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Mi Tocaya Antojería - Diana Dávila - Logan Square

Mi Tocaya Antojería - Diana Dávila - Logan Square
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  • Mi Tocaya Antojería - Diana Dávila - Logan Square

    Post #1 - April 29th, 2017, 3:44 pm
    Post #1 - April 29th, 2017, 3:44 pm Post #1 - April 29th, 2017, 3:44 pm
    Chef's recent history to this point is fairly well documented. The new place opened a few weeks back and is now, unofficially, the closest eating/drinking establishment to my abode. So, obviously, I'm very interested in having it be great and seeing it do well.

    We hit it for the first time at the very peak hour of 8:45 on a Friday evening and in spite of the enthusiastic swarm that had descended on the ultra-cozy space (formerly Catalpa Kitchen), the place was running like clockwork. We were seated just ahead of schedule and based on how food and drinks arrived at our table, one would have no idea how slammed they appeared to be. We did what we could to cut a swath through the menu.

    For the most part, we enjoyed everything we ordered. Our two favorites were the Peanut Butter y Lengua and the Fideos Secos & Chintextle. The former was an unctuous, perfectly balanced umami bomb that practically had us licking the plate after we'd polished it off. The latter was a rich, herbaceous and complexly flavored bowl of noodles in a broth so intoxicating, it was impossible to resist. After we finished off the noodles, I picked up the bowl and drank down the cumin-scented broth like it was a beverage . . . an effing delicious beverage!

    Other items we were happy with -- and would order again -- included the bright and super-fresh tasting Ceviche de Camaron, a deeply flavored, roasted Salsa (and Chips) and a quartet of tasty tacos: Milpa (charred butternut squash), Chucho's Pollo, Al Pastor & Campechano. No, these are not hole-in-the-wall tacos but they were thoughtfully composed, skillfully prepared, very delicious, and I thought, legitimately ascended to their $4/each price.

    The rich, earthy flavors of the Enchiladas Potosinas (with frijoles negros) were also compelling but, perhaps, the dish sat a bit too long before it arrived at our table and the texture suffered a bit for it. It was all a bit gummy, which I don't think was intended. We also enjoyed the Fish con Mole Verde.

    As for dessert, 2 are currently offered. We bypassed the Tres Leches from Kristofer's (have had it before and enjoy it) and opted for the house-made Flan De Queso, which was predictably and satisfyingly rich, and restrained in its sweetness.

    We didn't try too much from the bar. I had a perfectly respectable Margarita with blanco tequila and my wife had a couple of Chicanas, which is one of 5 draft cocktails offered. It's made with hibiscus, mezcal, gin, maraschino, Chartreuse and citrus.

    As I mentioned above, the space is small but it seemed to endure a crowd pretty darned well. Service, provided by our server Andres, was friendly, enthusiastic, helpful and knowledgeable. Throughout the evening Chef worked the room, serving dishes at various tables and providing details and explanations as she saw fit. She appeared to be working her ass off, while beaming with pride. The 2 have a lot to do with each other. This food is outstanding and clearly reflects the significant amount of detailed hard work required to create it. We're damned luck to have this place so close to home.

    =R=

    Mi Tocaya Antojería
    2800 W Logan Blvd
    Chicago, IL 60647
    (872) 315-3947
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #2 - April 30th, 2017, 1:53 pm
    Post #2 - April 30th, 2017, 1:53 pm Post #2 - April 30th, 2017, 1:53 pm
    With recommendations from the Suburbans in hand, I thoroughly enjoyed my first meal at Mi Tocaya. Like Ronnie, my party enjoyed the Peanut Butter y Lengua and the Fideos Secos & Chintextle. If I had a complaint about the former, it's that the portion was small split four ways, so that we each only got a bite or two. It's so good, that we wished there was A LOT more. The Fideos was also special, and the server provided us with spoons so we were easily able to share the dish.

    I'll also recommend the chips and salsa. I don't love being charged for this, but at $2, it's tough to complain. And, the squash tacos were a winner and far better to our tastes than the chicken tacos.

    Another favorite was the mussels pozoleros. Our spoons came in handy for this dish, too, as the liquid was just that good. And after seeing our disappointment and uncertainty about what to add once we learned that the weekend specials weren't available, our server suggested the longaniza, rajas, and queso fundido, served with tortillas. This was loved by all at my table. The longaniza was perhaps a tad dry, but it was more than made up for by the wonderful seasoning and the queso filled with rajas.

    My dinner companions liked the shrimp ceviche better than I did. While a pretty plate, it was probably the least successful dish of the evening for me. The avocado smear was pretty bland and the shrimp were cut in such small bits that they were largely lost. I really like shrimp ceviche, and this was a miss for me.

