Happy Taco Tuesday! I celebrated yesterday because the object of my craving, L’Patron, in Chicago’s Logan Square is closed today. I am nothing if not flexible.
You can reach L’Patron by taking
the CTA Blue Line to the Logan Square ‘L’ stop and walking 3 short blocks north to Diversey Avenue and 4 healthy blocks east toward California Avenue. If you prefer, the #76 Diversey bus waits outside the ‘L’ stop. It will take you directly to L’Patron.
Open since 2012, L’Patron serves up the traditional Mexican tacos I love. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the trendier tacos (Antique Taco, Velvet Taco) available in Chicago. However, nothing beats a well-executed, traditional taco ~ the way they were meant to be.
What’s more is that L’Patron keeps its taco prices below $2.50. Yep! You read that right. Their corn tortillas are made on site and all tacos are made to order. I love this place! Here’s how my Taco Tuesday went down:
Very simple, fresh, tasty and affordable menu options can be found at L’Patron
Since this is a counter service place, I gave my order to the super friendly and welcoming staff, paid for my tacos, a large limeade and took a seat until my name was called. Usually, I find that 3 tacos is sufficient to satisfy my craving and fill me up. I went with the wickedly flavorful and juicy lomo encebollado (ribeye & onions), the tilapia and the shrimp.
Let me begin by talking about the presentation of my order. Each taco was lovingly wrapped completely in paper, in order to keep all of the fresh ingredients, tight and warm. Both the hot and tomatillo sauces were kept refrigerated, until my order was ready. Then, the bottles were presented to me so I could take them back to my table. I don’t believe I have ever seen that done anywhere else. It is a smart and thoughtful practice, rather than have the sauces grow stale from sitting out on the tables.
The corn tortillas were really fresh and they had excellent texture. Two tortillas are used for each taco.
My favorite was the lomo encebollado. Most taco places only offer carne asada, so it was a terrific treat to have this ribeye and grilled onions available. The meat was dripping with juice and it was incredibly flavorful. It was topped with cilantro and a contrast of raw onion. I should have ordered a second one.
Both the shrimp and the tilapia were lightly fried and they came with roasted serrano aioli dressed cabbage and fresh pico de gallo. They were totally yummy.
I would wear hot sauce as cologne, if doing so wouldn’t make me a social pariah. That said, I doused my tacos with a generous amount of L’Patron’s bright and spicy red and tomatillo sauces. Not that these tacos weren’t already fabulous. It’s just that L’Patron went through all the trouble to make sure I had a well-rounded experience. I did not want to insult them 😉
Not down with tacos? No worries. Most of the same taco fillings on the menu (except for the seafood) are available in the form of tortas and burritos.
The limeade was refreshing. It was not too tart or too sweet. Excellent choice.
On my next visit, I plan to get the horchata (rice water) and some sides. The guacamole and elote (corn on the cob smothered with house cream, crumbled cheese and chili powder) looked outrageously good.
As you can see, the space at L’Patron is very clean but small. Plan on going during an off-hour or be prepared to wait for one of the coveted seats at this popular spot. Alternatively, you can call ahead and place your order to go. I really enjoy eating on site, though. They play such happy, festive tunes 🙂
L’Patron is located at 2815 W. Diversey. It is open from 10am – 10pm on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday and Saturday they stay open until midnight.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Blue LIne to L’Patron. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!