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL


Type: Fancy-white-people tacos 

Price: $$$$


My friend and colleague had been bugging me about reviewing Antique Taco in Wicker Park, so I finally caved and took him up on it. I had been wanting to review and discover more secret hidden gems, but it really does not take very much to get me to eat tacos with anyone, so of course I said yes. You won this round stomach. Actually, you win every round.

Antique Taco review

One taco over the line…

I am going to start with the bad. First off, during weekend dinner hours, this place is packed. I was there with a couple of friends, and we could only find a two-person table to seat the three of us. You order up front, and they give you an empty paper towel roll with a number on it and bring the tacos out to you. There also seems to be a family-style seating thing going on, so it’s possible you might need to share your table with some Wicker Parkians. Second, these tacos come two per purchase, and you cannot pick and choose. I wanted to try at least two different kinds, so naturally I ended up ordering four tacos, which cost me $18. And unless they are filled with unicorn meat and the tears of our Lady of Guadalupe, four tacos should not cost you $18. Luckily, my amigos were kind enough to trade a couple tacos with me so I could try all four. I would recommend doing the same. 

After trying them I understood the line and exorbitant prices; holy guacamole these tacos are good! This place makes Big Star taste like Taco Bell. And I really enjoy Big Star (and Taco Bell for that matter). I had steak, chicken, fish, and shrimp tacos. The balance of ingredients and proteins in all of these tacos was just right. The steak, a ribeye, was adorned with avocado, cilantro, pickled onions, and cotija cheese. Seriously, it was salsa your pants good. (Note: the current menu online is not accurate.) It had that grilled flavor to it, and, as we all know, grilled is the most delicious of flavors.

The fish taco might have been the best fish taco I’ve ever had. They clearly put awesomeness spices in the batter, which meant it really didn’t need to be drowning in sauce to taste good. It had a Sriracha tartar sauce, chives, and cabbage (which was apparently smoked, but I couldn’t tell). I’m not really sure what kind of fish it was, but after the first bite I didn’t care and just wanted it in my stomach.    

Antique Taco Review

Holy Guacamole

The shrimp taco tasted good but wasn’t anything special. It got cold pretty fast, probably due to the corn relish. They were marinated or cooked in some kind of chipotle deal, which was noticeable but maybe got a little bit lost with the flavors of the relish. Really, the shrimp just didn’t hold a candle to the steak and fish tacos. 

The chicken taco was tasty and going for an Indian vibe. It was slathered in turmeric/curry and a ton of other spices, and topped with cucumber, pickled jalapeños, onions, and yogurt sauce, definitely on the mark but not the best of the four. However, you will not be disappointed. 

The staff is very friendly. Our server/food-bringer-outter told us he would keep an eye out for an open table, but we told him we were cool where we were. People were nice and mostly filled with smiles. The register guy seemed a little annoyed, but we all have our bad days, and seriously who enjoys working at a register. (Well, I actually did.)

My only question was what the heck do antiques have to do with tacos? Clearly nothing, but one of my friends explained to me that one of the owners enjoyed antiquing and the other owner enjoyed tacos, and voilà, a nonsensically named taco joint was born. Parking can be tough and expensive because it’s in the heart of Wicker Park. I recommend public transportation, especially since they have margaritas and canned beer available for consumption. Yum. I added a poll below! 

I give Antique Taco 4.0 out of 5 chiles. 

Antique Taco can be found at 1360 N. Milwuakee Ave., Chicago IL (773) 687-8697

Taco Review: Perez Restaurant, 853 W. Randolph St., Chicago IL


Type: Mexican spaceship tacos

Price: $$$

I decided to give the West Loop another shot and visit this little Mexican restaurant called Perez. I remember having a couple tacos from there once before, but my memory is fuzzy once again, this time due to the fact I quickly scarfed them down in my car before attending a paid market research session up the street for Budweiser

Perez Wall

Take me to your taco leader

What immediately struck me about this place was the room. The walls are shiny and metallic, and you feel like you are about to dine inside a Mexican spaceship. There is some cool art, but it doesn’t really hide the fact it looks like a giant meat locker. I really didn’t mind; I actually thought it was kind of cool. They really should have played up the spaceship thing. Estos tacos son de Mars, amigo! 

When I finally looked at the menu, I was excited to see they had goat tacos, in addition to the standard taco fare (steak, al pastor, chicken, and chorizo). So what did I do? I ordered all of them except the chicken. Looking back now, I probably should have just ordered the chicken and not angered the taco gods, but at the risk of over-ordering (and overeating), I stuck with the four.

