A few weeks ago the weather was just perfect and if there’s anything a true Chicagoan understands, it’s the mad dash to take advantage of any decent weather. So Hubby and a few friends of ours hopped over to one of my favorite taco joints in the entire city that also happens to offer one of the best outdoor patios, Big Star. Created by the owners of Dove’s, it’s the heart of the Wicker Park restaurant mania (and the perfect complement to drinks across the street at Violet Hour). The classic margaritas are an absolute must. Order a pitcher, soak up the sun on the patio and just melt into a state of complete, mexican-infused relaxation.Hubby and our friends ordered the queso fundido appetizer containing melted Chihuahua cheese, rajas poblano and housemade chorizo, served with fresh tortillas. This was attacked and devoured in minutes, and even though this isn’t the best photo of it, I feel lucky to have gotten a shot of it at all with three hungry men pouncing on it the moment our waiter set it on the table. But the tacos are what you come to Big Star for. My personal favorite (and generally, everyone’s favorite) is the taco de pescado: beer battered tilapia fillets, chipotle mayo, cabbage, red onion, lime, cilantro. Heaven! It’s tied in first place with Antique Taco for my favorite fish taco in Chicago (they are different enough to both share the gold in my opinion). Hubby’s other favorite is the Taco Al Pastor: marinated, spit roasted pork shoulder topped with grilled pineapple, grilled onion and cilantro. The boys are also big fans of the Taco de Panza: crispy braised pork belly, tomato guajillo sauce, queso fresco, onion and cilantro.I also always like to try something new and tend to order anything I haven’t yet tried on the menu. Since Big Star has a small-yet-nicely-curated menu, they don’t change it often but it just so happened that recently they added a few new items. I sampled the Tostada de Calabacitas: roasted zucchini and corn, epazote, red cabbage, poblano pepper, pepita mole verde, cotija, mint, cilantro and fell in love. A brightly-flavored, vegetarian tostada that is sure to be a new favorite!
If you haven’t been, be sure to stop by Big Star for their tacos! They even have a little walk-up window for take-away orders when you’re in a rush or don’t want to wait for a table.