Tacos and Whiskey at Big Star

One reason I love Chicago is the endless taquerías that are around every corner. Anytime I come back to Chicago from my traveling adventures, the first thing I want is some authentic Mexican food. So when I was living in NY and heard that Paul Kahan was partnering to open up a taquería in Bucktown, I immediately booked my ticket back home. And let me tell ya…it was well worth the wait!

We started out with their gordita special. A gordita is similar to a taco except that the tortilla is thicker and in this case at Big Star they used two tortillas to create their gordita. The tortilla was chewy and crispy at the same time. It was stuffed with salty chorizo, creamy refried beans, and chihuahua cheese. Chihuahua cheese is similar to Monterey Jack…it’s creamy, gooey, and just oozes out of the tortilla. It was garnished with salsa verde which was a perfect compliment with its bright notes of acidity and just enough heat.

Then came the tacos. The special was lengua tacos (tongue and my personal favorite). Most people are afraid to try tongue and I don’t blame them, it sounds creepy. But out of all offal, I think tongue is the best “transitional” meat into the world of parts and organs. The tongue was tender and tasty.

We ordered taco al pastor which is a pork taco garnished with pineapple. The sweet pineapple is the perfect balance to the smoky marinated pork.

The most anticipated taco I wanted to try was the pork belly taco. I love pork belly! Yes, I know, pork belly is not the best option for someone who is watching their weight. But I will say this, everything is moderation is acceptable. The tacos are quite small at Big Star. Some might find this annoying or unappealing, I, on the other hand, find this is to be perfect for portion control and for my foodie side, it’s perfect for trying all the tacos they have to offer.

So the pork belly taco was as delicious as I had anticipated. The best part of pork belly is the tender strips of meat surrounding by the luscious pork fat that just melts in your mouth. This taco had it all.

The other highlight of the evening was the fish tostada. Moist fish, crunchy tortilla, with a big hunk of creamy avocado. If you put a piece of avocado on anything it’s pretty much irresistible.

I can’t wait to go back to Big Star and try some more of their teeny-tiny tacos!

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