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Taco Safari Results: Phase One, Flights A & B of Logan Square Taqueria Crawl

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Taco Safari Results: Phase One, Flights A & B of Logan Square Taqueria Crawl

Chicago Mike | Jan 30, 2004 01:14 AM

I often take the Blue Line to O'Hare, which passes by the Logan Square exit. On the taqueria theme I decided to taste-test those venues that are within a 2 or 3 minute walk of the train stop.

I'd recently completed a 3-phase taqueria tasting in the Lincoln Park area. There we identified two consistently worthwhile Lincoln Park taquerias, out of about 15 tasted.

The Phase One tasting is of a benchmark "chicken taco with eberything", corn tortilla if offered the option. Note this is simply a "pedestrial retail tasting" without regard to style, Mexican authenticity, etc.

There are 6 taquerias within walking distance of the Blue Line (and a couple others on Diversey left for Phase 2). All the comparisons were conducted in the spacious McDonalds nearby. Here are the results of the Logan Square safari, in order of Tasting:

Flight A:

The following 3 taquerias were tasted side by side:

1) El Cid. The taco was brimming with lettuce, tomato, and cilantro. No cheese or sour cream. I found it very very mild in taste. Salsa didn't bring much more out.

2) Puebla. Mildly-seasoned chicken and a bit of lettuce and tomato. Perhaps they would add other ingredients if requested. I liked this chicken flavor more. Very mild taste. The salsa definitely enhances the flavor.

3) Cafe Con Leche (across from McD's). Much tastier, some onion & cheese finally. The throat-choking salsa adds alot of heat but doesn't seem to bring out as much flavor. Definitely liked the Puebla salsa more, which by the way has kind of an annoying "ketchupy" consistency at first but does hit the food well.

I left the first flight not overwhelmed by any place, most notably liking the Puebla salsa and probably their taco, overall.

Flight B: the following were tasted side-by-side:

4)Costa Alegre, SE Cor Milwaukee and Diversey. Compact taco of spiced chicken and a bit of lettuce. No remarkable flavor. Sauce didn't add much.

5) Zacatecas: Milwaukee, couple blocks north of Diversey. Very bland. Not much lift from the salsa.

6) El Ranchito. Very simple taco of chunky spiced chicken, onion & cilantro. Plesant, mild flavor without the salsa. Tortilla is a softer and fluffier style... similar to a thin, soft pita rather than the thin, tight tortilla style. Fiery salsa adds little to the taste.

El Ranchito was probably the favorite of this flight. Of the 2 flights the El Ranchito taco with the Puebla salsa might be the best product. Still we found the taste of all venues to be very mild and unremarkable.

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