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CHI

Review

Kristen Kaiser

Taqueria Chingón

Written by
Kristen Kaiser

Taqueria Chingón is a small, mainly carry-out operation (there’s also a cute side patio if you want to eat under some string lights) on the border of Bucktown and Logan Square. The menu has a rotating selection of about 12 tacos that we fantasize about the way we check Zillow for listings, along with sides like rice and beans, and a few specials. They’re made with chewy handmade tortillas, and stuffed with flavorful fillings that give each taco the complexity of an entire meal.

Kristen Kaiser

Things you’ll always see on the menu include the smoky morcilla (made from blood, bread, onion, and apples), a medium-rare carne asada with cebollitas and a chipotle chimichurri, and tender al pastor topped with the perfect amount of pineapple to balance out the spicy pork. And some (but not all) of the tacos sell out faster than a three-bedroom with a new roof and a working fireplace in a good school district.

Especially the more creative options like duck carnitas with date puree, orange slices, and chicharrones. Or a vegetarian al pastor made with deeply flavorful mushrooms and celery root that’s shaved from a trompo right next to its porky sibling. There’s also the elusive honey-glazed squash with goat cheese crema that’s frequently sold-out. If it’s gone when you come here, don’t panic. There will be some sort of delicious tacos left on the menu. And once you finally get to enjoy that sweet and savory squash taco, you too will start checking Chingón’s online menu with the zeal of a suburban empty-nester searching for a condo downtown.

Food Rundown

Kirsten Kaiser
Guacamole

If you like a spicy guacamole that’s full of garlic, you’ll love this. It’s chunky, topped with pepitas, and comes with freshly-fried chips.

Kirsten Kaiser
Cheese Quesadilla

The cheese quesadilla is made with blue masa, and filled with cotija and melty Oaxaca cheese that’s caramelized on the edges. This is the one thing we only order if we’re eating there, because the cheese is best when it’s at its ooziest.

Kirsten Kaiser
Morcilla

Taqueria Chingon’s morcilla is special . The blood sausage is stuffed with bread, apples, onions, and drizzled with salsa macha. That combo creates a bite that’s spicy, nutty, smoky, and absolutely wonderful.

Kirsten Kaiser
Al Pastor

The Al Pastor is one of the more straightforward tacos here. Though, there’s nothing simple about the flavors of the tender shaved pork, pineapple, and cilantro.

Vegetarian Al Pastor

Right next to the al pastor trompo, you’ll see its vegetarian sibling. It’s made with marinated portobello, celery root, and is wonderfully spicy and delicious. And those mushrooms are as rich and satisfying as the pork.

Kirsten Kaiser
Costilla Taco

Another fantastically well-balanced taco is the costilla. The rich braised short rib is topped with slaw, dijon vinaigrette, pickled fresno, and salsa borracha. Throw ’er in the cart with the rest - you won’t regret it.

Duck Carnitas

This taco has a lot going on, and we’re fans of all the drama. The duck carnitas are topped with a date puree and slices of sweet Cara Cara orange,habanero-sunchoke salsa, herbs, and radish.

Cochinita Torta

You will find the occasional non-taco on the menu. And if one of the specials happens to be the cochinita torta, cancel your plans because eating this sandwich is your new number one priority. The bolillo roll is filled with shredded Yucatan-style pork, habanero aioli, pickled red onions, and served with cochi au jus for dipping.

Churros

After the spicy tacos, you’re going to want something sweet. And that something should be the churros. The choux is light and airy, and served with crème anglaise we like so much we’d consider putting it on our tacos, if that weren’t a terrible idea. Probably. We’ll report back.

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