Bar Takito offers Mexican fare with swagger

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One of Wicker Park's more popular Mexican-themed restaurants now has a second branch in the West Loop. (WLS)

The crowds have been pretty steady since Bar Takito opened in the West Loop a few months ago; the front door just a few feet from the Morgan Green Line stop. This sister restaurant to Takito Kitchen in Wicker Park has quite a bit more square feet, resulting in a menu with a bit more swagger.

"Get beyond just tacos, have some large share plates, have some influence from Central and South America as well as a bigger bar program," said Exec. Chef David Dworshak.

A shareable dish called mixiotes begins with an enormous pork shoulder, dry rubbed and then wrapped in banana leaves, left to slow-cook in the oven for hours, until it's incredibly tender.

"Then we crisp it up and add a chile sauce that has seven different types of chiles, along with garlic and pork stock, and then we serve that with a pickled vegetable salad with avocado, cilantro, and it comes with beer tortillas and some sesame as a garnish," said Dworshak.

Arepas are the go-to corn pancake in Colombia, and here, they get super-sized, made with Midwestern corn that's been frozen from the summer, as well as a sheep's milk cheese stuffed within. Mushrooms and pickled vegetables are sauteed, creating a pretty hearty vegetarian entree, or, if you choose, you can also add some pork or chicken.

"We have a couple different options you can garnish it with, you can go vegetarian-style, or you can get it with chorizo, or with chorizo and fried chicken," he said.

Now at the original Takito Kitchen on Division the bar is just a fraction of the space; they've only got about three different spirits - pisco, tequila and rum. But here, at the new Bar Takito, the selection is much more extensive as you can see behind me with about a dozen different cocktails on the list. Cheers to that.

The restaurant also has live music every Thursday night.

Bar Takito
201 N. Morgan St.
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