Tag Archives: taco

Late Nite Funky Tacos: Velvet Taco, Chicago

26 Sep

Maybe it’s 2 AM and after several rounds of cocktails, your stomach is growling. Or perhaps date night at a fancy but overpriced River North restaurant didn’t fill you up. Not to worry, the Texas transplant, Velvet Taco, saves the night. They’re open til at least midnight each night, and until 4 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Ironically, the velvet cake is probably the least appetizing thing there (and slightly out of place save for the restaurant’s name). Stick with the tacos, which you order individually.

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Everything is yummy, seriously. You can’t go wrong! Here’s the delish fish taco:

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This is casual and funky fast food, people. Don’t expect authentic Mexican here, but do expect awesome combinations of ingredients inspired by different cuisines, like Indian tikka chicken, Israeli couscous, Southern shrimp and grits, and Cuban pork. Have I made you hungry yet?

Velvet tacos

Info: Velvet Taco, 1110 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60610, USA

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Yummy Mexican: Miguelito’s, Coronado

22 Mar

On Coronado Island near San Diego, Miguelito’s is a smaller cafe around the corner from its big brother, Miguel’s Cocina. They have similar menus, but little Miguelito’s is cozier, like a homey Mexican cafe.

Arriving around 1 PM on a Saturday afternoon, we ran into coworkers dining on Miguelito’s sidewalk patio. They loved the food, so we decided to give it a try. We sat inside, where most tables were filled. To drink, I had the red sangria made with blackberry brandy. My boyfriend had a classic margarita, which came in a cute little shaker, enough for a bit more than one glass.

Miguel's Cocina: chips. salsa, and japapeno white sauceChips, salsa, and addictive cheesy jalapeno white sauce

albondigasBowl of albondigas – Mexican meatballs in a tomato-vegetable soup. Two thumbs up!

guacamole appetizerGuacamole appetizer served with puffed tortilla chips sprinkled with powdered sugar. Though at first these might seem more suited to dessert, these chips turned out to complement not only the guacamole, but also our entrees.

IMAG2074Browsing the long menu, it was tough to decide what to order as our entrees.  I went with Combo #6: A fish taco (battered and fried white fish) and a carne asada taco topped with a dollop of guacamole, with the typical rice and beans on the side. As you can see, portions are large.

grilled swordfish tacosGrilled swordfish tacos – the fish was perfectly cooked. Simple and delicious.

On my way out, I snapped this photo of fresh corn tortillas being made in the open kitchen area near the restaurant entrance.

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Info: 1142 Adella Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118 USA

Miguelito's on Urbanspoon

Upscale food, casual atmosphere: Highland Kitchen, Somerville

18 Aug

My boyfriend and I dined at Highland Kitchen on a Sunday night – it was hopping. Tables were packed, and there were plenty of patrons mingling around the bar. I ordered the drink special of the night – the Pimm’s Cup and braced myself for a long wait. We snagged a table after waiting just 10 minutes because it was just the two of us. 

Sitting just inches from the table next to us, it was cozy.  Expect to find tables for two really close to the next table. The ambience at the Highland Kitchen is, well, loud. The music wasn’t all that loud, but perhaps the low ceilings and the fact that the restaurant is one big room filled to the brim with chatty diners made it seem that way. It was about as easy to listen in on the awkward first date at the neighboring table as it was to hear my boyfriend. At least the close proximity allowed me to peer at what others were eating – the Caesar salad with grilled chicken was quite a large portion. Grilled pork short ribs was an impressive tower of meat over grits, served with green beans.

 

pork belly tacos

We started with the pork belly tacos – succulent fatty pork meat topped with queso and cilantro, on soft corn tortillas. Absolutely yummy.

The Shrimp, Chorizo, and Fried Yucca appetizer came with four perfectly cooked shrimp and plenty of chorizo in a buttery wine “mojo sauce”. The green olives paired well with the chorizo, and fried yucca rounded out this garlicky dish.

 

wild mushroom ragout

For our entrees, I had the wild mushroom ragout with triangles of polenta that were creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside (above). This is possibly the best polenta I’ve had in Boston. The ragout itself was flavourful, speckled with spring peas, crunchy asparagus and lima beans to balance the creamy polenta and delicate mushrooms.

curried goat stew

He had the spicy curried goat stew – tender pulled goat meat, yucca, squash, and very sweet fried plantains served with jasmine rice.

Our food came out quickly, though we never felt rushed. Service was friendly and attentive, and our water glasses never more than half empty.

The Final Word: The Highland Kitchen serves the kind of food you’d find at much fancier and more upscale places, at much higher prices. It’s not the kind of ambiance that’s good for a romantic date, or a first date (unless you expect to find your date so boring you want to drown them out with the noise); it’s the place to enjoy a few drinks with friends and revel in amazing food.

Info: Highland Kitchen, 150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143
Highland Kitchen on Urbanspoon

World’s Top 50: Pujol, Mexico

25 Nov

Restaurante Pujol in Mexico City placed 36th on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2012. My lucky boyfriend got to eat there! (yes, I’m a bit jealous). Here are a few samplings from the beautifully plated tasting menu.

Barbacoa taco with avocado puree

Yucatan bald pig with bean salsa

Plum sorbet with anise liquor, set on fire!

Banana, macadamia zest, camomile flower, cacao, and cream.

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