Chicago

Behind the Scenes of Antique Taco's New Menu

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: Behind the Scenes of Antique Taco's New Menu

[Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger]

"There are so many things we've wanted to add to the menu," says chef Rick Ortiz, "but we didn't want to do too much at the start."

This seems like an overly humble statement coming from the chef behind Antique Taco—a place that already serves some of the most meticulously prepared and artfully presented tacos I've ever seen. But ever since its opening in May, he and Ashely Ortiz, his wife and the restaurant's creative director, have been dealing with a consistently packed storefront, and the two didn't want to add anything until the kitchen was ready.

Though it was two o'clock in the afternoon on the day I visited, the dining room was full. In fact, Ashley was setting up stools by the new tabletops along the back wall to help increase seating. During the summer, guests could sit outside on the patio, but with the weather cooling, they went ahead and added more seating indoors.

Ashely and Rick Ortiz at the opening of Antique Taco back in May.

But the two are now ready. The new menu items continue Antique Taco's practice of mixing traditional Mexican standards with seemingly unrelated dishes. For example, the chicken tinga taco incorporates the flavors of Buffalo wings, right down to the celery. The duck enchiladas have faint hints of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Rick was also able to add huaraches to the menu for the first time, though they certainly look like no other version I've seen before.

I recently sat down with Rick and Ashley to discuss all of these new menu items, which you can check out by clicking on the slideshow.

Antique Taco

1360 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622 (map)
773-687-8697
antiquetaco.com

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