Who needs denture-friendly filet mignon, artery-clogging mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and out-of-season asparagus stalks as big as your left arm? In these uncertain economic times, if you can’t afford to pony up for a big fat prime hunk of cow, it ain’t no big thing. After all, the way I see it, Taqueria El Asadero in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood is the poor man’s Smith and Wollensky.
Recetas deliciosas to transport your tastebuds south of the border.
Amble in to this north side taqueria and you’ll find a sinewy man brewing fresh carnitas in a wobbly, ancient kettle filled with deep fryer fat. Next to him a wiry dude works the griddle, searing off marinated skirt steaks one at a time. They let the steaks rest for a few minutes, sprinkle them with salt, and slice them to order. Then they pile the caramelized meat, fat, and drippings into a fresh corn flour tortilla from local Pilsen spot, Tortilleria Del Rey. The crispy bits featuring a touch of pink interior basted in their own peppery juices. The cooks add a final sprinkle of onion and cilantro, and wrap the whole thing up in foil. Unwrap, sprinkle a touch of tomatillo jalapeno salsa and lime, and you’ve got yourself a portable steak dinner that’s as satisfying as and one fiftieth of the price of a night at your favorite beef emporium.
Taqueria El Asadero
2213 West Montrose Avenue, Chicago IL 60618 (map) 773-583-5563