    Service was great. We were seated just a few minutes past our reservation time. Our server was always available. Our water glasses were repeatedly filled even though there was a bottle on our table. And empty plates were quickly removed. I also loved that only one dish was served at a time, so we were able to sample everything while it was still hot.

    For parents of little ones: There were several parties with small children there when we arrived at 6pm. By the time we left at 8pm, my little guy was the only small one in the place. Definitely welcoming of children, the staff was nice to my son from start to finish.

    Our server told us that they'll be opening for lunch and brunch soon, and can't wait to open the outside patio. To me, the best news is that the brunch menu will have very little overlap with dinner -- and I can't wait to see what else this restaurant can do.

    Ronna
  • Post #3 - April 30th, 2017, 2:51 pm
    Post #3 - April 30th, 2017, 2:51 pm Post #3 - April 30th, 2017, 2:51 pm
    REB wrote:And after seeing our disappointment and uncertainty about what to add once we learned that the weekend specials weren't available, our server suggested the longaniza, rajas, and queso fundido, served with tortillas.


    Any word on why the weekend specials weren't available? Like Ronnie, we live very close to this place and I was already planning on wandering down for that lamb barbacoa next Saturday.

    I had mixed feelings about Quiote, which is about 2 blocks away, and was wondering whether anyone has tried both and a comparison is worthwhile.
  • Post #4 - April 30th, 2017, 8:29 pm
    Post #4 - April 30th, 2017, 8:29 pm Post #4 - April 30th, 2017, 8:29 pm
    whocanitbenow wrote:
    REB wrote:And after seeing our disappointment and uncertainty about what to add once we learned that the weekend specials weren't available, our server suggested the longaniza, rajas, and queso fundido, served with tortillas.


    Any word on why the weekend specials weren't available? Like Ronnie, we live very close to this place and I was already planning on wandering down for that lamb barbacoa next Saturday.

    I had mixed feelings about Quiote, which is about 2 blocks away, and was wondering whether anyone has tried both and a comparison is worthwhile.

    When I asked on Friday night, our served joked that the weekend specials weren't even available for Phil Vettel and I figured that even though my weekend had started, maybe theirs hadn't. But hearing that they weren't available on Saturday evening either makes me feel that maybe they printed the menus too soon or something like that.

    I love the basement mezcal bar at Quiote but my couple of meals there did not knock my socks off. Foodwise, right now I'd give the nod to Mi Tocaya but it's still so early in the lives of both places.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #5 - May 1st, 2017, 6:21 am
    Post #5 - May 1st, 2017, 6:21 am Post #5 - May 1st, 2017, 6:21 am
    I'd also be speculating regarding the weekend specials. The server only said that they aren't yet available.

    Something to look forward to, I suppose.
  • Post #6 - May 1st, 2017, 9:06 pm
    Post #6 - May 1st, 2017, 9:06 pm Post #6 - May 1st, 2017, 9:06 pm
    whocanitbenow wrote:I had mixed feelings about Quiote, which is about 2 blocks away, and was wondering whether anyone has tried both and a comparison is worthwhile.

    My wife and I have dined at both Quiote and Mi Tocaya... I'd say that overall, I thought Quiote was the better meal/food. The food at each were unique and well prepared for the most part, service at both was excellent, and I am looking forward to exploring more of the menu at each. But having eaten at both, and offered an opportunity to eat at one or the other next, I'd pick Quiote.

    While the ingredients at each are Mexican and the influences are clearly from that cuisine, Mi Tocaya's were more overtly Mexican when presented and in the flavors. I thought Quiote was more consistent, while Mi Tocaya had a few things I didn't love (the fish with mole was too bitter IMO, the ceviche needed more acid, was too heavily dressed). Was disappointed to see the larger format dishes not yet available, as those both sounded like something I'd love.
  • Post #7 - May 2nd, 2017, 10:23 am
    Post #7 - May 2nd, 2017, 10:23 am Post #7 - May 2nd, 2017, 10:23 am
    Interesting thread. I seem to be in the minority in having had a poor experience at Mi Tocaya; found the food hit & miss with some execution issues (i.e. tacos were extremely salty and tortilla was served already ripped and quickly fell apart; broth for the mussel dish had a foul aftertaste), the cocktails unbalanced (cloyingly sweet) and service annoyingly poor (all five items ordered were served nearly simultaneously - resulting in feeling very rushed and an awkward experience; additionally, every time I'd take a couple bites from one dish and move on to sample another dish someone would try to bus the still other dish away - despite the plate being mostly full - same thing with trying to remove cocktails not yet consumed; felt like I needed to keep my elbows out to prevent people from trying to take away items, kind of like a basketball player boxing out for a rebound).

