Thursday, November 5, 2009

Taqueria Los Comales

With a free rainy day stretching out ahead of me, I decided to explore some Pilsen taquerias. I guess you could call it part of my neverending taco al pastor quest, but that's neither here nor there...

Taqueria Los Comales has over 15 locations, so they must be doing something right. Right? Right. I tried to venture out into Pilsen with no prior knowledge of its taquerias and I guess that's how I ended up walking into a chain. Wa wa waaaa.

The setup was nothing extravagant. In fact, its simple layout of cheap bolted-into-the-ground deep-hued furniture reminded me very much of Arturo's. Each table though at TLC (ha - just realized that was the abbreviation) boasts its own personal bota, which is essentially a container of pickled and spiced veggies like cauliflowers, carrots, and jalapeños. I found that to be a nice touch even if I didn't think its contents were of the highest quality (the bota on my table had some suspicious carrots).

Once you sit at a table and indicate that you'll be dining in, a basket of chips and salsas hits the table and you'll have a little something to munch on before your order gets made. I was happy to see the free chips and salsas, but the chips were stale and the two squeeze bottled salsas were a let down. The green and red tomatillos were both bland; the red was oily and salty and the green was vaguely spicy, but ultimately tasted like nothing.

The tacos - priced @ 1.50ea - picked me up. As soon as they were put in front of me, I could smell the cilantro and the fantastically seasoned pork. I could've eaten them both without anything at all, but the lime added a nice bright flavor and illuminated the other ingredients. I have to say, the tacos were a perfect mix of sweet and savory and the fresh cilantro and onions were chopped just right. The only criticism I have is that the tacos tasted too onion heavy.

Unfortunately, I have to follow the rules of my blog and since these were not the best tacos al pastor in Pilsen, I will be going forth.

Taqueria Los Comales - Pilsen - (312)666-2251 - 1544 W. 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608 - Public transportation: bus X9/9, 18 or the 18th stop of the Pink Line.

taco al pastor - $1.50

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