Chicago Tacos: Tacos Ensenada at Mixteco Grill

Chicago Tacos

Reviews of tacos.

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.


[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I didn't go to Mixteco Grill with tacos on my mind. No, I was dreaming about lamb chops bathed in mole negro so inky black and mysterious, I could see my reflection in it. But one needs an appetizer before the main event, right? As the only tacos on the dinner menu, the Tacos Ensenada ($7.00) could have been tacked on to appease picky eaters, but instead these two incredibly light fish tacos showcase the same level of care and craft that Mixteco puts in all of its other dishes.

Usually I like a fluffy and sturdy flour tortilla for fish tacos, especially fried fish tacos, but the Mixteco's absurdly thin and soft handmade corn tortillas are specially suited to the job, staying together long enough to transport the taco from plate to mouth, all while letting the fish carrying the lead. In fact, instead of ultra-crunchy, the batter on the tilapia is delicate, so that the moist fish is the most prominent flavor. Even the cabbage is sliced into thin ribbons, so while it still adds texture, it doesn't cover up everything else.

Both of the tacos were gone in a matter of a minute, and I could have easily polished off about 10 more. But I like to think of these as more of a snack to awaken the appetite. Plus, I had to save room for the lamb.

Mixteco Grill

1601 West Montrose Avenue Chicago, IL 60613 (map)