The student news site of Saint Ignatius College Prep

The Spirit

Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

Which restaurant around Saint Ignatius serves the best chicken tacos?

Original+chicken+tacos+from+Chilango%2C+De+Pasada%2C+Mago%2C+and+Jak%27s+Tap.
Original chicken tacos from Chilango, De Pasada, Mago, and Jak's Tap.

Original chicken tacos from Chilango, De Pasada, Mago, and Jak's Tap.

Elizabeth Donnelly '17

Elizabeth Donnelly '17

Original chicken tacos from Chilango, De Pasada, Mago, and Jak's Tap.

Elizabeth Donnelly, Senior Writer, Editor A&L

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Located just a few minutes from Pilsen, the Little Italy neighborhood of Chicago is home to a diverse number of restaurants, many featuring Mexican cuisine.  From empanadas at Chilango to tostadas at De Pasada, there is a multitude of options hungry customers can choose from, but one thing these restaurants have in common is chicken tacos.  With the help of my friend Patrick Dowling ‘17, I travelled through this neighborhood to figure out which restaurant offered the best tacos for the most student friendly price.

We visited four restaurants near Saint Ignatius– Chilango, De Pasada, Mago, and Jak’s Tap– in order to try their individual takes on a chicken taco.  We tasted all four tacos and then gave each a score out of five for taste (this includes flavor, texture, and mess factor) and a score out of five for convenience (this includes location and price).  The sum out of ten is each taco’s final score based on the aforementioned criteria.

 

Chilango:

The first taco we tried was Chilango’s chicken taco.  Their taco had cubed chicken with a red sauce on top, with red cabbage and cilantro as toppings.  I thought this taco was pretty good.  I tend to prefer shredded chicken in my tacos, but I did not mind that it was cubed.  The sauce had really good flavor, but the cabbage added a strange after taste that made me not want to continue eating this taco.  Patrick enjoyed the taco because he prefers cubed chicken, but agreed that the cabbage added an unusual aftertaste.  He gave it extra points for doubling the tortilla.  This taco was pretty messy because the cabbage kept spilling out, but it was not outrageous.  Convenience wise, Chilango is the closest to Saint Ignatius (right down Taylor St.) and is relatively inexpensive, with one relatively large taco priced at $2.75 (before tax).

Taste: 3.5/5

Convenience: 4/5

Total: 7.5/10

Elizabeth Donnelly ’17
Chilango’s version of a classic chicken taco.

 


De Pasada
:

The next taco we tasted was De Pasada’s super chicken taco.  This taco has shredded chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. I enjoyed this taco because all of the flavors worked well with each other.  There was a little too much sour cream and cheese on it for me, but the lettuce and guacamole worked well to balance out the dairy products.  The chicken was very juicy and had good flavor.  Patrick’s first impression of this taco was that it looked like a fast food taco.  He said the ingredients did not look as fresh as they should have, and that made him wary of eating it.  Upon taking a bite, he said he liked the flavor of it and the fact it had cheese, unlike Chilango’s.  This taco was pretty messy because it was packed full of toppings and was very juicy.  Convenience wise, De Pasada is only one block further away on Taylor St. from Saint Ignatius compared to Chilango and is also priced at $2.75 for a super taco (regular tacos are only $1.99 but include less toppings), which we believe is more bang for your buck than at Chilango.

Taste: 3/5

Convenience: 4.5/5

Total: 7.5/10

Elizabeth Donnelly ’17
Patrick Dowling ’17 taking a bite of the De Pasada super chicken taco.

Elizabeth Donnelly ’17
De Pasada’s super chicken taco.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mago:

After De Pasada, Patrick and I tested Mago’s tinga de pollo taco.  Mago is a fairly new restaurant and is located next to the Icon Theater off Roosevelt Road.  Their menu is filled with authentic Mexican food, so we were excited to try their version of a chicken taco.  Their tinga de pollo taco includes shredded chicken, caramelized onions, adobo salsa, farmers cheese, and sour cream. This taco has an interesting flavor because the caramelized onions work with the spicy sauce to create a sweet and spicy effect. I loved the juiciness of this taco, but it was extremely messy because it dripped with each bite. Patrick also enjoyed the mixture of different flavors, specifically the spices used. He also mentioned the cheese gave the taco a good texture and helped to balance the spice of the sauce. He said the taco was too juicy for his liking, but overall had good flavor. Convenience wise, Mago is located a bit further away from Saint Ignatius than the previous two and is much more expensive with one taco priced at $4 or two for $7.

Taste: 4/5

Convenience: 2/5

Total: 6/10

Elizabeth Donnelly ’17
Mago’s original take on tinga de pollo tacos.

Jak’s Tap:

The final restaurant we visited was Jak’s Tap, which is a small restaurant on Jackson Boulevard. Jak’s Tap offers a variety of cuisines they refer to as “pub grub.” We ordered the Cajun chicken tacos which were supposed to come with cabbage and scallions.  Our order came with the above ingredients as well as carrots.  I personally did not like these tacos at all. They were extremely dry and the carrots added a bitter flavor to the chicken. The chicken itself was seasoned nicely, more on the spicy side, but there was no sauce or juice, so it was hard to eat. The tortilla shell also tasted stale, but that could just have been because there was absolutely no moisture in this taco. Patrick also liked this taco the least out of all of them. He said it seemed small and the texture was difficult to handle when swallowing. He liked the spice factor, but overall he said this taco was definitely the worst out of all of them. Convenience wise, this restaurant is the furthest away and is $12 for three tacos. This restaurant is also the one where customers are unable to buy individual tacos.

Taste: 2/5

Convenience: 1/5

Total: 3/10

Elizabeth Donnelly ’17
Jak’s Tap cajun chicken tacos.

 

Our winner: Chilango (7.5/10)

Although Chilango and De Pasada scored the same amount of total points, we chose Chilango as our winner because the quality of the taco was slightly higher than at De Pasada and Chilango is a bit closer. For these reasons, we choose Chilango as the chicken taco champ.

Elizabeth Donnelly ’17
Chilango’s menu inside their Taylor Street location.

Elizabeth Donnelly ’17
Elizabeth Donnelly ’17 holding a Chilango taco.

Elizabeth Donnelly ’17
Exterior of Chilango on Taylor Street.

        

 

1 Comment

One Response to “Let’s Taco ‘Bout It”

  1. Andy on March 24th, 2017 1:04 pm

    I agree with their results.

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

    Arts & Leisure

    There’s No Escape

  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

    Arts & Leisure

    This “Lion” Roars

  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

    Arts & Leisure

    Tattoos through Time: Local Ink

  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

    Arts & Leisure

    She Turned the World on with a Smile

  • Arts & Leisure

    What’s Improv Anyway?

  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

    Arts & Leisure

    Class of 2021 Welcome Video

  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

    Arts & Leisure

    Flashback to the 70s and 80s

  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

    Arts & Leisure

    “Hidden Figures No More”

  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

    Arts & Leisure

    “Battle of the Sammies: Competing Bread to Bread”

  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It

    Arts & Leisure

    Brunch Anyone?

The student news site of Saint Ignatius College Prep
Let’s Taco ‘Bout It