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Thoughts on Beer & Food, Home & Away

4 Men, One Car and a Bunch of Beer and Tacos
Posted Sunday, December 30th, 2012 by thewimperoo

 

One night in chat, the subject of tacos in Chicago came up.  I began listing a few places off, and Kevin said that he hadn’t ever been to any of them.  Then said he hadn’t really been to any taquerias in Chicago besides Arturo’s.  Knowing this needed to be remedied, I said that next time he comes up north we should do a taco crawl.  That premise became reality yesterday.  I put together a short list of a few places that I know are good as well as a couple of places that have been on my list for a while. 

Kevin, Dave and I started out the day at La Chaparrita #1 on the South Side.  I had been reading about this place for almost 2 years now and just hadn’t found time to make it here.  They specialize in tacos made in a charola.  Overall, I think this was my favorite taco spot.  The tacos were great.  Loved the crispy tripe tacos, almost like little pieces of crispy bacon.  Not too funky for being offal.  The longaniza is like a more refined chorizo.  Not as salty or greasy.   Mango aquas frescas was super refreshing. 

 

Taco porn slideshow

Mango Aqua Fresca

 

Asada

 

Pastor

 

Longaniza

 

Tripas Doradito

 

Campechano (Suadero (similar to a beef carnitas) and Longaniza)

 

On our way to the next stop we needed to make a pick up. Hack > Hey

 

Once Hack was secured, we made our way up to Half Acre.  Big Hugs with Mexican Vanilla Beans firkin was on the agenda.  It was delicious. 

 

After our Vanilla Big Hugs, we ordered tacos from El Asadero to bring back to Half Acre. Steak tacos are the bomb from here.  Pastor is also solid for a non-trompo version.  Hack enjoyed the chicken tacos.

 

Steak and Van Horn

 

After our tacos we hit the streets again and rolled on to Revolution Tap Room.  Solid beers as usual.  Barrel Aged Smoked Stout named, Burt.  A new single hop pale ale, Kemp’s Landing, and a super clean pils rounded out the highlights.  Tohtz discount was enjoyed by all. 

 

After Revolution we planned to make a quick stop at Pipeworks to pick up the glass I was owed for purchasing the batch 1 Blue Lady that went bad.  They let us into the brewery and from there it was full on hospitality.  The brew day was just finishing up so we tried to stay out of their way.  Soon enough Beejay was offering us glasses of Cherry Oak Abduction.  Pretty nice, agree with Beejay when he said it was better from the version they sent to FOBAB.

 

I just wandered around the small space taking some pics and enjoying my beer.  A new brewhouse will be arriving in the next few months to replace this tiny outfit they’re currently using.

6 7bbl fermentation tanks

4 bottle bottling machine

Dave, Kevin and Beejay nerding out over some Dark Tower

We were treated to a sample of the soon to be released Coffee Break Abduction.  Brewed with Ipsento coffee and vanilla.  Probably my favorite beer of the day.  Smooth coffee flavor, just great

We also had a taste of a Belgian Patersbier they did in conjunction with 18th Street that was quite good.  This should be in stores now.

After about an hour and a half we pried ourselves away so that we could move onto more tacos.  Tierre Caliente was our 3rd stop in the taco train.  Located in the back corner of a small grocery store, they are most famous for the pastor off the spit.  The trompo was loaded and spinning when we arrived.  2 pastor and a campechano for me, same for Kevin, 2 pastor and a barbacoa for Hack.  Pastor was really great even if we didn’t get it fresh off the trompo.  Microwaved tortillas kind of suck, but the meat was worth it.

 

Trompo

Pastor

Crispy bits of pastor

Campechano (Asada & Pastor combo)

After munching on these tacos, we made one more stop for tacos, because hey why not.  Taqueria Traspasada #2 was our 4th and final taco spot.  1 asada and 1 barbacoa each for Kevin and me.  The barbacoa was excellent.  Tender, silky fat lightly coating the beef.  One of the best versions of barbacoa I’ve had.  The asada was solid, but not spectacular. 

Asada

Barbacoa

Final stop of the night was at GI Fulton to do some drinking on the brewdeck.  BCS and Big John highlighted the selection.  Once BCS blew, Baudoinia was thrown on.  We got a little tour to drool over the amount of awesome stuff just chillin in the cooler.  I mean 135 cases of King Henry, 95 cases of Rare,  90 cases of Vanilla BCS, 175 cases of Cherry BCS and kegs of stuff you can’t even imagine.  Ridiculous.

 

Great day.  Excellent tacos, beers and conversations.  Can’t wait to do it again.  God knows there are another 25 taco places we could include, and there’s always more beer places.  

 

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