449 north clark st, chicago il
wednesday, october 6th, 2010
xoco's main feature is a wide variety of tortas, which are basically mexican sub sandwiches. the restaurant also serves breakfast before 10am, and adds caldos (soup) to the menu after 3pm. after perusing the menu for a few minutes, we made our selections. we ordered at the counter, and were shown to our table.
although xoco has a decent selection of wine and beer, we both opted for the house made limonada. being equally sweet and sour, the limonada was a very refreshing beverage.
approximately ten minutes after receiving our chips and salsa, our tortas arrived. pictured above is the ahogada. this torta features pork carnitas, black beans, pickled onions, and is served in a bowl of spicy tomato broth. the pork has perfectly cooked, and extremely tender. i was a bit leary of the pickled onions, but everything in the sandwich really melded together nicely flavor wise. what really took this sandwich to the next level was the spicy tomato broth. perfectly spiced and bursting with flavor, the broth really made this a sandwich to remember.
we finished up our meal with xoco's famous churros. made to order, the churros were hot, fresh, and delicous.
all told, xoco made for an incredible quick service style lunch. at $45 for the two of us, it is safe to say that this is the most expensive "order at the counter" restaurant i have ever been to. however, it is also head and shoulders above any place like it. if rick bayless is able to make food this incredible in a quick service format, i cannot wait to try his more formal establishments, the frontera grill and topolobampo.