Perez salsa

The Satan salsa is on the left.

I am getting a little ahead of myself here, because I forgot to mention the salsas. They put out a basket of chips and two bowls, one with pico de gallo that was tasty and surprisingly spicy, the other was a roasted salsa that was so black and delicious I think it might have been made by Satan himself. I even ordered an extra bowl of it after we ran out.

After some lively discussion, our server brought out our food. My tacos came out four in a row, with cilantro and onion, on a plate with some lime slices. Let’s start with the goat. It was tender and delicious, albeit incredibly fatty. Not just, like, fatty pieces of meat, but a good part of it was actual large chunks of animal fat. You know, I can appreciate a fatty piece of meat; if done right it really bolsters the flavor. But this was just too much. At times I was wondering if there was Jell-o in my taco. No bueno, Perez.

The steak taco wasn’t any better. Even though it was filled with actual meat, it really lacked any kind of seasoning or flavor altogether. What exactly was the cook doing back there? Clearly navigating the Mexican spaceship and not seasoning my tacos. I’m not sure what cut of meat they used; it actually wasn’t bad, but the taco could have been way better if properly made.

Their al pastor taco was okay. It seemed like they got the flavors right but did not marinate it long enough. It didn’t really have that strong of a flavor, did not seem spit roasted, and lacked pineapple. I wouldn’t kick it out of bed, but I won’t praise it either.

I started wondering if they actually had other salsas, so I asked the server, who informed me that they have red and green salsas. Why didn’t they bring these out initially? After ordering the green, I had come to find out why. Too sweet and viscous and missing an important component (possibly garlic), the tomatillo salsa was a swing and a miss. I didn’t even bother to ask for the red because I had already annoyed our server enough.

The chorizo taco was probably the best one. My tortilllas (two to a taco) started dissolving, and I found it best to pick up a fork and get to shoveling. I did not eat them consecutively, which might have been my downfall, and I admit my palate might have gotten lost along the way. The chorizo had a good flavor and wasn’t too greasy, which is not easy to accomplish with chorizo. It tasted great but lacked an accompaniment, such as potato or another vegetable.

I hate to say it, but the best thing about this place was that dark salsa. If they could fill one of those beer helmets with that salsa in it, I probably would have ordered it. The service was friendly and timely, but for $3 and $3.25 a pop, the tacos were nothing to write home about. If you want throw down that kind of money I suggest walking up the street to De Cero.

I give Perez Restaurant 2.5 out of 5 chiles.

Perez Restaurant can be found at 853 W. Randolph St., Chicago IL (312) 421-2488

Taco Review: Cosina Grill, 1706 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, IL


Type: Lonely Mexican Restaurant Tacos

Price: $$$, BYO


I have been driving by this place for what seems like forever, and finally on a whim I decided to check out their tacos. It always seemed empty and a little depressing to me. Maybe because it’s off the beaten path and not too close to the Andersonville strip. Or maybe it’s because the whole storefront is windows, and if you’re going to have your whole storefront be windows, it’s probably a good idea to have people in your restaurant.

We walk in and get seated by our server. I don’t remember what his name was but let’s call him Gary. There is a painting of an angry Mexican lady holding her pissed-off kid that gave us the stink eye our entire lunch. After a few minutes Gary brings out our complimentary chips and salsa. It consisted of a roasted tomatillo salsa, a milder roasted red salsa, and what I would call a tomato sauce with some onions in it. The tomatillo was chunky and delicious, and also quite spicy. The red salsa was tasty but diminished in flavor after eating the tomatillo, and I’m pretty sure they just emptied a jar of Pace for the mild salsa. Also, the water glasses appeared to be made of a very heavy crystal probably carved out of a geode. I was doing bicep curls every time I drank my water. 

They didn’t have any a la carte tacos on the menu. Did that stop me from ordering tacos? You bet your chalupa it didn’t. I ordered the taco plate that comes with two tacos and rice and beans. I opted for steak and chicken, though they do have a third option of chorizo if that’s your thing. There were no vegetarian tacos, but they did have a good amount of vegetarian plates available. I would also like to add I believe a true taco plate should come with 3 tacos, but that’s a whole other blog post. I asked Gary if the tortillas were made in-house and he said no. After we had some lively discussion regarding the creepy painting and did a few bicep curls, Gary brought out our food. 

