After five years in Chicago, I've tired more than my fair share of Mexican restaurants (probably in the hundreds right now). So with Cinco de Mayo coming up on Sunday, I decided to pick out the essential Mexican dishes in Chicago.
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Few breakfasts excite me more than chilaquiles. While some people head straight for the maple syrup or all of the bacon and eggs in the morning, I crave spice and acid to help wake me up, and this dish gets that done like few others can.
It's hard to believe how much I ate out in 2012. I probably ate out once a day, where I'd often try three to four different dishes. Then there were the occasions where I'd try one of everything at a restaurant, which immediately added dozens of options to the final tally. I thought putting together the list would be hard, but some very specific dishes jumped right out at me.
Happy (early) Cinco de Mayo! Hopefully you've noticed that I love tacos (along with many other delicious Mexican dishes) enough to write about them every single week of the year for Chicago Tacos. While my search for the absolute best versions in city goes on, here are 12 tacos that I've fallen for in the past six months.
Every discussion about La Casa de Samuel in Little Village begins and ends with the tortillas. The restaurant obviously knows this. They make everything taste better. That includes any of the meaty fillings, the beans, guacamole, or the salsa. I used up so many so quickly, my waitress had to run around the restaurant for more. (And if you ask nicely, and tip accordingly, she'll even send some tortillas home with you.)
Bring on the bunnies. For too long rabbit has merely been an exotic offering, something written out on menus for a bit of shock value. But there is a long and delicious history of eating rabbit in most of the world's best cuisines. They must be on to something. Here are just a few of our favorite rabbit dishes from around town.