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“Awesome Tacos”
Review of Taco Joint

Taco Joint
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Ranked #682 of 9,544 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awesome Tacos”
Reviewed March 22, 2013

I found this little authentic Mexican place after searching online before I went to Chicago. Was looking for GF menu. And had brought my own chips. The bartender was very helpful after I told him I must eat gluten free. They used a fresh pan to warm my tortillas. I ordered the pork tacos with habanero salsa, and grilled red onions, also the beans and green rice. All was wonderful, told him I'd be back soon. It is located at 1969 N. Halstead St. intersecting with West Armitage Ave. It opens at 11 am.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank kglahamilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    35
    25
    3
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fresh everything”
Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

Taco Joint is exactly what you want from a taco joint. Fresh ingredients, including salsa and tortillas. I stopped in while looking for something quick and delicious, without being divey, and this place more than delivered. The "street food" style means lots of a la carte for reasonable prices. Nothing I had (three kinds of tacos) was greasy or heavy, as can often be the case at a Mexican restaurant. They even managed to make a delicious vegetarian taco (rajas).

Helpful?
Thank Jabtlf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
54 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Tasty bites”
Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

I had a chance to dine at the taco joint this week. Hadn't planned to go for lunch, but walked by and decided to stop in.

Great decision! I was with 4 other people and there was something to appeal to all. The plan is choose small dishes so you are able to try many things. We tried a bit of everything. . A variety of guacamoles which were served with chips and fried plantains...different but tasty. The tilapia and crab cake were really tasty. My kids enjoyed the pulled pork and fajita and the queso with chorizo was quickly devoured. I gave the spicy margarita a try and enjoyed it as well.

The price was right, the service was great and there was no waiting time in getting our food.

I'd be happy to drop in another time I'm in the neighborhood.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tadr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
47 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“The most amazing tacos I have ever eaten, hands down.”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Oh my god. These tacos are the absolute BEST I have EVER eaten. The flavors are so creative, complement the meats well, and mesh together perfectly with each other. If you're hungry and in search of amazing tacos, that's all you need to know, but if you want the whole review, read on...

A friend recommended this place to me and I'm so grateful I took her up on it. It was a Friday night around 7 when I arrived, and the place was packed. There's a bar area in the front, some counter tables in the middle, and a handful picnic table style seats in the back. If you go here as a group at peak times, I'd expect to wait for a bit because there just aren't that many large tables. Thankfully, the bar at the front is a convenient place to do that. Honestly, I was surprised the place was so small, but they more than made up for it with their tasty food.

Because our party was small, we were quickly seated at the counter tables in the middle of the restaurant. Not the best for conversation and quiet as it was right outside the kitchen, but at least we were seated quickly. Now, the menu. The enticing descriptions and variety of tacos made it hard to pick just three, but I settled on the shrimp, baja fish, and al pastor chicken tacos. The prices (about $3 per taco) were more than reasonable as well, which was a pleasant surprise.
While I waited, I tried a pomegranate margarita which was the night's special. It was strong, but lacked any real pomegranate flavor, which was a disappointment. The tacos, however, blew the mediocre margarita out of the water. The shrimp taco was the simplest of the three: marinated garlic shrimp with avocado and fried spinach. The spinach gave the taco just the right crunch texture and the avocado added a nice creaminess. The al pastor chicken was juicy and expertly marinated. The tomatillo salsa had a slight kick to it (but I'm a spice wimp, so maybe you can't trust my assessment) but was balanced by the sweet pineapple chunks mixed in. Yum! Last but not least were the baja fish tacos, which were perfectly fried in a savory beer batter and complemented by a creamy coleslaw. Each taco was tastier than the last, and a real treat for the palate. I actually felt sad when there were no more to enjoy, these tacos were that fantastic!
The meal was topped off with a flourless chocolate cake, which was very tasty and utterly decadent. On first glance, the cake was small, just a stout chocolate oval surrounded by a healthy drizzle of raspberry sauce. But looks can be deceiving, because it certainly made up for its size with its dark chocolate flavor and richness. Delicious!

Minor complaints: service is spotty. My tacos and drink were delivered quickly, but dessert took ages and my server essentially forgot about me in the meantime. It was difficult to get a refill on water as well. I'll chalk these up to the fact it was a busy Friday night, but this place looks like it's always busy, so perhaps they need to keep a better eye on service. Second, the $5+ charge for chips and salsa is kind of steep IMHO, especially when some places offer them for free. Lastly, the drink was also a letdown - when I eat at a place called Taco Joint, I expect the bar to serve up a quality margarita to go along with the meal. It's like, the law. A strong drink doesn't compensate for a lack of flavor, in my book anyway.

Overall, an enthusiastic 5 stars for Taco Joint! If I lived here, I would eat here every week. This place is tacos, perfected.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sailaways
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
157 reviews
135 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Great finger food, sketchy service...”
Reviewed October 23, 2012

This place bills itself as Mexican "street food" style, and delivers on the promise, but the service is sketchy at best. Our server, a 20-something, said that food is served "family style". You order one or more items at a time and they come served on the same platter. That's not family style, and is very confusing. If you get beyond that, we didn't have a bad item -- fish tacos, carne asada torta, roast corn on a stick appetizer (actually you get three of those to an order), huge sopes. Great tortillas. Guac comes with chips as well as some fried plaintain and sweet potato chips mixed in. Really distinctive seasoning, even on something like the raja (veggie) tacos. Only slight negative were the shrimp (camaron) tacos -- tiny shrimp although from a practical standpoint they do stay in the tortilla better. Prices are typically per item - $3-$5 and the only helpful thing our server told us was that you can figure maybe 3 per person, and they do fill you up quickly - small thick perfect tortillas but very filled. Goofy small water glasses and chilled tap water (no ice) served from used liquor bottles; ok I can live with that assuming the bottles go through the dishwasher occasionally. Total tab with a couple of margaritas and a beer was around $25pp tax and tip included somewhat because of a downgrade tip. Example of service downside: it was Sunday evening, the place was not packed, there seemed to be a good number of staff and so you'd figure service would be snappy - one guest wanted salsa/hot sauce and the server disappeared while the food cooled for several minutes - I wound up going up to the cashier to get it who was actually on top of it quickly. About a minute later the salsa we ordered arrived -- and they charged $0.50 for it. Another guest wanted more lime slices and that took forever too. And the server really didn't come around much to be of help. I'd still go back but now know the score and will make sure things happen the way we want them to because the grub is worth it. This was their Lincoln Park location - they have another closer to downtown. The front is a bar area - seating is either bar style along the wall or tables in the back that look like they came from Barnaby's. Mostly a young crowd.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Travelmess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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