Mercadito

While I still have a lot of Chicago Mexican restaurants to check off my list, I think Mercadito will always hold the crown as my number one. They have my all-time favorite taco on their menu (the camarón featured below) and some of the most unique margaritas I’ve ever tried. I also devour their awesome mango guacamole each time I’m there! While Mercadito is a little on the expensive side, you are sure to never leave hungry as these tacos are certainly belly-fillers. Here is what I got the last time I was there for dinner, but their menu has so many options and you can never go wrong with what you order!

We started off with a duo of their house-made guacamole. Choosing the Traditional, that had tomatillo pico de gallo, jalapeño, garlic, key-lime, cilantro and the Mango with jícama, chipotle, pico de gallo were two very wise decisions!

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I’ve been trying to work my way through their cocktail menu, so each time I go I try a couple different ones. The last time I went I got the most unique margarita I’ve ever tried called the “Smokey Pablo” which reminded me of a blueberry barbecue sauce– very different! This time I went with two that were more refreshing. The first was the V-9  which had pineapple, greens, ginger and lemon. It was quite tasty.

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The second margarita I tried was their Pera Te which had black tea infused tequila, pear, lime juice and agave nectar. While I didn’t like this one as much as the V-9, it was still enjoyable!

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For dinner we did what most people do when they come to Mercadito- share the tacos to try as many as possible before getting stuffed! The first to come out was the Estilo Baja with beer battered mahi-mahi, some spicy aioli and mexican-style coleslaw. YUM.

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The next taco we ordered was my personal favorite, the Camarón. I mostly like this because of the always cooked-to-perfection tender pieces of shrimp and the really spicy sauce they drench this taco in. It is heaven on a homemade tortilla!

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The last taco we got was on special that night and incorporated some Italian flavors, which I can never say no to! This was a meatball taco with mozzarella, basil and cherry tomatoes. I’ve never had anything like it, it was so so good! And it was a good thing we ended on this one because it was the most filling out of all of them.

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If you are ever craving some never-fail-delicious Mexican in Chicago, Mercadito is the way to go!

Chicago Restaurant Week – Frontier

We went to another Chicago restaurant week spot last Wednesday – Frontier! This place’s menu caught my attention right away because of the interesting and exotic types of food they offered. And also because their restaurant week menu featured a gourmet s’more, one of my all-time favorite desserts. This place was in the Wicker Park area of Chicago, a bit of a trek from where I live, but definitely worth the distance. Going with three people was perfect because we all ordered different things to cover all the options on the menu. Here is what we ate and enjoyed:

Kangaroo Chili (told you it was exotic!) This was served with marrow bones, cheddar cheese and creme fraiche. Who knew kangaroo would be this tasty?

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Antelope Meatballs with gouda and gnocchi. Probably my least favorite of the appetizers, but at least I got to try antelope once in my life. It had an “interesting” texture to say the least.

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Duck tacos…phenomenal! Hoping more of my future tacos can include duck.

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Some of the other appetizers options on their regular menu included some crazy dishes such as gator ribs, elk shepard’s pie and duck heart.

Moving onto the entrees….The first is what my friend ordered. The wild boar with sweet potato puree, campfire marshmallow, and blackberry BBQ sauce. Yum!

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My other friend tried the banana leaf salmon with black rice. This was awesome and tropical/coconutty tasting. and my second run in with black rice in one week…no complaints!

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The entree that I ordered was the Amish chicken and this was to.die.for. Every component from the bourbon sauce on the chicken to the creamy 5 cheese mac and even the watercress salad was amazing. The entire table agreed it was the best part of all our meals.

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And to highlight the mac and cheese one more time since it was THAT good.

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Last but certainly not least was the Gourmet S’more with a homemade graham cracker, honey marshmallow and bourbon chocolate. So tasty but definitely strayed from the familiar taste of a campfire s’more.

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I would (and already have!) recommend Frontier. The place has some really good food and I will make my way back there in the near future to try some more. They even offer a whole roasted pig for $500! If my dream of winning the lottery comes true I’ll treat you all to that pig and more at this place.