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El Xangarrito - Lincoln Square Mexican

El Xangarrito - Lincoln Square Mexican
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  • El Xangarrito - Lincoln Square Mexican

    Post #1 - July 23rd, 2022, 9:34 pm
    Post #1 - July 23rd, 2022, 9:34 pm Post #1 - July 23rd, 2022, 9:34 pm
    My wife and I walked home from my first meal at El Xangarrito last night feeling equal parts elation and regret. While thrilled that we'd discovered a new neighborhood gem, we were kicking ourselves for waiting so long to try it out... how many exceptional meals had we missed out on by waiting until now to try this delightful BYOB Mexican restaurant (which opened during the height of the pandemic in late 2020)?

    I was also surprised to see that nobody had posted about it here on LTH yet, and while I'm usually more of a lurker I felt compelled to share with the community. So here goes:

    Tucked away just a stone's throw north of the Lawrence/Rockwell intersection in the heart of "GNR Alley" in Lincoln Square, we sat on El Xangarrito's lovely sidewalk patio and enjoyed extremely warm, friendly service and elegant, refined versions of classic Mexican dishes. We started with great (complimentary) chips and salsa and ordered the Mar Negro appetizer, a bright, fresh shrimp ceviche plated on a base of what would best be described as a tangy Mexican cocktail sauce (though that doesn't really do it justice). For my entrée I had the steak enchiladas with mole coloradito -- juicy, perfectly cooked steak slices bathed in a wonderfully deep and flavorful mole (one of their two house special moles). My wife had the chicken tacos, which were artfully prepared on corn tortillas topped with mole negro and fragrant Mexican rice alongside a crisp jicama salad. I also ordered a side of rice, which was perfectly seasoned and cooked (I would have been happy making a meal out of that rice alone).

    Reflecting on our entire experience, the word I keep coming back to is "execution." Every dish I saw come out of the kitchen looked like it belonged on a magazine cover (or the pictures on their Facebook page, linked below), and all elements of service and hospitality just clicked for us. I realize this report/review is full of hyperbole but it's really such a rare occasion to find any restaurant (let alone a cozy neighborhood joint) that just seems to be getting everything right. We'll be back very soon (probably this coming week) to tackle more of the menu and I'm very interested to hear what other LTH'ers think.

    El Xangarrito
    4811 North Rockwell
    Chicago, IL 60625
    (773) 754-8069