In the kitchen of El Sombrero Restaurant, Chef Ignacio "Nacho" Suchil prepares Mexican favorites such as big burritos, corn-tortilla enchiladas, and fish tacos made with icelandic cod and lime. While live music plays in the dining room, he splashes housemade creole sauce onto grilled shrimp and tosses skirt steaks onto blazing grills. El Sombrero Restaurant augments its eats with a game room, outdoor seating, and a lunch buffet on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Mago, which is Spanish for magician, owner chef Juan Luis Gonzalez to crafts authentic Latin and Mexican dishes that “dazzle” diners, according to the Daily Herald. The menu surveys both traditional and modern dishes, including three kinds of ceviche, empanadas stuffed with seasoned meats, and complex moles. Beyond the main dishes, the chef experiments with sucrose in desserts such as warm mexican spiced bread pudding, as well as a cantina menu highlighted by margaritas, mezcals, and over 250 premium 100% Agave tequilas.
Taco Village's menu reads like a love letter written to fresh, authentic Mexican fare decorated in signature sauces and spices. The taco plate partners refried beans with rice ($7.95) and loaded nachos banish hunger while wearing a crown of refried beans, jalapeño peppers, melted cheese, guacamole, and sour cream ($6.50). Taco Village chefs are well-versed in classic dishes, such as cheese quesadillas ($4.75), pork tamales ($1.95), and tortas ($5.95), all of which can be painted with six freshly prepared salsas for edible art. Stomachs suffering from black holism can be finally filled with the approximately 20-inch, 5-pound El Jefe burrito. If El Jefe vanishes in less than 10 minutes, wallets get off scot-free. Breakfast options are available all day, and homemade horchata slakes thirst ($1.59).
Armed with family recipes and more than 17 years of expertise in the Chicago restaurant scene, chef Marylou Marquez fills Caliente Mexican Restaurant's bustling kitchens with dishes inspired by Guadalajara, Jalisco. Veracruzana tomato sauce lends filets of fish an earthy tone, and spicy chile de arbol and ranchera sauces complement enchiladas and tender grilled steaks. Fruit-filled cinnamon-sugar tacos, and flan with Mexican eggnog top off gustatory forays as diners admire the dining room's photo mural of rustic kitchen scenes and tropical fruit.
Before a wall hung with sparkling silver tinsel, karaoke singers, salsa dancers, and Mexican guitarists take the stage throughout the week, serenading diners and besotted tostadas alike. Caliente also caters special events and wraps up entrees for handy to-go ordering.
The neon lights and bright colors at Grande Jake's Fresh Mexican Grill's Chicago-area hubs hint at the menu's dedication to spicy eats. Chefs scoop grilled steak, chorizo, and chicken into burritos, then douse them in melted chihuahua cheese and salsa ranchera. Homemade tamales burst with pork or chicken, and the pollo asada al carbon tops a 12-ounce char-grilled chicken breast with mole or green sauce. Refried beans, spanish rice, and chips serve as supporting actors to entrees.