picante taqueria

According to his nephew, that's "Big Josh" and I'm "Little Josh"...

According to his nephew, that’s “Big Josh” and I’m “Little Josh”…

Monday, August 22, 1983. Geneseo, IL. Small town America.

I walk into my kindergarten classroom, new to the town, wide-eyed and without a friend in the world…or at least the classroom. But, I notice a boy in my class that is named Josh as well. “Whoa. I should get to know this kid.”

Fast forward 30 years and I’ve been friends with that kid every moment since. His name is still Josh, but we’ve found that we have a lot more in common over the past (phew!) four decades. One of those things, just happens to be our love for Mexican fare.

Josh now resides in Southern California, but when he visits, we dine Mexican. On a recent visit, we decided to go to Picante, a place I’ve wanted to try for a while.

Picante is very small and has no indoor seating. They do have a nice outdoor patio, though. With its location in Wicker Park, there’s enough going on keep you entertained. Josh and I provided our own entertainment, though, by talking about how bald we’ve gotten and how fat everyone from our high school has become.

I tried four tacos, and was very pleased with each. There wasn’t any one taco that stood out as a top-tier taco, but they were all delicious.

The steak taco has a very nice grill flavor and is not skimpy on meat or toppings. It’s juicy and has a little kick, just as it should. Very niiice (Borat accent).

The chorizo is a home-made sausage. It definitely isn’t one of those tube, grease thingys from the grocery store. It has good spice and enough paprika to balance the heat. It’s definitely not a taco to be overlooked.

The fish taco has a lot of meat in it as well. It isn’t over breaded, which allows you to actually taste the fish. A lot of places hide their terrible fish with a lot of breading and mayonnaise. Not here. Nice to see…er taste.

The last taco I tried was the white boy. I applaud Picante’s mockery of the white man’s taco. It’s a hard shell taco, with ground beef cooked just the way 99% of the white population grew up eating tacos at home. It’s topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and cilantro, just like the other tacos. The white boy, though, has one extra blanco-friendly ingredient: cheddar cheese. Nothing says white boy taco like cheddar cheese…

Needless to say, we enjoyed our visit.

One of these kids is doing his own thing...

One of these kids is doing his own thing…

Oh…who’s Chip? He’s a badass tattoo artist from Long Beach. Check him out here.

All the beautiful details:

  • Location:  1216 W. Division St., Chicago, IL (Wicker Park)
  • Tourists:  Josh, Josh, Chip
  • Tacos sampled:   steak, chorizo, fish, white boy (also have ground beef, chicken, al pastor and veggie; plus taco salads)
  • Toppings:  lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro
  • Salsa:  salsa verde
  • Extras:  none
  • Tortillas:  corn (hard shell on the white boy)
  • Atmosphere:  small, no indoor seating, outdoor seating/people watching, quick, do they sell much in winter?
  • Price:  $2.50-$3.00/taco
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