By Summar Ghias
Chicago’s trendy taco scene may always be distinguished (and ruled) by late night favorite Big Star. But that doesn’t mean Chef Paul Kahan doesn’t have his fair share of competitors. Fellow Wicker Park joint Antique Taco serves up similarly scrumptious tacos packed with punches of unexpected flavors. Given that I’ve dined there three times this month and somehow still can’t stop daydreaming about the dessert-like horchata milkshake, I’d say Antique Taco gives Big Star a run for its money. Almost.
The restaurant couples market Mexican fare with an antique vibe, complete with communal seating, wooden benches, and vintage china. And though it gets a little too loud on the weekends, it’s the perfect spot for an inexpensive weekday jaunt.
Having tried a substantial part of the menu, the grilled ribeye steak tacos are by far the superior of the bunch. The crispy fish tacos, with smoked cabbage, scallions, and the surprise sriracha tartar sauce, come in at a close second. And, while I won’t go as far as to say that the fish tacos are better than their counterparts at Big Star, I do think that the creative fusion touch gives it a distinction all its own.
Tacos aren’t the only thing on the menu worth mentioning: the masa biscuit and lobster gravy entrée is just the right amount of comfort food.
The Corn OFF the Cob salad, with parmesan, black beans, red peppers, avocado and corn chips is ah-mazing. And, if kale is your current favorite superfood, the Antique Taco signature salad incorporates it into a mix of spicy peanuts, queso fresco, cranberries, sesame, cilantro, and pomegranate vinaigrette. Frankly, the chicken tacos are the only unmemorable thing on the menu.
I predict many more trips in my future – not to mention plenty more wasted hours spent daydreaming about that cinnamon topped horchata milkshake.
(Out of three stars)
Would I go back?: Most definitely
1360 North Milwaukee Ave.,
at Wood St.,
Chicago, IL 60622