Bull Horns Taco Bar: Redefining the taco, unfortunately

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Yes, thats the Bull Horns storefront. The one with the huge Marigold sign above it.
  • Julia Thiel
  • Yes, that's the Bull Horns storefront. The one with the huge Marigold sign above it.
Does the taco need redefining? According to Bull Horns, the taco joint that's taken over the Andersonville space briefly occupied by Marigold, the answer is yes. That's the second thing you'll see on their incredibly annoying website, which is essentially a slide show devoted to describing their philosophy—starting with their motto, "redefining the taco."

In this case, "redefining" tacos apparently means filling them with unusual stuff. On some level, that could be an effective strategy in a city that's bursting with excellent tacos. Making the best taco al pastor in Chicago is no easy task, but Bull Horns might just serve the best meatball taco you've ever had.

Bull horns kung pao taco, et al
But that's not necessarily saying a lot. And a comically large margarita and comically small appetizer of tamales didn't bode well: the former was overly sweet and weak, nearly all ice; the latter dried out and, at $7, about a dollar per bite. (We thought we'd dodged a bullet by not ordering the guacamole after we saw a tiny dollop of it, accompanied by a mountain of chips, arrive at another table—no such luck.)

One of the available margaritas (which someone at the next table ordered)
  • Julia Thiel
  • One of the available margaritas (which someone at the next table ordered)
The meatball taco, on the other hand, is actually pretty good. I'm not convinced it's something the world needs—spaghetti and meatballs are a classic for a reason—but the meatballs were moist and nicely seasoned, topped with marinara, mozzarella, and a sprinkle of basil. A fried chicken taco was my favorite of the bunch, the crispy chicken balanced by radish slaw. A shrimp taco with the same slaw was sweet and fresh, and the special of the day—Kung Pao chicken, with green onions and peanuts—tasted great for a few seconds, until the unnecessarily spicy sauce annihilated my taste buds. But the pollo taco, supposedly marinated in house-made sauce, was dry and flavorless, and the pulled pork wasn't much better.

The best thing I can say about Bull Horns is that the tacos and decor are, overall, not terrible. Nearly everything else is puzzling, from the drinks list (you can choose among 17 margarita variations, eight fairly crappy beers, three varieties of mojito, or a sangria made with moonshine) to the sign outside, which still proudly proclaims that the restaurant is called Marigold. Maybe the owners aren't expecting Bull Horns to be around for long either.

Bull Horns Taco Bar, 5413 N. Clark, 773-989-4300

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