What comes after Taco Tuesday and sounds equally tempting and delicious? Taco Thursday, of course! Since coming to Chicago I’ve had my fair share of tacos, and working my way diligently through taquerias (time permitting) has been one of my most enjoyable missions. Every time I think I’ve seen enough in terms of ingredients and flavor combinations, I come across a new interpretation of this age-old dish that leaves me speechless. Yay for creativity in the kitchen! 🙂
As a fiercely proud Chicagoan, I think it is my duty to gain more knowledge and experience of the tacos that make our city so great. This is why I was very excited to attend the first Time Out Chicago (TOC) Taco Thursday event, which took place at Joe’s on Weed St last week. A night out in the city, munching on tacos? Count me in!
The event was getting started when I arrived. As you can see, the place was pretty much packed!
Live music to complement the tastings was provided by the famous Mariachi Herencia de Mexico, who put on a passionate, soulful and very moving performance throughout the evening:
On the food front, participants got the chance to sample tacos made by eight restaurants from all across the city. My favorite was the shrimp taco delivered by Mercadito. Served on a fresh homemade corn tortilla, the shrimp was succulent and was brimming with the chipotle mojo sauce, which packed delicious flavor punches and provided the perfect dose of heat. The fresh, creamy avocado was there to cool things off and to balance the dish. It was nothing short of perfection!
Also among my favorites were the shrimp taquitos with tomato broth & pickled vegetables served by Dos Urban Cantina. What a flavor, what a crunch!
Switching from one protein to another, a special mention must be made about Rojo Gusano’s cochinita pibil taco, whose pork had been marinated in achiote and had been slow roasted for hours. The result: sweet&smoky flavors, fall-off-the-bone texture and beautiful vibrant colors!
No taco tasting is complete without a vegetarian option, and I am pleased to report that TOC’s Taco Thursday fulfilled my expectations from this perspective as well. Vegetarians and meat lovers alike got the change to sample the mushroom tacos offered by Antique Taco. Featuring River Valley Ranch mushrooms bathed in a red chile adobo sauce and served on handmade tortillas, with kale, crema, queso and pink onions, the taco delivered smoky flavor undertones and heaps of freshness thanks to the generous addition of the cilantro. As a non-vegetarian, I really appreciated this taco, and I think it fared better (in terms of flavor) than some of the meat-based tacos served at this event.
All in all, I had a great time at TOC’s Taco Thursday and can’t wait for the next edition already. My foray into Chicago’s world of tacos is a work in progress, and thankfully I’ve got plenty of time to complete my journey. I’m taking it slowly, one taco at a time – and I’m loving each and every new discovery 🙂
*Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated by Time out Chicago or by any of the restaurants mentioned in this post. All opinions expressed here are my own.