Did you know that I love tacos? Because I really love tacos. So much so that I recently ventured down to the Southside with a couple of friends to try out a couple taco joints. The first, Birrieria Zaragoza, was Jeff’s favorite taco place, and the second, Taqueria El Milagro, was recommended to me by an Uber driver.
First we went to Birrieria Zaragoza, a bare bones taco joint out by Midway Airport that serves one thing: roasted goat. Yes, I was a little skeptical, since goat is never my protein of choice. The menu is very simple, you can get individual goat tacos and plates of goat tacos. They have cheese quesadillas too.
I love the idea of doing one thing, but being the very best at it. That’s what the Zaragoza family has done. They butcher the meat themselves, steam it, rub it with spices, and then slowly roast it until it falls off the bone. It’s a slow food preparation in a fast food setting.
The tortillas were made right in front of us, and they were some of the best I have ever tasted. The salsas (there are two, mild and spicy) are homemade too, using fire roasted tomatoes. We asked for spicy, and then had to switch to mild, they aren’t joking around with the spicy salsa.
We all ordered platters of tacos. When you order the platter you have the option to get the meat bone in, which Jeff recommended since that meat is a bit more flavorful, and it has some nice crunchy bits on the bone. The meat comes with plenty of fresh corn tortillas, and onions, lime, cilantro, and salsa. The meat was hands down the best goat I have ever tasted. I like goat meat, but I loved these tacos, it’s too bad it is so far away from my home – but it’s a quick stop on the way to or from Midway!
Next we decided to go to Taqueria El Milagro, a restaurant a very friendly Uber driver told me to try in Pilsen (shout out to Mauricio!). In some ways it was the total opposite of Birrieria Zaragoza. The cafeteria style restaurant offers an abundance of food choices! It was somewhat overwhelming.
We asked the staff at Taqueria El Milagro for their recommendations and ordered steak tacos and chicken flautas. The chicken flautas were ok, but nothing spectacular. The steak tacos were quite good and had a very generous amount of meat. The thin skirt steak was generously seasoned and tender.
While I appreciate the enthusiasm my Uber driver has for Taqueria El Milagro, it wasn’t exceptional. It is a great place to go for a quick meal if you happen to be in Pilsen, but I wouldn’t say it is worthy of making the trip to Pilsen. Or perhaps the problem is that the tacos at Birrieria Zaragoza are so exceptional that anything would be less than stellar in comparison.
Taqueria El Milagro’s address is 1923 South Blue Island Avenue in Pilsen.
Barriera Zaragoza‘s address is 4852 South Pulaski Road in Archer Heights.