Antique Taco: Not Your Average Taco Joint

July 15, 2012

On a recent post-yoga dinner adventure with a friend, we headed over to Wicker Park's Antique Taco (please excuse my iPhone photos!). This cute taco joint opened just a few months ago but is already creating some major buzz. I was excited to check it out and see how it compared to Wicker Park's other taco joint.

What sets Antique Taco apart is its mix of fresh local ingredients featured in its food and an aesthetic comprised of antiques and reclaimed materials. The couple behind Antique Taco, Rick and Ashley Ortiz, opened the restaurant as an extension of their catering business which successfully blends each of their respective backgrounds working as a chef and an event planner.

The ambiance at Antique Taco
Although Antique Taco is a smaller space, upon entering I immediately felt at home. Every detail of the place reflects an antique feel, down to the reclaimed wood tables and antique classroom chairs.

After ordering at the counter, you're given a number (on a hand-painted wooden spool) and the staff brings your food to your table. My friend and I started with the chips and guacamole and I have to admit, I wasn't too impressed. While I did enjoy the pickled veggies on top of the guacamole, I felt it lacked heat and spice. But hey, it's guacamole, I'm still going to eat it!I loved the berry basket the chips came in, another example of AT's attention to detail and theme.

Chips and Guacamole
We decided to get two varieties of tacos to share and compare. The first of our taco orders were the chicken tacos. The chicken was topped with pickled vegetables (cucumber and jalapeno, my fave), honey yogurt and pickled red onion. I loved the combination of fresh ingredients and particularly enjoyed the cool yogurt paired with the zing of the vinegar-laden veggies. Why I loved the mix of complex flavors, I was slightly disappointed with the tortilla itself. While I was happy to see Antique Taco using corn tortillas, the texture of the tortilla was almost like a mix of corn and flour. I would have liked a more corn-like texture. As a side note, all items are served on antique plates which I loved!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tacos
The second order of tacos were the pork carnitas tacos. These featured shredded pork, bacon, wilted spinach, onion, avocado and queso fresco. I definitely enjoyed the flavor of the carnitas more than the chicken because it was topped with an adobo rub. Slices of avocado added a nice creamy texture and the crispy bacon complemented the pork's smoky flavors.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken (left) and Pork Carnitas Tacos (right)
I was happy I tried Antique Taco and I would definitely return to try something different (I hear the mushroom tacos are amazing). The tacos and ambiance make for a unique experience, but you can get a better order of guacamole down the street at Big Star. Antique Taco gets 3.5 stars for its fresh, flavorful ingredients and an interesting concept. While these aren't taqueria prices, you really get what you pay for when it comes to tacos featuring the freshest, local ingredients.

Antique Taco
1360 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

Antique Taco on Urbanspoon

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