Have I mentioned that I am obsessed with tacos? Since I grew up in Maine, and went to school in the middle of nowhere Massachusetts, I didn’t get to experience good Mexican food until I moved to New York when I was 22. Then I was hooked. When I moved to Chicago seven years ago, my love of tacos only grew as the taco trend swept the city. Over the years I have written about a handful of Chicago taco joints, and yesterday I finally checked out Bar Takito with my friend Margaret.
Bar Takito is a sister restaurant to Takito Kitchen in Wicker Park. Located right beside the Morgan el stop in the West Loop, Bar Takito has a large sidewalk patio seating area, and a spacious interior with two bars. The space is bright and colorful and has lots of seating.
The menu features Mexican, Central, and South American food with a modern twist. This isn’t the type of place that serves guacamole. Instead they specialize in more unique offerings inspired by seasonal ingredients.
Fortunately my friend Margaret loves tacos and has a big appetite because we shared a hearty lunch. We started with the Chorizo & Chicken Arepa. An arepa is a corn pancake, and at Bar Takito it has whole kernels of corn. It was then topped with mushrooms, pickled vegetables, chorizo, chicken, and an aji peanut sauce.
The chicken was fried in large pieces, while the chorizo was finely chopped. I really enjoyed the arepa and the sauce, but I think that there was a little too much going on here. Next time I would order the Vegetarian Arepa instead.
Next up, two orders of tacos. Takito is known for it’s tacos and they lived up to the hype. The menu includes four different types of tacos, which are served in orders of three. We chose to try the Brunkow Cheese and Coffee Braised Beef tacos.
The Brunkow Cheese Tacos came with a large piece of grilled brunkow cheese, pickled jicama, arugula, peanuts, ahi peanut sauce, and a slice of avocado. The cheese was warm and soft and thick, yet not melted. The texture was great, and the flavor pairing the the peanut sauce and the avocado was fresh tasting and delicious.
The Coffee Braised Beef Tacos were so generously stuffed that I ate some of the meat before digging in with my hands. The coffee flavor was subtle but lent a richness to the beef. The beef itself was juicy and soaked in the braising liquid, and served on beer tortillas with Oaxaca queso, pickled jicama, red onion, serrano, and peanuts. These were Margaret’s favorite while I preferred the Brunkow Cheese Tacos since cheese and tacos are two of my favorite things.
I will mention that the service was a bit lacking. We arrived at 11, right when they open for lunch, and sat outside and the staff kept forgetting about us.
Bar Takito‘s address is 201 North Morgan Street, they do accept reservations.