Mixing it Up at Mixteco Grill

September 17, 2013

Since the BF and I are somewhat new to the Uptown area, we decided to check out a place that we'd walked by a handful of times. Mixteco Grill, located on the corner of Ashland and Montrose, is a cute BYOB Mexican restaurant. I read several great reviews so we were excited to try it out on a Wednesday night.

The restaurant has two separate dining rooms and we chose the one located in the back. It was beautifully decorated with Mexican artwork and had a warm, inviting feel you don't typically get at most Mexican BYOB restaurants. After opening the bottle of cabernet sauvignon we brought, we dove into an order of homemade guacamole. The version at Mixteco is slightly less traditional; it includes chopped cucumber which gives it an extra fresh and crunchy feel. I like cucumbers, so I didn't mind it, but the BF isn't a cucumber fan, so he wasn't a fan of the guacamole either.

Guacamole with tomato, cucumber, serrano
For our entrees, the BF chose the Carne Asada. The giant ribeye steak was served with guacamole, black beans and a side of tomatillo salsa. He loved his steak and finished every last bite of it. I tried a piece and you could really get some of that nice chargrilled flavor.

Carne Asada
Mixteco Grill changes their menu each month, but one of the menu staples is their Cochinita Pibil dish. It features a healthy portion of marinated, slow-roasted pork, served with black beans and pickled red onions. The pork is marinated in a combination of orange juice and achiote seasonings. The pork itself was so tender and yummy, but the sauce was extremely salty, likely due to the seasonings. I ended up sending the dish back to the kitchen because it was so salty, I couldn't take any more bites. I don't normally send a dish back, so that tells you how salty it was. I wanted so badly to like it!

Cochinita Pibil
Since the pork didn't work out, I ordered a second dish that I'd hoped wouldn't be too salty. I went with something fairly simple, Pollo en Pipian Rojo. This dish included slices of wood-grilled chicken breast on top of a creamy, red sauce with pumpkin seeds. It also had some slices of nicely-grilled zucchini and a dollop of mashed potatoes. I'm a huge fan of pumpkin seeds and enjoyed the sauce because it had a nice kick to it. I know chicken can be boring, but this was very nice with the wooden, smoky flavoring.

Pollo en Pipian Rojo
I enjoyed the ambiance at Mixteco Grill, because it had a more upscale vibe than standard Mexican spots. Right when you enter the restaurant, you can see them handmaking their corn tortillas, which I can always appreciate. I was a little put-off by my pork dish, but the BF liked his and you could tell the kitchen staff really cares about the quality of their food. The prices are a little more than you might spend on a Mexican meal, but the BYOB option helps. Will I return? Maybe. I'm giving Mixteco Grill three ghosts.

Mixteco Grill
1601 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60613
Mixteco Grill on Urbanspoon
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