Chicago Tacos: Go Big or Go Home at Flo
Is it right to eat fries and tacos at the same time? I certainly eat my fair share of both, but when I saw the two paired together on the same plate, something felt wrong. But let's back up for a bit.
At Flo in the West Town, you have two ways to approach tacos. The first is to order straightforward tacos, the kind that you'd be able to find in any taqueria in town. The second is to try one of the restaurant's unique creations, which try to dress up the humble dish.
With a few exceptions, I'm usually in the minimalist camp. I like a place that can execute a filling and serve it on warm and pliant tortillas. But that's not what Flo does best. No, here you should go big.
And it's hard to think of a dish as over the top and ridiculous as the duck confit carnitas tacos ($12), which come with the aforementioned fries and a side of duck fat. What you're supposed to do with the latter ingredient is unknown to me. Dipping the fries into the little dish doesn't quite work, nor would I suggest drizzling it on the duck. No, leave that aside; the confit is luscious and fatty enough to get along just fine. They are served with creamy and crunchy black bean and corn slaw, which helps to cut the fat somewhat, but you really need some of the salsa to finish the job.
About those fries. As I mentioned above, I'm not completely sold on the whole fries and tacos combination, especially when the duck confit filling also happens to be fried. But I do love crispy fries straight from the fryer, and these won me over.
I wish the same care and attention would have been paid to the other tacos I tried. I went on a Thursday, when you can order individual tacos for $3 a piece. Sadly, none of the ones I tried measured up to the duck. The veggie taco was oddly bland and the carnitas taco was dry.
Only the chorizo and potato worked, but it was still sabotaged by dry crumbly tortillas. I'm not sure why the tortillas for the duck were better, but they really were.
I've heard that brunch is really the time to visit Flo, and that there are even more tacos then. But while the regular options are kind of uninspired, the duck confit tacos are worth ordering if you find yourself at Flo after the sun goes down.