Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Arturo's Tacos

Location: 2001 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
Arturo's Tacos on UrbanspoonArturo's Tacos Mexican Food on Foodio54
A Quick Word:
When first arriving at Arturo's Tacos, I was expecting to find a great, authentic Mexican restaurant.  It appears to be a well-established restaurant in the bucktown area.  Anyway, after trying the food, I was definitely disappointed.  One of the salsas was heavily chipotle flavored, the torta was not even close to meeting my expectations, and the oiliness of the meal was overwhelming.  The quality wasn't too impressive, but still on par with many of the other Mexican restaurants in the city.  One nice aspect of my visit was the service and atmosphere.  The waitress was very attentive, filling water frequently, and just making sure the meal was going well.  It was also nice to see the cooks make your meal in their open dining room kitchen.  When I compare this experience to the other Mexican restaurants on my blog, I would not be coming back to Arturo's anytime soon.

The open air kitchen allows customers to watch them cook.
What I ate:

Chips and Salsas

The chips and salsas are given free to any customer dining in (just like most Mexican restaurants).  The more pico like salsa was excellent.  Huge chunks of jalapeƱo and heavy handed with the onions, the pico was actually amazing.  I really enjoyed eating this with both the chips and covering my taco and torta with it.  It gave everything a great spice.  The chips were made fresh, with the warmer keeping them crisp until they arrive at your table. A good start for sure!

Carne Asada Torta

Having tried dozens of tortas throughout Chicago, I am still on the search for the best torta in the city.  I have come close at places like Cemitas Pueblas but still not perfect.  Arturo's torta was stepping in the wrong direction.  Everything about it was just not satisfying.  First of all, the bread was tough... not stale, but tough as in difficult to chew even when soaked with salsa.  The steak was decent, nothing outstanding.  And the toppings were of less quality than some of the other restaurants I went to.  It came with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and the smallest amount of avocado/guac you can imagine.  Everything just seemed to be made half-assed. Wished it could have been better.

Taco Al Pastor

According to the restaurant's menu, they call al pastor the "Mexican gyro meat" option.  The taco was served with a double corn tortilla (a must) and a little topping of onion and cilantro.  Overall, the meat was very flavorful.  I really enjoyed the seasoning.  However, the tortillas were somehow covered in oil which didn't make too much sense.  I still really enjoyed the taco, just have to look past the oiliness.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- The restaurant setup seems a little strange at first.  If you are dining in, just have a seat and wait for the waitress.  If you are ordering out, just go to the cash register.
- They do take credit cards.  So once your meal is complete, just go to the register and pay... no need to wait for a bill.

- I would try one of the restaurants in Pilsen before coming here.

How far would I walk for this food?

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