Xoco Recommended Menu Image

Hours: Breakfast, lunch, dinner: Tuesday-Saturday
Closed Sunday, Monday

Price: $$

Rick Bayless's street-food spot, offering churros and hot chocolate, tortas and caldos,

Restaurant Details

Anyone boycotting Xoco because of the daunting lines that are the unintentionally ironic hallmark of Rick Bayless’s "quick-serve" Mexican street-food joint should know that the Chef Who Can Do No Wrong provides plenty to think about during the wait: the chalkboard menu lists a half dozen caldos and nine or ten tortas (from the wood-fired oven or the griddle). And action fans can thrill to the battery of line cooks frenetically constructing meals a few arm’s lengths away. Still, there’s a certain variety of grump who no matter what is going to stand in line, arms folded, and ask himself, dammit, is there nowhere else in town to turn for a comparable ham-and-cheese torta under $12 or so? The answer is no. There is nothing like Xoco’s jamon torta, griddled flat and layered with La Quercia prosciutto, seasonally variable organic Wisconsin cheddar, black beans, avocado, and chipotle mustard. Caldos are all more than meals in themselves, deep and substantial soups brimming with the same sort of meats available on the tortas but also vegetables, chile, avocado, and lime and maybe noodles or dumplings to boot. The third wave in Xoco’s attack are the freshly fried churros, best accompanied by bean-to-cup hot chocolate lightly spiced with chile or spiked with cow or almond milk. Though these are available all day long, they’re the reason I still haven’t gotten too deep into the breakfast menu, which may be the most varied set of offerings all day—empanadas, pastries, breakfast tortas, savory bread pudding. The dining area is cramped and awkwardly arranged, with a good number of seats facing directly into a wall, but there's the option of takeout, now available throughout the day.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$

Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa

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