I consider myself lucky to live in a city with a plethora of taco shops. However, with a new taco eatery opening up every week, it can be hard to decipher the winners from the losers. On a recent trip Wicker Park, a neighborhood notorious for taco digs, I stopped into one of my favorites, Antique Taco. Before getting into the knitty gritty of guac and margaritas, I feel obligated to disclaim that I have dined at other unnamed taco joints in the area: Antique Taco takes the blue ribbon for creativity and incredible flavors (not to mention overwhelmingly delicious drink menu!) every time.
What started as a thirst for margaritas turned into a myriad of drinks arriving to our table, three to be exact! For sippers, we went with the aqua fresca, and seasonal margarita. We also could not resist the horchata milkshake. You can never be too hydrated!
The seasonal margarita was made with fresh guava, limes, and a generous splash of tequila. The rim, dipped in salt and chili, helped tone down the tartness and definitely brought the heat. If you are shy about spice, I would stick to sipping from the signature paper straws, but if you are a spice maven, like myself, sipping from the rim is pure marg perfection.
To cool things down, I alternated sips with the watermelon aqua fresca. I don’t know if it’s just the fact that it is summer, an anomaly to year round Chicagoans, but watermelon has been popping up in everything, especially in the drinkable form. No complaints here, because I am digging the sweet, refreshing, summery treat. Like I said, no such thing as too much hydration!
Because I tend to have my desert before lunch, regularly, we had to order the horchata milkshake. I would come in again just to order this drink! Spicy horchata milk blended with ice-cream, topped with cinnamon. Yes, please. I could not get enough of this cool frothy concoction. Usually I am a champ at saving myself for tacos, but the horchata milkshake was a total game changer.
Once very well hydrated, the main event arrived. TACOS! I’ve tried the Pork Carnitas and Grilled Rib Eye tacos on a previous visit, but today I was feeling inspired to step out of my beef and pork comfort zones and go for the Iron Creek Potato and Poblano and Crispy Fish taco. So happy I made this leap of faith! The innovative toppings and unexpected flavor profiles make Antique Taco more than your average taco joint.
If there’s one thing I love more than tacos, it’s fish tacos. Antique’s version of my favorite variety do the job, and then some. I was blown away by the surprising smokey flavors. Sounds like an odd combination, but it was perfect. The fish was lightly fried and crisp, not soggy. The black sesame seeds and pickled purple cabbage kept the smokiness from being overwhelming and the crunch of the cabbage added a delightful snap to the soft white fish.
The Potato and Poblano taco was literal perfection. They even went through the process of topping each taco with crunchy seasoned potato chips. literally. I was crazy for the chihuahua cheese grilled right into the tortillas, which are handmade! The chipotle mayo only enhanced the creaminess of the mounds of golden potatoes and the thinly sliced green onion on top gave a playful nod to it’s close relative, the baked potato.
Tacos come in twos, so they’re perfect for sharing!
What’s a taco date without a little chips and guac? Their version of the classic dynamic duo is full of citrus and hits you with the heat several bites in. Fresh avocado, lime, onion, cilantro and the crunchiest chips imaginable… need I say more?
Planning your own taco night on the town? Take a look at the menu and prepare for it to become an old favorite.