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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Great Taco Hunt of 2011

1 city, 4 men, 30 restaurants; the perfect taco.

Places staked out:
Tio Luis
3856 South Archer Avenue
Chicago, IL
Los Alamos
 2157 South Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL

Steak Tacos from Los Alamos

Just Desserts
In 17th day of our lord, I joined 3 men to meet for a wonderful and simple reason: to indulge in meat wrapped tightly in tortillas. Tacos. So simple, yet so complex. Not really, it’s simple. Gluttonous? Maybe. But I don’t want to look too much into my flaws, that’s another soul crushing post, on another sad blog. First was Los Alamos on Damen. The meat quality was immediately noticeable, jumping out of its cornwrapped prison. But once it entered my gullet, the flavor was limp. Super limp. Oh this is embarrassing, this doesn’t normally happen limp. Still, the overall quality earned it a 15 out of 20. Our second taqueria was Tio Luis on Archer. The flavor was immediately noticeable, almost, too much though. The quality of ingredients was lacking, Papa John would be rolling in his grave. And everything else was par for the course. They earned a 14 out of 20.
Mural at Tio Luis'

I rolled with Tommy to pick up the Tacos from Tio Luis. ‘Twas an adventurous ride thru the Southside. The Best part of the trip was at the restaurant – The girl workin the counter was really cute. The Horchata only got a B though.
 I was hyped about the Tacos, though. It all smelled good, and in the restaurant, there was a Mural. When you see Restaurant Murals, Prepare for a quality experience. Additionally, there were advertisements that said How amazing the tacos were, best in the city. All Wins, Right?  But unfortunately my expectations were not met. Lower quality ingredients, overwhelming flavor combinations and saltiness, and a funky tortilla game earned Luis a 13 out of 20.
Los Alamos pulled it together. The tortilla was nice, and while the meat was somewhat bland, the balance achieved was great when matched with a rojo or verde. The veggies applied (onions, cilantro) were still fresh, unlike Luis’ wilted lettuce. The Alamo ended up sticking around, and Los Alamos was still standing, with a 15 out of 20.

 Tommy P
TACOS TACOS TACOS! I could eat tacos at every meal (sometimes I do, my bowels cursing my name the entire time), so OF COURSE I was gonna to join some cool doodz in a taco round table. Okay. The first place, Los Alamos. Dems tasty. Good sauce, decent meat, pretty high quality ingreedz. Only problem for me was the corn overpowering the meat. That tortilla should only be the vessel in which tasty meats are delivered to my tastehole, and not dominate the entire taco experience. Overall, I gave it a15 out of 20.
The second place. Tio Luis. I drove with DS to go pick these up. The place itself was fairly busy for a Thursday night, and it was bright and clean and had a pretty awesome mural inside. All good signs. I was very excited! Well… Ehhh… The tacos itself were weird. The fish taco had good flavor, but a bunch of wilted lettuce on top. No. Get that shit out of there. The lettuce didn’t ruin it though. The chicken one was dry and the meat was flavorless. The steak one had a huge crunchy burnt piece that pretty much ruined the entire Tio Luis experience for me. The only redeeming thing about these tacos was the sauce. I give this place a 10.5 out of 20.
Chicken Taco from Tio Luis

 Chris Trash
I like Tacos
Los Alamos 16
I’ve eaten here a lot of types before and the quality is consistently good.
Tio Luis  12
This is considered to be one of the best in the city according to some magazines. Overrated.
Tio Luis 12.38/20
Los Alamos 15.25/20


  1. Someone Pretending to Be FacetacoFebruary 17, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    I am offended!


  3. You can always find redemption in the Sauce.

  4. I WANNA COME NEXT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Ditto Shells.

    Also: this list cannot even EXIST without mention of the taco-holiest of holies, Big Star.

  6. Yes, seriously, other people in Chicago like to eat tacos, fyi.

  7. Might I recommend the Taco Bell on N. Clybourn?