    Definitely will give the venue another chance in a few weeks though; found the staff nice (just green), the menu creative, price-point very reasonable, beautiful space and I live about a ten minute walk so would love to enjoy this venue.

    Quiote on the other hand I have already enjoyed several fantastic meals at (variety of lunches, snacks and dinners). Super friendly (and far more polished) FOH, also a creative menu - but in my experience much more consistent (better executed, better quality ingredients - the tortillas are night & day from Mi Tocaya's, and almost always delicious).
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #8 - May 2nd, 2017, 11:12 am
    Post #8 - May 2nd, 2017, 11:12 am Post #8 - May 2nd, 2017, 11:12 am
    Clearly, there is interest in Quiote, and several folks here have been there. I would encourage those folks to create a new topic about Quiote, as none yet exists and having a place for those opinions would be helpful to anyone interested. TIA!
  • Post #9 - May 14th, 2017, 3:48 pm
    Post #9 - May 14th, 2017, 3:48 pm Post #9 - May 14th, 2017, 3:48 pm
    Walking up to Mi Tocaya, we spotted Ronnie at . . . QUIOTE. What kind of omen would this be?

    Some news: Chef Davila said the weekend specials menu is currently being re-envisioned as a Sunday night only, perhaps family meal affair with the lamb and the caldo, some form of chicken and churros and a few a la carte items off the current dinner menu. She wasn't clear on whether the format was crystalized yet, but might begin in the next 2 or so weeks.

    Our meal was satisfying overall, but it also left us curious to return to Quiote. The fideos secos was a warming bowl of delicate aztec spicing and slippery vermicelli. The substance of the 4 tacos was done well, though I think someone earlier mentioned that a little lift from some raw onion, or more acid, might have been nice. The tortillas were nothing special. The shrimp ceviche had some nice raw vegetable crunch and the house made totopos made good vehicles for getting the full panoply of flavors in your mouth at once. Again, this might have needed a bit more acid upfront for me, or maybe a longer marinade for the shrimp itself. The salsa too had a nice rounded tomato-y depth, but I wanted a little more zing. The bag chips it came with didn't work as well as fresh totopos would have, but I guess 2 bucks only gets you so far. Lamb meatballs were nicely spiced and hearty and stood up to the strong flavors of the sauce, but we were all eyeing the mussels at the table next to us and thinking that might have been the more interesting choice. Another time.

    The draft cocktails were too sweet and would do nothing to dissuade me from calling at Quiote's mezcal bar en route to a dinner at Mi Tocaya. Now if an innovative mexican spot could just replace the General, we'd have the makings of a California ave turf war.
  • Post #10 - May 14th, 2017, 4:08 pm
    Post #10 - May 14th, 2017, 4:08 pm Post #10 - May 14th, 2017, 4:08 pm
    whocanitbenow wrote:Walking up to Mi Tocaya, we spotted Ronnie at . . . QUIOTE. What kind of omen would this be?

    LOL - great running into you. I'll say that as we were leaving, the food at Quiote smelled great. Sitting in the basement bar, you don't really notice it until you come upstairs and hit the street. But on this trip, we'd only been there to (selflessly help them) deplete their over-abundant supply of agave-based spirits. It's a tough job but someone has to do it. :wink:

    We're practically drowning in a wealth of Mexican riches in the neighborhood. And if The General . . . d'oh - never mind. :lol:

    I really need to get back to both Mi Tocaya and Quiote for meals again soon. That said, my current problem is that I simply cannot stay away from the al pastor and carne asada from the taqueria in Carniceria Guanjuato #3 (Calfornia & Belmont). But that's a story for another thread.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #11 - May 14th, 2017, 5:40 pm
    Post #11 - May 14th, 2017, 5:40 pm Post #11 - May 14th, 2017, 5:40 pm
    whocanitbenow wrote:Now if an innovative mexican spot could just replace the General, we'd have the makings of a California ave turf war.


    Oy. The General.

    I miss Provenance.
  • Post #12 - December 7th, 2017, 10:25 am
    Post #12 - December 7th, 2017, 10:25 am Post #12 - December 7th, 2017, 10:25 am
    Bummingly, a recent dinner here did not stack up favorably with my previous experiences. It just felt like the dishes we ordered, most of which were ambitious and creative in concept, didn't come together coherently. Everything seemed flawed, off-balance or out of whack in one way or another. I'm going to chalk it up to it being a bad night and not get into the details, since my hope is that those details won't be relevant in the long run.

    It's close to home and I'll certainly be back but I have to admit that my enthusiasm has dipped a bit since my last visit.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

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