Hours: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: seven days
Open Late: 24 hours Friday & Saturday, Monday-Thursday till midnight
Bustling, cozy taqueria serving the standards as well as a free surprises--hot dog on your Cuban sandwich, anyone?
Catercorner from Portage Park, Taqueria Amigo Chino is a cozy, bustling, cash-only neighborhood joint. Complimentary chips come with three stellar salsas: a sparkling house-made pico de gallo, a creamy orange one that delivers a quick clean burn, and a marvelous green jalapeno number. In addition to the standards the menu offers several more unusual items and preparations. We saw chilaquiles, the breakfast comfort food, ferried out to many dinner tables, dressed in red or green sauce, with eggs, chicken, or steak. For the lunch crowd there are tortas; I took a calculated risk and tried the Hawaiiana, which featured ham and pineapple with lots of mayo and lettuce--odd, though not bad. The Cubana sandwich was a big surprise: the ham and breaded pork were there, but so were an omelet and a hot dog, a combo inconceivable on the streets of Havana. Huachinango a la Veracruzana came mounted upright as though for display on a fishermans mantel but apart from this received a fairly traditional treatment with olives and tomato salsa; it's one of the better renditions Ive had in Chicago. Horchata was superb, frothy and not too sweet--Id recommend a tall glass of it (there's no alcohol served, and youre not allowed to bring your own).