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Reviewed May 4, 2012
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What You'll Get
Authentic, honest Mexican fare is hard to come by, as evidenced by many foodies' practice of lugging lie detectors into their local eateries. Leave your integrity indicator at home with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of highly credible fare and drinks at DeColores Mexican Restaurant in Pilsen.
Recently awarded the coveted Michelin's Bib Gourmand rating, as well as being named one of Chicago magazine's Best New Restaurants for 2010, DeColores prides itself on serving up a vibrant variety of Mexican vittles. Family owned and operated, the menu features recipes originally culled from the mole-stained pages of the Reyes-family recipe book, a digest of delectability that stretches across the generations like spandex on a satisfied stomach. The mole poblano, a savory chocolate-based sauce made with 20 different ingredients ($14.50), is not only Tia Alicia's closely guarded recipe but also the proud recipient of the People's Choice award for 2010 at Pilsen's annual Mole de Mayo contest, where its heart-warming acceptance speech was cut short by lip-licking Pilsenites. Vegetarian dishes abound too, such as the flautas de queso fresco, two crispy corn tortillas loaded with queso fresco and served on a salad of squash, sugar beets, carrots, and Mexican chayote ($10.50). Meanwhile, those who like to rinse down their meals with a juicy back-story will savor the coctel de camaron: a zesty mix of minced tomatoes, tender avocado, cilantro, fresh cucumber, and onion ($13.95), this recipe originates from the coastal village of Colima, where the family's mother-in-law charmed the recipe from a local fishmonger as a child.
Like a shiny peso buried in a mound of flan, DeColores is nestled in Pilsen's rich, vibrant art district, and is the perfect postgallery gallivanting destination. Its warm interior features paintings by neighborhood artists, and local musicians' tunes can be heard through the speakers, making this a prime place to soak up local culture with friends while debating which of you most resembles La Catrina. This Groupon excludes brunch.
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The MICHELIN Guide named DeColores a 2011 Bib Gourmand Restaurant. Chicago magazine, Chicago Weekly, Chicago Cuisine Critique, Chicago Food Whores, and Metromix Chicago featured DeColores. Yelpers give it an average of four stars.
- The flan of course was also delicious and made for the perfect ending to a great meal. I don't think I can say enough good things about DeCOLORES. Believe me when I say if you live in the Chicago area, you want to go there asap! – Chicago Cuisine Critique
- From the location in a vibrant, art-focused neighborhood to the dining room stocked with local artwork, this two-story, 99-seat restaurant-gallery hybrid (the art's all for sale) is a bright, bustling haven on a cold December night. – Emily Hiser Lobdell, Metromix Chicago
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Jun 10, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 2 per person. Limit 1 per table. Reservation recommended. Not valid for brunch. Tax and gratuity not included. Not valid with other offers. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About DeColores Mexican Restaurant
DeColores Mexican Restaurant is the worst-kept culinary secret in Pilsen. Shortly after the eatery opened, reviewers began to shout the praises of its family-style Mexican dishes; Chicago magazine even placed DeColores on its 2010 list of the Best New Restaurants, lauding the guacamole as “reason enough for a trip to Pilsen.” The restaurant continued its meteoric rise by earning Bib Gourmand awards in the Michelin Guide Chicago in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The Reyes family members behind DeColores Mexican Restaurant choose to keep the menu humble, basing many of the dishes on closely guarded family recipes that span generations. Made from a blend of 20 ingredients plied from Aunt Alicia, the menu’s rich, chocolate-based mole won the People’s Choice award at Pilsen’s 2012 Mole de Mayo festival and cook-off. The homestyle flavors of the tampiqueña—grilled skirt steak served with a queso chihuahua enchilada—managed to catch Chicago magazine’s attention yet again, earning a place on the publication’s 2010 list of its 30 Favorite Mexican Dishes in Chicago.
Not every dish comes from the Reyes recipe book, though. The restaurant regularly invites neighborhood residents to submit their own interpretations of traditional Mexican staples, honoring any standouts with spots on the menu. This vibrant community spirit radiates from DeColores’ very walls, which routinely change to accommodate new pieces of Mexican-themed works by area painters. Further supporting the artists of Pilsen, the sound system plays recordings of local musicians between dramatic readings of the restaurant’s reservation policy.