Located beneath the Addison red line, El Burrito Mexicano owns ideal real estate in Chicago. The taqueria sits just a block East of Wrigley Field at the crux of post-game mayhem. So, it’s no surprise that since 1998 drunken fans have turned to El Burrito for a hearty meal and much-needed solution to the Budweiser floods churning in their stomachs.
Yet, El Burrito Mexicano is so much more than a drunken hangout. Sure, its hard plastic booths, fluorescent lights, and simple decorating make for a pretty underwhelming interior. But if grade school and life experience have taught me anything, I know not to judge a book by its cover and to always wear underwear with pantyhose.
If you’ve eaten at El Burrito Mexicano sober, you know exactly what I mean. This food has got it going on. And while it’s unfortunate that a 2003 Fountains of Wayne song is the best way I can think to describe the overstuffed burritos, tacos, and that oh-so-delicious (but not at all thirst-quenching) horchata, my lack of refinement shouldn’t dissuade you. In fact, it’s not really a lack of refinement. El Burrito Mexicano, plain and simple, has got it going on.
While their tightly rolled and overstuffed burritos are good, I personally go crazy for the tacos. But, diner beware. Each taco comes with not one, but two (delicious) corn tortillas. If you’re not a badge-wearing member of Compulsive Over-Eaters Anonymous like I am, this shouldn’t be a problem.
But a word of advice for those of us who will undoubtedly discover the bottom of the complimentary basket of chips, only to then plow through three or four of these double-wrapped tacos: Save yourself from the embarrassment of falling forward upon standing and take off one tortilla. It hardly compromises the taco’s structural integrity and doesn’t hinder flavor in the slightest.
Whether ordering a taco, burrito, or a torta, you have a choice of seven or so types of protein, such as carne asada, chorizo, and ground beef. Marinated, shredded, and crowned with the perfect proportion of lettuce, tomato, and cheese, the chicken is easily on my most-ordered list.
Another personal favorite is the tacos al pastor. This rotisserie-roasted meat is served (on request) the old-fashioned way with a liberal dusting of raw onions, cilantro, and a slice of lime. Take just one bite and the onions will undoubtedly loiter in your mouth for a day or two, but the instant gratification of those four flavors melded into one is worth the sacrificed kisses.
Located at 936 W. Addison St., El Burrito Mexicano is open from 10 a.m.- 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. – 4:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is cash-only, with an ATM inside.