tierra caliente

Just how I like my women: small, dirty and a little sketchy.

Just how I like my women: small, dirty and a little sketchy.

Well, I’m 3-for-3 on grocery store taquerias. With a sample that large, this scientist must conclude that all grocery store taquerias have great tacos. I wonder where they get their ingredients, though?

Anywhoo. I ordered four tacos. Literally (I hate is when people say literally and don’t mean it…i.e., “I could literally eat a horse”….”No, you couldn’t, dummie), they served me two of my tacos within 10 seconds of ordering them. The other two came just a couple minutes later. Needless to say, but I guess I will anyway, they’re quick!

Let’s start with the star of the show, the al pastor. It is cooked on a spit (I think David agreed to come because it’s reminds him of Schwarma), the way it should be. You can taste little bits of smoky, caramelized meat, yet it is still very juicy, spicy and sweet: a perfect combo.

BTW, the tacos here are overflowing with meat. I think more fell out of my first taco than stayed in it.

The asada and chorizo tacos are both good, but don’t compare to the al pastor. I like the texture of the asada, but it could use a little more grill flavor, like its aforementioned counterpart. The chorizo is also good, but I would like it to be a little more spicy. At least it doesn’t ooze grease like a lot of the chorizo fakers out there.

That leads us to the final taco I tried, the namesake of the joint, the Tierra Caliente. The Tierra Caliente is an asada taco with grilled onions and some very hot spices. But, when I bit into it, it tasted EXACTLY like the al pastor. I couldn’t tell the difference and went up to ask at the counter. The guy behind the counter gave me a weird look like he didn’t know the answer, and just said, “Yes, it’s the Caliente”.

It wasn’t. I know it. These taco taste buds don’t ever fail me. So, I guess I’ll have to go back and try the Caliente, for real this time.

Maybe they should slow down just a bit…

Anyway, except for that small misstep, this place tickled my fancy (where is your fancy, anyway?).

Uh, where you gonna put all that meat?

Uh, where you gonna put all that meat?

I can’t wait to try Dominick’s tacos next…


  • Location:  1402 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL (Wicker Park)
  • Tourists:  Josh, David, Jenny
  • Tacos sampled:  asada, chorizo, al pastor and tierra caliente (also have barbacoa, carnitas, chiles rellenos, lengua, chicharron and campechano)
  • Toppings:  onions and cilantro; lime
  • Salsa:  salsa verde and salsa roja
  • Extras:  grilled jalapenos
  • Tortillas:  corn, doubled up
  • Atmosphere:  grocery store, super fast, un poco unorganized, order at counter, muy rapido
  • Price:  $2.00-$2.49/taco
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