I went to a small Mexican taqueria joint called Mi Pueblo in Huntley (of all places!) and am totally impressed!
I have done some taco trotting around Chicago in the past 2 years and have built up some favorites like Carmella's & Cemitas Puebla. I have also tried out La Rosita & Las Cumbres in Crystal Lake & Fresco in Springhill Mall since I have been spending quite some time up in McHenry County. Mi Pueblo definitely stands out with its interesting menu.
My partner & I dined in. So right after ordering & paying at the counter, we were served nachos & pico de gallo. My partner got the mild sauce, which contains dices of tomatoes, chili, etc., and was definitely on the sweet side. I got the spicy sauce; it was spicier than I thought, but the flavor was so good that I happily spooned loads of it on my nachos.
I tried 3 tacos today - barbacoa ("steamed beef"), becina ("dried beef") & chicharron (pig skin). Although I don't think the barbocoa is prepared the traditional way with cow head, the beef was tender & crispy. The texture reminds me somewhat of carnitas but made with beef. The becina was a good alternative to carne asada (steak), with more intense beef flavor. The chicharron melted in my mouth but not leaving a greasy feeling (like the La Rosita ones). Combined with the spicy pico de gallo, smoky chipotle sauce & a mild tomatillo sauce as well as the usual cilantro, onion & lime, it was definitely the highlight of the meal.
My partner had the carne asada & barbocoa tacos, plus some beans & rice. I tried a bit of the carne asada, and it was a good texture between tenderness, chewiness and caramelized exterior. It was a bit greasier than the barbocoa though. I didn't care much for the beans (which was mushy & tasted like canned) & rice (which tasted like box rice).
The taco shells are a bit thicker but softer than some other taquerias I have been to.
Tacos are $1.75 each. They can be served Mexican style with cilantro & onion, or American style with lettuce & tomatoes. They have different specials everyday - today's was 3 tacos dinner with beans & rice for $5.50. Definitely a great deal compared to other big box fast food joints in the area.
I definitely look forward to coming back to Mi Pueblo many more times to try out the different items on their menu!
3619 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
La Rosita Mexican Foods
4605 W Elm St, McHenry, IL 60050
Taqueria Las Cumbres
93 Grant St, Crystal Lake, IL 60014