Affordable Fridays: Flaco's Tacos

November 14, 2008 11:53:55 AM PST
ABC7 Chicago's Hungry Hound has found another great bargain in the South Loop area, and it's part of his occasional series on affordable eating. Food reporter Steve Dolinsky looks for good meals at fair prices at clean, friendly and neighborhood places, where the food is fresh and the prices more than reasonable.

This time, the Hungry Hounds is focusing on a taste of Mexico, by way of a popular local hamburger company.

Taquerias are everywhere in Chicago, especially on the South and Southwest Sides. But in the South Loop, a new option is attracting Columbia College kids and new residents. It's called Flaco's Tacos, and it's the brainchild of the family who owns Hackney's right next door.

"I've been to 18th Street, La Villita on 26th street, and I've tried a lot of different taco places. When we wanted to open up a new concept, we decided a taco place would be great," said Ed Hebson of Flaco's Tacos.

Burritos and quesadillas grace the menu, but it's the tacos that really impress. From the homemade 'al pastor,' or pork, that's assembled everyday, to the 'arrachera,' or beef. Well-seasoned and perfectly grilled, it's chopped throughout the day, making for high turnover. Even the fish tacos, which have evolved over the first few weeks of operation, are great. Whole tilapia filets paired with crunchy cabbage and drizzled with a hearty 'crema.'

Homemade is the mantra at Flaco's Tacos: from chips to red and green salsas. Even the guacamole is hand-mashed, giving it just the right texture. Much of the inspiration comes from the cooks.

"They came in, and a lot of them brought the recipes they brought from home," said Hebson.

Desserts range from seasonal muffins to sweet empanadas. Hebson says they're trying to elevate the experience of the everyday taqueria.

"There's taquerias all over Chicago that are very good, but sometimes it's not the first place you want to go into. People don't feel comfortable. A lot of times there's a language or communication problem. So, we wanted to bring authentic, Mexican food to the Printer's Row, South Loop neighborhood," Hebson said.

Flacos also serves beer and margaritas, as well as some very good homemade 'horchata,' a sweetened rice-milk drink.

Flaco's Tacos

725 S. Dearborn

312-922-8226

Previously featured on "Affordable Fridays":

Tierra Grill

525 E Saint Charles Rd

Villa Park, IL 60181

630-941-9923

Pita Inn

3910 Dempster, Skokie

847-677-0211

122 S. Elmhurst Rd., Wheeling

847-808-7733

9854 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview

847-759-9990

Yats

955 W Randolph St

Chicago, IL 60607

312-829-7930


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