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Birria Tatemada at Birrieria Zaragoza & Birrieria La Barca

Birria Tatemada at Birrieria Zaragoza & Birrieria La Barca
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  • Post #91 - April 28th, 2011, 7:30 am
    Post #91 - April 28th, 2011, 7:30 am Post #91 - April 28th, 2011, 7:30 am
    Yes Jefe we are aware of this. Just thought it was funny how the 2 ladies at the counter looked a little nervous to help us since they did not speak english and so they got him. In he came and he was the perfect host. Very informative and proud of his craft. We both discussed the fact that we had gone to Kendall and we had a great afternoon. When he found out my wife was a pastry chef he questioned her at length about things he was working on and then his dad jumped in as well. We had never felt more at home in a restaurant on the first visit ever. Sorry if the first post was unclear or insulting to anyone.
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #92 - May 5th, 2011, 2:26 pm
    Post #92 - May 5th, 2011, 2:26 pm Post #92 - May 5th, 2011, 2:26 pm
    Just got back from lunch at Zaragoza. There's not much I can add to what's already been said - it was simply fantastic. My friend and I each had a large plate and shared the wonderful salsa de molcajete (extra spicy by request). That is some damn fine food served up by some exceedingly pleasant people. We had the good fortune to be able to chat up both Juan and son John and we each learned quite a bit in the process. John mentioned that this summer they will be having salsa seminars where he will share preparation techniques for various salsas - he said to follow them on Twitter. I've never done the Twitter thing but that could be the one thing that might push me over the edge.

    I regret not having visited here sooner - but I will be returning a LOT. If you haven't been, GO. Now.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #93 - May 6th, 2011, 9:25 am
    Post #93 - May 6th, 2011, 9:25 am Post #93 - May 6th, 2011, 9:25 am
    Kman wrote:I regret not having visited here sooner - but I will be returning a LOT. If you haven't been, GO. Now.

    Just a reminder that Jonathan is teaming up with Jefe tonight for the debut of E-Dogz at the Block Museum in Evanston. It's a beautiful day up here by the lake. I hope LTHers will come out, support Jefe and eat goat.

    Jefe on his blog wrote:Image

    E-Dog y Z-Dogg sirven Tortas Ahogadas de Birria y Tacos de Hongos de Sótano. ¡Qué Rico!

    Viernes, 6 de Mayo, 5-7pm

    Museo de Block, 40 Arts Circle Dr
    Evanston, IL
  • Post #94 - June 17th, 2011, 6:28 pm
    Post #94 - June 17th, 2011, 6:28 pm Post #94 - June 17th, 2011, 6:28 pm
    had a ouitstanding lunch today@zaragoza's
    crispy bits of heaven :mrgreen:
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #95 - June 17th, 2011, 7:51 pm
    Post #95 - June 17th, 2011, 7:51 pm Post #95 - June 17th, 2011, 7:51 pm
    My first Zaragoza trip and, like a previous poster, I couldn't do much more than hug myself and meditate on how lucky I am :D I was also with a group of serious eaters and was the ONLY one who polished off my whole plate--and probably a good 10 minutes before they all gave up with significant amounts of leftovers. I claim that my plate was smaller (that's my story and I'm sticking to it.) I've already reviewed my calendar for next week to ensure that my client appointments facilitate a trip back. If anyone wants to join me, just let me know...probably Wednesday :!:

    Jonathan, Juan and family--you are wonderful! Thanks.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #96 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:48 am
    Post #96 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:48 am Post #96 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:48 am
    LTH,

    Last weeks lunch with Phil, Boudreaulicious and MBH may have been my best experience at Zaragoza to date, though I say that after every visit. Jen/Boudreaulicious generously brought each of us bounty from her garden and Jonathan, who was herding the goats to their final delicious destiny, caught a glimpse and his chef juices started flowing. Simple syrup with ginger, lime peel and fresh mint for fresh squeezed lime agua fresca and toasty quesadilla with Swiss chard. Not to mention a generous addition of house habanero to Zaragoza's fire roasted salsa.

    Jonathan springs into Agua Fresca action

    Image

    Mint, lime peel, ginger simple syrup

    Image

    Quesadilla w/Swiss chard

    Image

    Image

    Image

    I arrived a bit early my chat with Jonathan enhanced by a lagniappe of crispy fatty funky goat belly.

    Goat Belly

    Image

    Goat was glorious, best I've had at Zaragoza/anywhere, a kaleidoscope of texture and flavor playing ping pong on my palate.

    Zaragoza at its best

    Image

    Jonathan Zaragoza is a young chef going places, from teaming with Butcher & Larder on projects to food trucks, a bright future lies ahead. Speaking of bright futures, Juan arrived just as we were wrapping up lunch and told us about possible expansion plans, either in the space just south or (remotely possible) a move closer into the city. I'm all for (minor) change, but I wish they would start by rolling out the much anticipated, at least by me, Tortas Ahogadas.

    Lunch was capped by wonderfully dense, rich fig flavored poppy seed cake Phil W bought from Pticek Bakery, his wife's family bakery.

    Pticek Bakery Poppy seed cake

    Image

    When people ask me the best restaurant in Chicago I typically say Zaragoza and, you know what, I'm right. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #97 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:55 am
    Post #97 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:55 am Post #97 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:55 am
    G Wiv wrote:Image



    SEE--my plate (in background) WAS smaller :P
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #98 - July 14th, 2011, 5:04 pm
    Post #98 - July 14th, 2011, 5:04 pm Post #98 - July 14th, 2011, 5:04 pm
    and told us about possible expansion plans, either in the space just south or (remotely possible) a move closer into the city


    Stopped by the other day, and Jonathan mentioned that this was not likely in the near future. Nothing else changed, though (Thank God), although he will be taking another look at offering dessert (none available when we were there). Anybody mention the cinnamony coffee above thread? Suitable after-dinner touch when dessert is MIA.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #99 - July 14th, 2011, 5:14 pm
    Post #99 - July 14th, 2011, 5:14 pm Post #99 - July 14th, 2011, 5:14 pm
    G Wiv wrote:When people ask me the best restaurant in Chicago I typically say Zaragoza and, you know what, I'm right. :)


    I'm going to use that. It's such a boring question and channeling discussion toward something I want to talk about (small restos, Mex food, goat) would be most excellent.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #100 - July 16th, 2011, 10:10 am
    Post #100 - July 16th, 2011, 10:10 am Post #100 - July 16th, 2011, 10:10 am
    Image

    Birrieria Zaragoza's new & improved goat card.
  • Post #101 - July 16th, 2011, 2:16 pm
    Post #101 - July 16th, 2011, 2:16 pm Post #101 - July 16th, 2011, 2:16 pm
    I plan on going next week. If you can get me your card, I'll get it punched for you.
  • Post #102 - October 4th, 2011, 9:55 pm
    Post #102 - October 4th, 2011, 9:55 pm Post #102 - October 4th, 2011, 9:55 pm
    Congrats to Jonathan on being named one of TOC's 20 chefs to watch...http://timeoutchicago.com/restaurants-bars/14964435/20-chefs-to-watch
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #103 - October 14th, 2011, 8:57 am
    Post #103 - October 14th, 2011, 8:57 am Post #103 - October 14th, 2011, 8:57 am
    The boss is out of the office today, so a slightly longer lunch is in order. I've never been to Zaragoza before. Besides a plate and a quesadilla is there anything else that is a definitive order?
  • Post #104 - October 14th, 2011, 9:36 am
    Post #104 - October 14th, 2011, 9:36 am Post #104 - October 14th, 2011, 9:36 am
    the wimperoo wrote:The boss is out of the office today, so a slightly longer lunch is in order. I've never been to Zaragoza before. Besides a plate and a quesadilla is there anything else that is a definitive order?


    The salsa de molcajete is really good, but I tend to only order it if I have a couple other people with me, because it's a lot of salsa. And, for adding a bit of zip to the goat I've found I prefer the sauce that's in the dasher bottle anyway.
  • Post #105 - October 14th, 2011, 10:08 am
    Post #105 - October 14th, 2011, 10:08 am Post #105 - October 14th, 2011, 10:08 am
    kl1191 wrote:
    the wimperoo wrote:The boss is out of the office today, so a slightly longer lunch is in order. I've never been to Zaragoza before. Besides a plate and a quesadilla is there anything else that is a definitive order?


    The salsa de molcajete is really good, but I tend to only order it if I have a couple other people with me, because it's a lot of salsa. And, for adding a bit of zip to the goat I've found I prefer the sauce that's in the dasher bottle anyway.


    Thanks. I'm going solo so I'll probably pass on the salsa then.
  • Post #106 - October 14th, 2011, 8:31 pm
    Post #106 - October 14th, 2011, 8:31 pm Post #106 - October 14th, 2011, 8:31 pm
    There's not really anything that I can say that hasn't already been said. This place is a gem. The different textured bits of goat is delightlful. The hand made tortillas are a revelation. The cheesy quesadilla was a great snack.

    Can't wait to come back.
  • Post #107 - October 30th, 2011, 11:52 pm
    Post #107 - October 30th, 2011, 11:52 pm Post #107 - October 30th, 2011, 11:52 pm
    I had an (another) incredible lunch here on Saturday afternoon, after not having been in for quite some time, aka far too long. 8 of us, some who'd been food-crawling all afternoon, were seated in the back room, which is actually an office that doubles as a dining space when necessary.

    Image
    Salsa de Molcajete
    8 of us pretty much finished off 2 of these. The small amount leftover came home with me, where I finished it off with some eggs on Sunday morning.


    Image
    Birria
    We were actually served 4 different plates of birria, each featuring different parts of the animal. Pictured above is rib section.


    Image
    Birria
    Goat breast, tender and delicious.


    Image
    Salsa
    This table salsa was fantastic. It was bright and spicy enough to cut through the rich goat without overpowering it.

    Not pictured here are the incredible hand-made tortillas we enjoyed, which were probably about 30 seconds old when they were brought to our table. As we worked through our initial allotment, Jonathan Zaragoza brought more to the table, telling us that he'd brought us the ones he himself wanted to eat. IMO, that's hosting at it's absolute best. Also not pictured (obviously) and almost indescribable, was the warm, friendly, ultra-hospitable service we received from everyone in the place. Zaragoza is quite far from my house but it's one of the brightest culinary gems we have here in Chicago and I really need to make a point of getting over there more often.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #108 - October 31st, 2011, 9:59 am
    Post #108 - October 31st, 2011, 9:59 am Post #108 - October 31st, 2011, 9:59 am
    Periodically, I’ll ask myself a question: If any restaurant decided to close its doors tomorrow, which one would create my harshest period of mourning (maybe not a bad idea for a new thread, eh?!)? In the last few years, this would be a lay-up question and the answer would easily be Birrieria Zaragoza for all the reasons so gracefully and repetitively stated throughout this thread.

    I swear this place has a pulse.
  • Post #109 - October 31st, 2011, 3:40 pm
    Post #109 - October 31st, 2011, 3:40 pm Post #109 - October 31st, 2011, 3:40 pm
    Today's special: cochinita pibil

    Image

    Image
  • Post #110 - October 31st, 2011, 3:49 pm
    Post #110 - October 31st, 2011, 3:49 pm Post #110 - October 31st, 2011, 3:49 pm
    this was the best thing i had besides the birrieria
    outstand :mrgreen:
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #111 - December 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
    Post #111 - December 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm Post #111 - December 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
    Just a heads up that Zaragoza no longer has a parking lot. If you park in the lot on the corner, you will be towed. They've posted signs and try to check with diners as they enter to make sure that they didn't park in their old lot, but I thought it was also worth mentioning here.

    Goat was fantastic as always.
  • Post #112 - December 18th, 2011, 1:27 pm
    Post #112 - December 18th, 2011, 1:27 pm Post #112 - December 18th, 2011, 1:27 pm
    One more heads up: John Zaragoza, Jr. is no longer working in the family business and will be employed at Sepia.

    Tough break since papa's busy during the week selling their birria to students at Moraine Valley Community College.
  • Post #113 - December 18th, 2011, 5:48 pm
    Post #113 - December 18th, 2011, 5:48 pm Post #113 - December 18th, 2011, 5:48 pm
    The Zaragozas have stopped the taco business at Moraine Valley Community College and "papa" will be running the show at 4852 S. Pulaski.

    I had a plate on Thursday and it was quite possibly the best one I've had here.
  • Post #114 - May 11th, 2012, 2:35 pm
    Post #114 - May 11th, 2012, 2:35 pm Post #114 - May 11th, 2012, 2:35 pm
    From seebee's event thread and a glance at the website, I just noticed another location is listed on their website.

    Birrieria Zaragoza
    2211 W. Lake St
    Melrose Park, IL. 60160
    (708) 344-3400

    Anyone check this one out? How long has it been open? Same great goat going on there?
  • Post #115 - May 11th, 2012, 2:53 pm
    Post #115 - May 11th, 2012, 2:53 pm Post #115 - May 11th, 2012, 2:53 pm
    the wimperoo wrote:From seebee's event thread and a glance at the website, I just noticed another location is listed on their website.

    Birrieria Zaragoza
    2211 W. Lake St
    Melrose Park, IL. 60160
    (708) 344-3400

    Anyone check this one out? How long has it been open? Same great goat going on there?

    I heard that the Friends & Family soft opening was on Tuesday May 1. I haven't been yet but plan on getting over there asap.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #116 - May 14th, 2012, 10:46 pm
    Post #116 - May 14th, 2012, 10:46 pm Post #116 - May 14th, 2012, 10:46 pm
    Checked out the new spot for lunch today. Much, much bigger. Probably 15 or so tables, plus a big bar that seats 10+ people. Menu is the same. Food tasted just as delicious as the original location. Talked to Juan for a bit. He seemed very excited about the prospects of this location. I'm also quite excited as it's much closer to my work so I can get here more often.

    Also, cash only for now, but they do have an ATM in the restaurant.
  • Post #117 - May 15th, 2012, 10:12 am
    Post #117 - May 15th, 2012, 10:12 am Post #117 - May 15th, 2012, 10:12 am
    I'm making my inaugural trip to Birrieria Zaragoza on Thursday night. What's the best time to go there with a party of four? I know they close at 7 PM - how crowded does it get? Do we need to arrive earlier? Do they ever run out of goat?

    Also, I think we're going to try out everything on the menu; should we then each get the small order of the birriera? What's the best way of ordering and splitting between 4 people?
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."
  • Post #118 - May 15th, 2012, 7:22 pm
    Post #118 - May 15th, 2012, 7:22 pm Post #118 - May 15th, 2012, 7:22 pm
    Independent George wrote:I'm making my inaugural trip to Birrieria Zaragoza on Thursday night. What's the best time to go there with a party of four? I know they close at 7 PM - how crowded does it get? Do we need to arrive earlier? Do they ever run out of goat?


    In my experience, it's pretty quiet there at the end of the day; they also don't tend to linger past closing time, so I'd get there before 6:30.

    The problem isn't a question of running out of goat, but when the foodstuffs were made: in my experience eating there around dinner time, the goat and the tortillas have appeared to have sat for at least a little while; while what you'll get is still better than pretty much anything, it's not the same as a just-pulled-from-the-bone plate and just-pulled-from-the-grill tortilla. For me, it's best to go during the day there, earlier the better.

    As for ordering, for four people you should probably order two grande plates. Don't forget to ask for it "surtido" so you can a bit of everything: the goat worked hard for you to be this delicious; don't let it down.
  • Post #119 - May 15th, 2012, 7:31 pm
    Post #119 - May 15th, 2012, 7:31 pm Post #119 - May 15th, 2012, 7:31 pm
    chezbrad wrote: For me, it's best to go during the day there, earlier the better.


    I agree. Saturday or Sunday lunch time seems to be when it's the most hopping.
  • Post #120 - July 9th, 2012, 10:52 am
    Post #120 - July 9th, 2012, 10:52 am Post #120 - July 9th, 2012, 10:52 am
    I never recapped my meal, but I loved it so much that I went back two weeks later by myself (a 90-minute round trip by CTA, mind you), and have a return trip with visitors planned this week.

    Right now, the plan is to go with 4 people on Saturday or Sunday morning, around 11AM. How crazy will it be? I'm kind of looking forward to going while it's packed, but I also don't want to wait around too long for a table. What's the best time to do it?
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."

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