Cosina Grill Taco Review

Taco Taco

The steak taco was good. Not knock your chancletas off good, but a solid taco. The steak tasted great and was cooked perfectly, and the pieces were large but not too large. I don’t like it when there are tiny little pieces of steak in my taco. I must say, I do feel it was lacking in the onion department, but I happen to like a lot of onions on my tacos so maybe it would have been fine for the lay-taco person.  

The chicken taco, I wasn’t so crazy about. It was adobe seasoned but not grilled. I have a feeling they used the same chicken they use for their enchiladas. If you want to have a good chicken taco, grill that @#$%. A little seasoning and a turn on the grill, and you’ll have yourself a tasty chicken taco. If you don’t want to offend grandma, then maybe this steamed or whatever chicken taco is the one for you. 

Cosina Grill Taco Review


The rice came preformed in the shape of a hockey puck. The beans were okay, but the rice was seriously lacking flavor. Garlic and salt, it’s not that hard people. 

All in all, I wouldn’t order tacos again, but I have a feeling the rest of the food is very good, and I will be returning for some enchiladas or what have you. Also, it’s BYO, which totally rules if you like to booze it up a little during dinner. Parking is easy, right on Foster, no meters.  

I give Cosina 3.5 out of 5 chiles.  

Cosina Grill can be found at 1706 W Foster Ave Chicago, IL. (773) 271-7103

Taco Review: De Cero, 814 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL


Type: Fancy-White-People Tacos

Price: $$$


So for my first review I decided to visit De Cero in the West Loop. I’ve been there before, and I remembered that they have fancy tacos that I liked last time I was there. 

First we ordered some chips and salsa. It’s, like, eight bucks, but they give you three different salsas that the chef’s own children slaved over and cried into the night before. The tomatillo was creamy and delicious. Personally, I like my tomatillo a little chunkier and tomatoey, but this was still good. The red salsa was pretty garlicky, thin (not watery) and good, but lacked salt, which was surprising with all those kids’ tears in it. The mango habañero tasted weird, like they were experimenting with putting some herbs in the salsa. Let me give you some advice: Mexican food is awesome because it’s simple. Leave the weird shit out of it, unless you’re gonna blow my sombrero off with how awesome it is. And FYI, the chips were still greasy from the fryer.

Okay, on to the tacos! I ordered four tacos: rajas (veggie), steak, al pastor, and crispy whitefish. Let’s start with the rajas. It seems to me that they put all of their energy into making a good veggie taco. Maybe they didn’t want their veggie tacos to suck, since there aren’t usually too many veggie taco options, and they usually do suck. Whatever it is, it was pretty damn good. They were a little juicy with a soft texture and chunky consistency, not too salty. It also had some chipotle flavored sour cream type concoction on it that tasted good. 

photo (3)Next, the steak tacos. Hmm, is this the same cream they used on the veggie taco? That’s okay because it’s delicious. And potato in my steak taco? Okay, I can work with that. But really, nothing else exciting here. I felt like the cream was covering up for the fact that steak and potato was not well seasoned, and without it, the taco would have sucked. Not having a good steak taco at a taco place is a sin in my book, but I like creamy stuff so nom nom nommmmm. Yum. Burp. 

Crispy whitefish taco … MORE cream? Jesus. Are they milking a goat back there? What’s with all the cream? Okay, maybe fried fish tacos deserve some cream, but at this point I was wondering if i should have taken a Lactaid before my dinner. The fish was too big for the tortilla, and they splattered a little pico de gallo on top. It tasted all right, but it was messy, pretty much just like most mediocre fried fish tacos. At least there wasn’t cabbage, which i’m okay with, but it seems to be the go-to for fried fish tacos, and pico’s a nice change.  

Al pastor tacos: What. The. @#$%. Are you just trying to piss me off De Cero? I remember last time I was here they boasted about having a spit roasted al pastor and devoted a whole paragraph to it on the menu. Now, it’s just another taco. Really, they should have just removed it from the menu altogether and spit roasted their chef to atone for this great sin. Had I been someone with anger management problems, I might have lit this place on fire. They were bone dry. And they tasted like roadkill. No I imagine roadkill tastes much better. Hardly any flavor (al pastor is supposed to be marinated), and a smattering of pineapple, which did not help. I would have preferred a pineapple taco at that point. Which is really a shame, because I love al pastor tacos. 

So that’s it. The service was good, attentive, and not annoying. For the prices (around 3 dollars a taco), I have had way better.  There is valet parking, but I never seem to have a problem getting a spot on Halsted just north of Randolph and hoofing it half a block.

 I give it 2.5 out of 5 chiles. 

De Cero can be found at 814 W Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 455-8114