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Best taqueria in Ravenswood (Taqueria Peralvillo/Erick's)

Best taqueria in Ravenswood (Taqueria Peralvillo/Erick's)
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  • Best taqueria in Ravenswood (Taqueria Peralvillo/Erick's)

    Post #1 - January 11th, 2005, 3:36 pm
    Post #1 - January 11th, 2005, 3:36 pm Post #1 - January 11th, 2005, 3:36 pm
    Just got back from "Taqueria Peralvillo/Erick's the Original Mexican Burritos and Tacos" on Lawrence (1969 W. to be exact) and I've come to the realization that this is my favorite hole in the wall mexican place in town.

    The Al Pastor is the real star here, smoky, juicy, with lots of garlic and pepper flavor--you can see it on the spit right in front of you, charred edges and all. Good in a taco, sope, or gordita.

    The Carne asada is also great--not overgrilled like a lot of places, it's still juicy and bursting with tangy lime.

    The aformentioned gorditas and sopes are done just right, hand made (you can buy gorditas/sopes in a bag, but Erick's doesn't), crisp on the outside with lots of "corniness" (the good kind).

    The refried beans are creamy with lard and cheese, and the orange rice is fluffy with a slightly tang--both better than in a lot of places. Everything on the menu tastes good with a generous helping of salsa, either rojo or verde, from the squeeze bottles.

    Friendly service to boot makes this my new favorite cheap lunch spot here in the 'wood.
  • Post #2 - January 11th, 2005, 4:15 pm
    Post #2 - January 11th, 2005, 4:15 pm Post #2 - January 11th, 2005, 4:15 pm
    I whole-heartedly agree! It has been one of my favorite finds in the Ravenswood neighborhood. They are also open very late, which is always a bonus. I crave their tacos al pastor, they have never disappointed.
  • Post #3 - January 11th, 2005, 4:27 pm
    Post #3 - January 11th, 2005, 4:27 pm Post #3 - January 11th, 2005, 4:27 pm
    Thank you for the report , there are so many different places to choose from down Lawrence, Korean, Chinese, Mexican. I'm surprised we don't hear much about these restaurants . I need to give a few of these places a try and I will start with your recommendation.
  • Post #4 - January 11th, 2005, 4:54 pm
    Post #4 - January 11th, 2005, 4:54 pm Post #4 - January 11th, 2005, 4:54 pm
    I think a reason some of the longer-running posters don't write about Lawrence Ave. places now is because we picked the street apart pretty thoroughly on other boards a couple of years back, especially back when RST seemed to be turning up some new completely unnoticed spot every couple of days.

    Here are some starting links to Lawrence places I know we've talked about here:

    Transsexual fried chicken taste-off.

    Ssyal Ginger House.

    The Penguin.

    I will look through my archive of pre-LTH material and see if there's anything that warrants reposting as, at least, a discussion starter. Anyone else want to dig up old posts of theirs about Al-Mataam, the Penguin, Great Sea, etc.?
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  • Post #5 - January 11th, 2005, 5:00 pm
    Post #5 - January 11th, 2005, 5:00 pm Post #5 - January 11th, 2005, 5:00 pm
    Well, here's one I remember:

    Entering The Pharoah's chamber, plus my signs of an authentic immigrant restaurant experience (January 31, 2003)

    Someone posted on Luxor a few weeks ago and that sent me out to explore further reaches of Lawrence where I evidently hadn't been for a while-- long enough to allow a new middle Eastern restaurant to pop up, at least.

    In fact, it seems to have been long enough for an entire Egyptian enclave to have popped up in Albany Park; just driving along Lawrence I counted no less than three places bearing three of the most stereotypically Egyptian names possible-- no, nothing named King Tut, but Luxor, Nefertiti Cafe and, simply enough, The Pharoah's.

    Entering The Pharoah's takes you back to the days when all Chinese restaurants were named The Great Wall. Not only is the name stereotypical, but the room has been done in the style of a pharoah's tomb (at least a pharoah whose preparations for the afterlife included a big screen TV), with off-the-shelf bas relief tiles of the most cliched Egyptian scenes. Ten years from now, it will be that taqueria that mystifies everyone with its Egyptian motifs.

    So am I mocking The Pharoah's On the contrary. I am saluting the entrepreneurial spirit of the immigrant, who seeks to offer the customers of the new country exactly the stereotypical experience of the owners' native land they expect. In fact, The Pharoah's proved to be a totally welcoming and friendly environment that checked off every single one of my signs of an authentic immigrant restaurant experience (see below). How welcoming was it? Well, one of my party not only got to dance with one of the female proprietors, he wound up being kissed by her-- and then being fed by her by hand! Of course, he's 17 months old, so that might have had something to do with his special treatment.

    Having the baby along gave me the excuse to order way too much food so I could try several things. The baba ghanouj (which I noticed they pronounced with an actual j sound, ganoodge, not ganoosh) had a good smokey flavor. The baby and I both liked it a lot. The beans in the foul likewise seemed to have been hand-roasted over a flame and bore visible grill marks; I missed the little hint of a liquory flavor (presumably not actually alcohol) that these have at Tut Oasis, but the freshness was inarguable and I certainly liked them better than Al-Khaimyeh's (or whatever the place is on the opposite side of Kedzie from Noon-O-Kebab). We had no problem finishing most of that, too, both of us. The chicken schwarma sandwich was a disappointment only in that at the low price of $2.95, it was pretty thin and thus the chicken tended to be a little lost amid other things; I would have paid a dollar or two more for a fatter sandwich (like Tutunji's), not that I strictly needed more today, anyway the chicken eaten by itself was very flavorful and moist, I might well order a dinner choice instead of a sandwich next time and see how that comes out. (Though the front of the menu was pretty much the usual stuff, there were some more unusual items on the back worth future exploration.)

