Do you have THOSE restaurants? You know, the one you walk by every day on your way to work. Or the one you’ve driven by a hundred times over the last six months, but you’ve never stopped in. I have one of those: Cafe El Tapatio, located at 3400 N Ashland. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said, “That place is so cute! We should go sometime!” Well this week, I finally went. We went on a Saturday evening, around 8 o’clock. My friend had the foresight to make a reservation and I’m so glad she did. The restaurant was packed when we got there! The atmosphere is warm and charming, with dim lighting, intimate tables, and colorful decorations. We sat at a small table near the front of the restaurant. We decided we had to start with a round of margaritas. I had the Jumbo Margarita- and they weren’t kidding about the size! It was huge! And also, absolutely delicious; a perfect way to start our meal. Our waiter also brought us an order of chips and salsa on the house, so we snacked while choosing our main entrees. I decided on the Pollo Tacos: pulled chicken adobado topped with lettuce, tomato, and queso anejo. The dish came with two tacos and either a jicama salad or rice and beans. I opted for the jicama salad, which I loved. The dressing was light and refreshing and the veggies were super crispy. My tacos were very good! I loved the sauce on the chicken and the portion was perfect. Two of my friends ordered the Carne Asada tacos: charbroiled skirt steak with lettuce, tomato, and queso anejo. They both loved them! The proportions of meat to toppings was perfect and no one flavor overpowered the simplicity of the whole dish. All of our dishes were very reasonably priced as well. We will definitely be back to try other menu items!
Cafe El Tapatio is open Mondays through Thursdays from 10 am to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12 am, and Sundays from 9:30 am to 10 pm. Online ordering is available, as well as pick-up.
RACHEL HOOVLER & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO