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Review

Sandy Noto

Tiztal Cafe

$$$$
Written by
Sandy Noto

In baseball, pitchers are valuable because, well, they pitch. They might not be as good at hitting, or catching, or selling hot dogs, or hosting Saturday Night Live. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s their pitching that makes them priceless. Tiztal Cafe is similar. It’s a casual breakfast spot that does one thing - chilaquiles - exceptionally well.

This is a small restaurant on the border of Uptown and Ravenswood, and there’s not much else close by except a few accessories stores and a Staples with an always-empty parking lot. Which means that unless you need costume jewelry, or are one of the 14 people who still have at-home printers, this cafe might not be in your breakfast rotation yet. Still, it’s usually full no matter when you stop by, and just about everyone inside is eating freshly fried chips and eggs.

Sandy Noto

That’s because, as mentioned, the chilaquiles here are fantastic. They’re made with an incredibly rich green salsa that has the perfect amount of acid and spice, and the chips themselves are fried to order, then topped with chihuahua cheese, onion, and cilantro. You can decide how you’d like your eggs cooked, and if you want skirt steak, chicken, or chorizo (the steak is well-seasoned and tender, the chicken is juicy, and the chorizo is flavorful without making everything too greasy). Plus, the mastermind behind this dish has perfected the process of stacking it so that some chips stay crispy, and some get just soggy enough from soaking in the delicious salsa.

If you come here and don’t order chilaquiles, you’re just depriving yourself of a guaranteed-to-be-amazing breakfast. But the omelettes are also reliably good, and there’s a rich and creamy oatmeal shake you’ll want to get on the side. You have other options, too, like pancakes and biscuits and gravy, but they’re disappointing, especially next to the menu’s stars.

No one cares how good Drew Brees is at log rolling, or how well Sandy Koufax sang opera. You simply appreciate the expertise they do have. And that’s the deal with Tiztal Cafe, too. So all you need to worry about is when you’re coming here to eat chilaquiles, and whether you’ll have to wait for a table.

Food Rundown

Sandy Noto
Oatmeal Shake

You’re going to want to start your breakfast out with this. It’s really sweet and creamy, and has a nice amount of oatmeal flavor to almost convince you that this isn’t just a milkshake for breakfast.

Sandy Noto
Steak Chilaquiles

All of your protein options here are good, but if you’re a steak and eggs person, go with this chilaquiles plate, which has a piece of skirt steak on top. We like it with fried eggs.

Sandy Noto
Chorizo Chilaquiles

Sometimes chorizo can be really greasy, but at Tiztal, they crisp it up nicely. Our favorite combo is the chorizo with scrambled egg.

Sandy Noto
Chicken Chilaquiles

Same as the steak, but with a juicy chicken breast on top of the whole thing.

Sandy Noto
Ranchero Omelette

This place makes some very fluffy three-egg omelettes. There are quite a few varieties available, and we like the Ranchero. It comes with green peppers, onions, American cheese, and red sauce on top, and it’s like something we could make at home, but never ever would.

Sandy Noto
Eggs Ranchero

This is tasty. Definitely make sure there’s some extra salsa on the table.

Pancakes

These are a little rubbery. You’re better off sticking with the oatmeal shake if you want something sweet here.

Biscuits And Gravy

The gravy here is very thick and bland, and we know there’s sausage in there somewhere, but we really can’t taste it. Skip these.

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