Hi Chicago CHers! I visited your fine city last week and being a Californian (currently living in DC) who loves tacos and mexican food, I made a point to find your best tacos. My quick research led me to Tierra Caliente (we were planning on going to the Maxwell Market to Rubi's, but it was freezing rain on Sun). We went on a Wed afternoon (maybe 2pm?) and had high expectations, but they quickly dropped when we saw the meat on the spit was raw (with no pineapple or onion on top) and the meat was being cooked on the griddle. We ordered a few tacos each (al pastor, their tierra caliente ? - basically carne asade, and gf also tried the chile relleno taco). The al pastor was not good. Bland, fatty meat with no grilled onions or pineapple. The asada was better, but still subpar. The chile relleno taco was "the worst thing (my gf) has tasted in a long time". The only redeeming qualities of this place were that the salsa roja was pretty good, and they gave you a lot of meat (too much), but it doesn't really matter when it's nearly inedible.
I understand how places can have off days, but our experience was just so far off from everything we read about it, that I am just bewildered. Is there a trick to what day/time to go? Location (we went to the Ashland one)?
Future tips on great tacos is greatly appreciated, as I will be back frequently and hopefully moving to Chicago.
PS - we went to El Patron on Diversey I believe, and were very impressed with their tacos (and their "gringa"). The asada was great and the chorizo was excellent. We mostly stumbled upon it, while out shopping one day, and it was WAY better than Tierra Caliente.