Zocalo, Great Music, Even Better Margaritas

September 11, 2011

Traditional and Passion-Mango Guava Margaritas
For my birthday dinner with the BF, we headed to a Mexican restaurant I had heard many great reviews about, Zocalo. We enjoyed a late Friday night dinner indoors, so we could enjoy the live band's music. I was a bit nervous at first because the restaurant was quite empty, but then I remembered it was Lollapalooza weekend!

The margaritas came heavily recommended so we each decided to give them a try. I opted for the guava and passion-mango varieties, while the BF went with the traditional Zocalo margarita. All flavors were deliciously refreshing, and not a bit too sweet. 

Trio de Guacamole

A Mexican dinner isn't complete without a helping of fresh guacamole, so we ordered Zocalo's version:  a trio of three different types. The trio de guacamole included a traditional variety served with tortilla chips, a spicy variety with red jalapeno salsa and malanga chips (similar to a sweet potato) and finally, a fruit variety featuring papaya, mango, habanero and walnuts and served with plantain chips! Our favorite was definitely the fruit guacamole as the sweet fruit flavors were complemented by the spiciness of the habanero. The heaping portions of guacamole and the amazing flavor combinations make this is a must-try appetizer!

Zocalo Margarita and Trio de Guacamole

Although we were stuffed from the guacamole platter and fruity margaritas, we pushed forth into our main dishes. I thought the tacos en cazuela sounded amazing as you could select three different meats to make your own tacos. I chose the barbacoa, chicken and pulled pork. The tacos arrived deconstructed with each stewed meat in its own individual bowl, along with a trio of salsa, black beans and homemade corn tortillas. The barbacoa was by far my favorite, but all three were extremely flavorful, especially with the fresh salsas. The tender strips of meat made these some of the best tacos I've ever head (eat your heart out Big Star!).

Tacos en Cazuela

Salsa Trio
The BF chose the chicken fajitas which came with a heaping portion of grilled chicken breast, rice and black beans. He said they were very tasty and he also loved the homemade corn tortillas.

Fajitas Zocalo
Although we were stuffed to the brim, we were celebrating so we had to try one of Zocalo's homemade desserts. We opted for their new take on the traditional tres leches cake. This cylindrical cake was light and spongy. The cake soaked up the delicately sweet milk and was topped with fresh cream and almonds. It was a perfectly sweet ending to a delicious meal.

Rompope Tres Leche

Rompope Tres Leche

Overall, I would give Zocalo four stars for its creative take on Mexican staples and their fruity, but not overly sweet, margaritas. Zocalo is perfect for a date night, or a few margaritas with friends. If you're looking to go beyond your ordinary taco joint, I recommend heading to Zocalo and shelling out a few extra pesos for an authentic and flavorful Mexican meal!

358 W. Ontario
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 302-9977

Zocalo on Urbanspoon

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