Big Star has a big advantage over most taco places. First, it is backed by an award winning chef who already has some of the most successful, and totally awesome, restaurants in the city (if not, the country). The talent working on their menu is top notch, including guest chefs and a mixologist. They have an extensive whiskey, specifically bourbon, selection, along with a lot of beers. AND, there are attractive people there. Weird.
With that said….the tacos are incredible and live up to whatever hype the restaurant has had. I ate four of the five, and tried a small sample of my friend Glen’s taco de papas (ladies, he’s the perfect mix of genius and adonis…). The pollo taco really jumped out to me. 99.9% of chicken tacos are dry. Big Star uses chicken thighs and they come out juicy as (insert dirty joke here). The pescado has huge chunks of tilapia, where most fish tacos are small, mostly battered chunks of deep fried compost. All of the tacos are made with their own toppings, perfectly matching sauces, meats and textures. While this isn’t a typical taco place, it’s pretty darned good!
One thing to be wary of, you may experience a wait. Try to go for lunch or on a day earlier in the week. Also, if somebody has a queso fundido tour going, they need to blog about that cuz it’s to die for (to be said in a Long Island housewife’s voice).
Harvey, tell ’em what they won…
- Location: 1531 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL (Wicker Park)
- Tourists: Josh, Justin, Glen, Jason
- Tacos sampled: al pastor, de panza, de pescado, pollo (they also have a taco de papas)
- Toppings: various (all 5 tacos have their own toppings), lime
- Salsa: salsa verde, salsa roja, hot sauce
- Extras: none
- Tortillas: corn, very small
- Atmosphere: big square bar in the middle, decent seating inside, large patio out front, hipsters
- Price: $3/taco
- OVERALL RATING: 9