I was so happy to hear about a new taco shop in Wicker Park. After all, Big Star is great, but the scene can be a bit much sometimes. Enter: Antique Taco.
Photo is courtesy of Antique Taco’s site, since my photos were lost in phone photography snafu. More importantly, though, here’s what I think about this new “old” Mexican-inspired spot.
-There are a lot (maybe too many) bells and whistles here. Sure, the little wooden tags marking “bird,” etc. stuck into the taco plates are cute, but are these little sticks as well as the pretty paper straws and cloth napkins the reason the margarita is $12?
-Yes, $12. That means for the price for two people to drink margaritas here, I could buy a bottle of Hornitos ($20) and a can of Minutemade Limeade ($3.99) and make my own. Then, I wouldn’t get to drink them in the company of Wicker Park’s finest, but I also wouldn’t have to wait in line to order and then wait in line for my order to arrive at my table. (AT quotes a 15-minute wait time for all orders.)
-Oh, and the food. The flavors here are great. I loved the curried chicken taco as well as the smoky flavor of the crispy fish taco. There are unexpected twists on the tried-and-true taco staples. Which is why it isn’t really fair to compare this place to a Big Star or Taco Joint or Tapatio. But, if you expect something along those lines, you are likely to be surprised here.
It seems to me there is a little bit of an identity crisis going on. It would make a lot of sense for this place to either a) be more of a sit down spot and less of a taco window or b) drop some of the cute touches and let the food speak for itself. I was intrigued by the patio, which was not yet open on my visit.
1360 N. Milwaukee / Wicker Park / Chicago