Excellent food, boisterous atmosphere. Extensive outside seating would be quieter, if you're sure it won't rain, as they can't reseat you. Table seating is limited to 90 minutes. Half price cocktail and guacamole before 6pm.
Now that the rules are out of the way, the food is quite tasty. Guacamole was better than the Queso Fundido, which didn't have enough chorizo.
Snapper ceviche bites and firecracker shrimp were both great. Cordon Bleu Quesadilla was so unexpected, it ended up being my favorite, even though it wasn't remotely Mexican food: ham, chicken and cheese, with a honey mustard dipping sauce!
Tuna Poke Tacos and Korean Short Rib tacos were also excellent.
Churro Empanadas needed something like ice cream or a spicy sauce to offset the cloying sweetness.
Service was very responsive, and the kitchen and bar are fast.
Barcocina – Chicago 2901 N Sheffield Ave Chicago, IL 60657
This place is divided into a number of varied seating areas, including dining rooms, a bar, and a garden.
The margaritas all seem to be made with lemon juice rather than lime, which is odd; I needed to order a shot of Cointreau to restore the balance.
The appetizers were the best part of our meal. We ordered the nachos without the beans. As described, they came with exactly seven large tortilla chips! They also come with a dab of guacamole, so we really didn’t need the extra order of guacamole, but it was good.
The entrees were less exciting. Chicken enchiladas had a rather odd flavor, and the contents seemed to be ground up. Chilaquiles were also unusual, in that instead of being topped with a fried egg there was a scrambled egg mixed in; the chile verde sauce was good, though.
Service was not particularly attentive considering we were the only table seated for Thursday lunch.
While the emphasis in the name is on the drinks, the food here is good, too. The free chips are delicious, really crisp and with a strong toasted corn flavor, and the accompanying salsa has lots of cilantro.
The nacho starter was good, if not my favorite style.
Fish tacos were excellent, with grilled fish in double corn tortilla wrappers. The black beans that came with it were some of the best I've had. I also tasted the refried beans, which I normally prefer, but these black beans were amazingly complex and flavorful.
Of course margaritas are the highlight, and there are a dozen to choose from. We went with a pitcher of the Cadillac, a standard lime margarita plus Gran Marnier.
The service was good, and the ambiance is relaxed.
This is a pleasant family style restaurant serving all the standard Tex-Mex dishes. The place is surprising large, with the dimmer, more intimate area being on the bar side. They did a great job with the decor and acoustic treatments.
This is my favorite taco place in River North, and I think I’ve tried just about all of them.
I started with the Cadillac Margarita, which came with a float of Gran Marnier. It was more than a float–it was an entire small bottle! The drink was excellent, but I don’t like my margaritas to be too sweet, so I added some limes to make it perfect.
A great place to start exploring the menu is the pink tacos, after all, they’re the restaurant’s supposed namesake (although we all know better). They were terrific. Obviously handmade corn tortillas were topped with a complex, slightly spicy chicken mixture and marinated onions with a slight habanero kick.
Note that you don’t have to get three of the same taco, although the menu sort of implies this. At $15 for three pink tacos at lunch they were worth it, particularly considering the two generous sides. I had the very good house salad, and an off-menu item recommended by my waitress, a half serving of the off-the-cob street corn, which was in a wonderfully savory cream sauce.
You might assume from its trendy interior that it would have a deafening soundtrack, but actually the music level is just right, at least at lunchtime, and the song choices are terrific.
Service is very attentive, and my server made great recommendations.
I’ve been going to El Cholo on Western since I was a child, and it defines Mexican food for me, even if their idea isn’t perfectly aligned with what has come to be known as Tex-Mex, and even if it’s not all authentic Mexican either. I love it.
This location is just as good, if lacking a bit of the small house ambiance. Have a number 1 and original nachos. You won’t be sorry.
Uncle Julio’s serves pretty good TexMex for a chain restaurant. The place is large and can get quite noisy, but the front rooms and the side patio are quieter.
I really liked my Patron skinny margarita. It was indistinguishable from a regular margarita with only 120 calories. Deal!
I had the Benito’s combo. The chicken enchilada and pork tamale were excellent, but the chile relleno had absolutely no flavor in the breading, the chile itself or the cheese filling. The beans and rice were good.