Bring out the miniature violins: my work schedule is such that I yield a lot of digestive real estate to mediocre, boring, or just plain bad food, and revisiting the spots I truly love is a rare pleasure. My burning ardor for Birrieria Zaragoza never flickers, never dims, and there are occasions when I'm simply pining for that roasty good goat. The matter wouldn't be so desperate if Juan and familia would simply relocate to the north side, but at least they're going to get bit closer next week when they open second branch in western suburban Melrose Park.
Suburban? What's so great about the suburbs? It just so happens that Zaragoza Sr. did his research and found that over half the population in Melrose Park is Mexican, with tons of folks from Jalisco in particular. The address he's moving into was the original spot he had his eye on five years ago, before the family opened at 4852 S. Pulaski in West Lawn. The MO will remain the same: just that glorious birria tatemada, vegetarian consomme, tortillas hecho a mano, and roasted tomato salsa. Plus one addition: the long-awaited roll-out of the Zaragoza torta ahogada is expected in June.
There's little reason to fear for the mothership location. Mama Norma will remain at the helm, along with son Jonathan, fresh from a stint at Sepia. He promises to roll out occasional specials like capirotada and Mexican Caesar salad with cotija fritters.
Birrieria Zaragoza II, 2211 W. Lake St., Melrose Park, 708-344-3400
Birrieria Zaragoza, 4852 S. Pulaski, 773-523-3700