Until this evening, I have only been to three Mexican restaurants in Waukegan: Tacos el Norte, La Casa Del Samuel and El Ranchito Michoacano Restaurant. Tacos el Norte could be considered my current favorite because it has been visited a number of times.
This evening I drove up to Waukegan with my Mom for two reasons: 1) Dine at a taqueria and 2) Scan Washington St. and Belvidere Road for any places closed or missed in my list, which has been updated.
Our inaugural meal for the taqueria project was at El Caporal, where I ordered tacos of fish, carne asada, barbacoa, cabeza, chorizo, el Pastor and carne asada. Apparently there was a miscommunication because we received only four of the seven tacos.
Clockwise from the top: Fish Taco, Cabeza (cow's head) taco, Barbacoa taco and El Pastor taco
The fish taco was entirely eaten by my Mom who thought it was quite good and just a bit spicey. The el Pastor was pretty mushy. The kitchen was out of sight, though it was clear from our sample there is no meat cone. Unfortunately they didn't do very well on the griddle with it either. The barbacoa and cabeza preparations were very similar in that each had been braised for an extended period of time. They were cooked adequately though I thought the seasoning was a bit flat.
This is a small restaurant with just about every table occupied by groups of men. The only women in the place besides ourselves was the waitress. All other women who arrived during our visit took their food out. They do have a liquor license and serve Mexican Coke. Chips and salsa are complimentary.
When I asked for a take-out menu, they took out the pages from their plastic sleeve and handed it to me. I learned from dropping into a number of Mexican places, the preferred term for take-out menus is, "Menu to go." I do wonder if I had yet another communication problem there when I received the pages from their dining room menu.
622 Washington St.
Waukegan, IL 60085
"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie DupreeFacebook
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