Monday, June 21, 2010

Big Star

Lots of outdoor seating, cheap and delicious tacos, great beer selection - does it get any better? We had been wanting to go to Big Star for awhile, and then when I saw it mentioned in Food & Wine a couple months ago, I knew we had to go. Here's what Food & Wine had to say:

When Blackbird's Paul Kahan (an F&W Best New Chef 1999) and Avec sous-chef Justin Large took over a beat-up bar in Wicker Park, they insisted it would be little more than a dive serving tacos. That was an understatement. Highlights of the supercool "honky tonk" taqueria include excellent pork-belly tacos and greasy-good queso fundido (a glorious melted-cheese appetizer studded with chorizo). Dim lighting, fashionably disheveled bartenders and country music encourage down-and-dirty drinking of highbrow and lowbrow beers. But there are also exceptional cocktails by Violet Hour mixologist Michael Rubel, best sipped on the patio.

So Peter, Jacquilyn and I went last Friday. To say it was hot out is an understatement, but we wanted to sit outside anyway. Later in the day I saw a thermometer that said 93 degrees, but it felt like 9300 degrees. That didn't stop us. First up, chips and guacamole.

The chips and guac were great. The chips were nice and greasy and salty, and the guacamole was excellent. It disappeared pretty quickly. Next, we ordered the queso fundido.

Under all that melted cheese was chorizo and slices of poblano pepper. Admittedly, it was a little heavy for me, but still really good. And now for the main event:

The menu is set up so that you order each taco individually, for about $3 each. So we decided to do three each of three kinds of tacos. On the left are the tacos de rajas de poblano - poblano peppers, onions, and fried cheese. In the center are the tacos de panza - crispy braised pork belly with queso fresco. And on the right, tacos al pastor - marinated, spit-roasted pork with grilled pineapple and onion. The tacos al pastor were my favorite, but they were all wonderful. I can't wait to go back. We'll just have to make sure we go on a day when it's not 100 degrees, so I don't feel like I'm the one being spit-roasted.

1 comment:

  1. This made me crave a trip to chicago jsut to eat there!
    I love the chip description, greasy, why does that make them sound soooo appealing!