Saturday, November 30

Tacos Guapos!

It's no secret that Wicker Park's Big Star has some of the best tacos in Chicago. While the restaurant is best visited in the warmer Chicago months when you can fully take advantage of their sprawling patio, anytime is a good time for tacos. I'd been to Big Star twice before, the first time I ate at the pick-up window, the second time was a pit stop during a trolley bar crawl (obvi). This time, I actually got a table inside. The wait at Big Star can be quite lengthy, especially if it's a nice day or if you're there with a large party (not recommended). I planned on meeting the BF there on a Friday after work and when we showed up around 5:30, the wait was only about 20 minutes. It was the perfect amount of time to enjoy a Pacifico at the bar.

I'm a big fan of the guacamole at Big Star. They just get it right. Crazy amounts of lime juice are what make it superb and it has just the right amount of spice. They definitely have a guacamole leg up on their competition at Antique Taco. Mmm guacamole leg...

Chips & Guacamole
I usually like to change up the tacos I get, except for one, the taco al pastor. If you're looking for a consistently tasty handheld, it has to be the al pastor. Marinated pork shoulder, grilled onion, pineapple and cilantro all come together in perfect harmony. There's something so perfect about pineapple and pork.

Rounding out my taco trio were tacos de pescado and pollo. The pescado included battered catfish, cabbage, red onion, cilantro and lime, on top of a generous spread of chipotle mayo. The fish was extremely crispy and not the slightest bit greasy and the mayo added a creamy kick. The taco de pollo used to be so spicy I'd have heart palpitations, but now it is WAY less spicy. I even had to add hot sauce to give it some kick. The vinegar flavor from the pickled red onions on top help to cut into the roasted flavor of the chicken. The best part is the yogurt and cucumber sauce that hides out on the bottom.

Taco de Pescado, Taco de Pollo, Taco Al Pastor
The BF also ordered three tacos, though one was actually a Frito pie. The walking taco is housed in a Fritos bag and is topped with ground pastor, pinto bean dip, Chihuahua cheese, chili sauce and green onion. He also tried the taco de panza with braised pork belly, guajillo salsa, queso fresco, onion and cilantro. I'm not a huge pork belly fan (sue me) but he was in love with it.

The Walking Taco, Taco de Panza, Taco de Pollo
If you haven't been to Big Star, step out of your cave and head on over. Just don't bring a large group and be prepared to wait. It's worth it.

Big Star gets 4 ghosts for their well-cooked meats that are piled onto their tacos, the relaxed vibe of the restaurant, and their guac. Oh, the guac...


Big Star
www.bigstarchicago.com
1531 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
773.235.4039
Big Star on Urbanspoon

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