OK turns out to be pretty good at Tixteco Mexican Restaurant | Bleader

OK turns out to be pretty good at Tixteco Mexican Restaurant


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You can call me al pastor (Paul Simon humor)
If you tweet your specials to three followers, does anyone come and eat them?

No. Probably not. But I have a feeling I know who was behind Tixteco Mexican Restaurant's short-lived attempt at social media outreach. Open since early March, Tixteco (not to be confused with Mixteco in Ravenswood—or maybe they'd like if you confused the two) is a tiny mother-daughter operation: mother makes the food, daughter handles the guests (and presumably the social media).

The daughter half of the twosome is young—not a child, but, like, Twitter young—and really nice and helpful. Although they've put together a pretty straightforward menu of tacos, burritos, gorditas, and tortas, she kind of lingered while I decided what I wanted to order to go, just in case I had any questions. So that she didn't feel like a vestigial limb, I asked her what she recommended. Easy: the al pastor (because it's her mother's recipe) and the lengua (because she loves tongue—stop with the joke before you start, please).

The special that day was three tacos, rice, and beans for $7.99—I chose al pastor, carne asada, and barbacoa, plus an extra lengua taco and an al pastor gordita.

She was right. The al pastor, with its smoky, char-grilled flavor, was the best of the four fillings. It was particularly fun in the gordita, atop a layer of refried beans and a cushion of spongy masa. The gordita was only $2.25, 26 cents more than a taco, but was the tastier, more filling option for those dining on a dime (which is a thing I do now and then).

The lengua wasn't bad. It was underseasoned, with only a little spice, so between bites of the other fillings you could actually taste the meat's mild gaminess.

You ever notice that sometimes you have to have a really gruesome meal to really appreciate one that's not bad at all?

The night after I had Tixteco and decided it was fine, passable, whatever, I had Mexican food at a place a mile or two down Milwaukee. I don't even want to name it. But I will say it's the place right next to Logan Theatre. Just awful. Greasy fillings in greasy tortillas. Bland rice and beans. Everything on the plate swimming in some hideous red sauce that absolutely came out of a can or jar and tasted a little bit like fish. Just the worst.

Turns out there's something to be said for run-of-the-mill Mexican like Tixteco's. Not bad is not bad at all.

And, please, follow these people on Twitter. Their three followers are making me depressed.

Tixteco Mexican Restaurant, 3334 N. Milwaukee, 773-639-2993.