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.
I normally have about as much faith in pan-Latin joints as I do in Asian restaurants with both pad thai and Korean barbecue on the menu. As I've found on my great taco hunt, my favorite places tend to be focused. So how was I supposed to respond to D'Noche's menu, which features something of a greatest hits list of dishes from other countries, including steak with chimichurri (Argentina), ropa vieja (Cuba), and even a burger (U.S.A.)?
Instead of confused and overextended, D'Noche's food comes across as well thought out and carefully done. That definitely includes the Tacos De Camaron ($12.95 for three). No doubt inspired by the Veracruz region of Mexico, these shrimp come bathed in a robust tomato sauce accented with tiny briny capers. Most crustaceans would get lost in the mix, but D'Noche uses sweet and plump Gulf shrimp, which manage to shine through.
The restaurant also skips the usual topping of queso fresco—which would have certainly worked—opting for creamy, tangy crumbled goat cheese. It's an excellent choice. Though these are three very full tacos, the soft and supple flour tortillas hold up to the saucey filling. And if any of the filling spills out, just mix it in with the epazote green rice served along the side.
Honestly, the biggest issue is whether to wash it all down with a margarita, a mojito, a pisco sour, or one of the very good original cocktails (the agua fresca de tequila is especially good). Tough questions, indeed, but when it comes to drinks, I'm much more relaxed.