Chicago Tacos

Reviews of tacos.

Chicago Tacos: 2 Amigos

Editor's Note: This one is fairly self-explanatory, but here we go: Chicago Tacos explores the good, the bad, and the truly exceptional taco options in the Windy City—one taqueria at a time.

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

2 Amigos

2320 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 (map); 773-292-0106
Must Try: Chorizo taco
Cost: $2.00
Other Options: Carne asada ($2.00)

If you religiously read this column (and why wouldn't you?) then you probably know my stance on chorizo tacos. Sure, the Mexican sausage is a flavor bomb, bringing fat, spice, and heat to anything it touches, but left unfiltered and all alone, chorizo runs wild over your tongue, obliterating everything else. It needs a partner, like potatoes or eggs, to temper its aggressive flavor. Yet, so many taquerias serve straight chorizo tacos with nothing to cut the grease. It's gotten to the point where I don't even order them any more, because I'll get all worked up and start making grand taco statements.

But like all great stances, there are exceptions, and 2 Amigos in Logan Square has one of the tastiest. Perhaps my real crusade should be against subpar chorizo, because the version served here is milder and more subtly flavored than most I've encountered, making it balanced enough to fly solo. It's also sautéed carefully, not just tossed on a hot griddle and left to burn in patches. According to my waitress, the taqueria doesn't even make its own, but it certainly tastes different than most overaggressive versions.

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Turns out the chorizo taco is not a complete fluke, even if nothing quite equals it. I particularly liked the carne asada ($2.00), which may be griddled instead of grilled, but comes out well seasoned and crispy.

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Also very good is the birria ($2.00), which is exceptionally tender and just a little fatty.

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Like most non-spit cooked versions, the al pastor ($2.00) doesn't have the right texture. But the marinade on the pork works, making this a decent option. On the other hand, the chicken is braised instead of griddled, which I prefer, but it's a bit too dry.

Logan Square is no taco hot spot. In fact, I've been making due with Taqueria Moran or Carniceria Jimenez whenever I need a quick fix. Though not exactly a find, and it certainly doesn't come close to the brilliance of a place like La Chaparrita, 2 Amigos is a surprisingly solid neighborhood taqueria.

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