    Last but not least, I think The Pharoah's might well be an interim step, at least, in Vital Info's search for the perfect middle eastern place, since they brought us a plate of pickled peppers and such, and also a plate of extra tomato and cucumber, alongside our meal. (She also got a yogurt from the fridge and fed it to my son while bouncing along to the Egyptian music videos, but you can't expect the same treatment.)

    Oh, and they also have hookahs, like Luxor. Though at lunch time they seemed to be just cleaning them, at least they didn't offer either me or the baby one.

    * * *

    Mike G's Signs of An Authentic Immigrant Restaurant Experience
    with The Pharoah's score

    1. Large screen TV showing native programming [Y]
    2. Male proprietor walks through non-smoking area with lit cigarette [Y]
    3. Male proprietor walks through entire restaurant talking on cell phone (can be combined with #2) [Y]
    4. Female proprietor fails to understand item you are pronouncing ("fool... fowl... fole?") until you point to it, at which time she says "Ah, fool!" pronouncing it exactly the way you thought you said it the first time [Y]
    5. Multiple family members at work, more than would be needed if employing the whole family was not the point of restaurant [Y]
    6. Presence of older man, not an owner but with undefined other role in the running of the restaurant, with extravagant mustache in style of the village they came from [Y]
    7. Everyone in extended family/staff comes out to at some point to say hi to the baby (optional if no baby available) [Y]

    P.S. Sorry, forgot address, it's 3949 W. Lawrence, or right across from the Admiral Theater (I must admit it gave me particular pleasure to be a dad parking with a baby in front of a strip club, I certainly hope someone driving by saw us and was horrified at the inescapable conclusion that that's where we were going).
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  • Post #6 - March 27th, 2006, 1:34 pm
    Post #6 - March 27th, 2006, 1:34 pm Post #6 - March 27th, 2006, 1:34 pm
    Hi,

    After reading about the luscious el pastor at "Taqueria Peralvillo/Erick's the Original Mexican Burritos and Tacos" on Lawrence (1969 W. to be exact), three of us hit the joint on friday night, surprising the proprietess when we said we'd be dining in. (This place is tiny..tiny...tiny!!!) We squeezed into a booth and enjoyed our freshly baked chips and salsa dispensed from the ketchup/mustard bottles. (That red packs a little whallop!)

    We all ordered a burrito el pastor with the works and it lived up to the claims made by previous posters. It was luscious, juicy, loaded with meat and very flavorful. (even better since my back was to the spit slow-turning the huge slab of dripping, roasting pork!)

    I wanted to let you know Ericks will open a new place right next door "in about a month," according to the owner. He was very gracious and urged us to come back when the new place was ready.
    That we will!
  • Post #7 - March 27th, 2006, 4:43 pm
    Post #7 - March 27th, 2006, 4:43 pm Post #7 - March 27th, 2006, 4:43 pm
    Don't fool yourself, kid. Those chips ain't baked.
  • Post #8 - March 28th, 2006, 9:03 am
    Post #8 - March 28th, 2006, 9:03 am Post #8 - March 28th, 2006, 9:03 am
    I can attest to the fact that they were corn tortillas baked..not fried..
    cause when we asked for chips they looked at us like we were from another planet...must've popped in there and made em up special just for us!
  • Post #9 - March 28th, 2006, 9:30 am
    Post #9 - March 28th, 2006, 9:30 am Post #9 - March 28th, 2006, 9:30 am
    That is strange. Stranger still that a tiny corner taqueria has an oven. Not often the case.
  • Post #10 - March 28th, 2006, 9:40 am
    Post #10 - March 28th, 2006, 9:40 am Post #10 - March 28th, 2006, 9:40 am
    it was strange.....strange indeed...and i must admit to you that those chips were not the best I've had...a brush of olive oil would've worked wonders.........


    but that is being picky. It wasn't the Ritz!~
  • Post #11 - March 28th, 2006, 10:19 am
    Post #11 - March 28th, 2006, 10:19 am Post #11 - March 28th, 2006, 10:19 am
    This place is great. However, I would doubt that a true taqueria would ever brush olive oil on the chips. It defeats the authenticity and converts it to gringo food.
    Has anyone ever tried their menudo on the weekends?
  • Post #12 - May 24th, 2006, 9:07 am
    Post #12 - May 24th, 2006, 9:07 am Post #12 - May 24th, 2006, 9:07 am
    I will be checking out Erick's new location today. Let's hope the food is just as good as in the tiny old location!
    Aaron
  • Post #13 - August 25th, 2006, 10:34 am
    Post #13 - August 25th, 2006, 10:34 am Post #13 - August 25th, 2006, 10:34 am
    SO HOW WAS IT?
    G.
  • Post #14 - August 25th, 2006, 11:17 am
    Post #14 - August 25th, 2006, 11:17 am Post #14 - August 25th, 2006, 11:17 am
    SO HOW WAS IT?

    I've lived within walking distance of Eric's for the past 12 years and it has become our family "walk to" Mexican spot. Tacos al pastor is always good (although best late at night :wink: ).Eric's also does a very nice chile rellano plate.
    The only complaint I have is that the new location is totally lacking in atmosphere compared to the funky 10 seat hole in the wall that was Eric's of yore.
  • Post #15 - August 25th, 2006, 12:36 pm
    Post #15 - August 25th, 2006, 12:36 pm Post #15 - August 25th, 2006, 12:36 pm
    I agree on the ambiance thing. I went a few weeeks ago and the food wwas solid but the service was poor, though only because some guys were getting tacos to go for their entire construction crew so the staff had to prepare 30 or so orders at once.
    Aaron

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