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Old 10-28-2011, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Andersonville, Chicago
2,167 posts, read 3,290,229 times
Reputation: 864
Eh, even Los Arcos is repeatedly empty. I do my part once every two weeks.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,080 posts, read 56,016,761 times
Reputation: 24754
Quote:
Originally Posted by MannheimMadman View Post
Eh, even Los Arcos is repeatedly empty. I do my part once every two weeks.
Best I can tell most of their business is take-out. Even so, it seems like a waste of very valuable retail space to have it sitting empty most of the time. You can do take-out in a space 1/3rd the size. I can only speculate that whoever owns the restaurant also owns the building and bought it back when you could barely give away real estate in the area.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Uptown
1,521 posts, read 1,179,593 times
Reputation: 1236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
I could care less about "authenticity" (unless a place claims they're doing authentic regional dishes of any ethnicity, and they aren't). The problem with many of the places in Lake View is that they just don't know how to cook. They buy poor/industrial quality ingredients and don't even cook them correctly. A place like Las Asadas gets decent quality skirt steak, run it through one of those industrial jaquards, season it well (and consistently), and cook it well. It ain't rocket science, but you need to constantly pay attention to what you're doing and care about the final result. Too many places in Lake View just don't care about anything.
This is spot on and as for the bolded, Mexican joints (and i'm talking more mom and pop variety) in Lake View or Lincoln Park just don't have to execute or deliver a high quality product to make money. And even if they did, the local customer base probably wouldn't notice enough difference to make the increased cost outlay in labor/product worth it, especially considering the areas high rents.

A joint on Lawrence in Albany Park, Clark St in Rogers Park, in Logan Park, Pilsen or Little Village doesn't have that luxury, they either deliver or get replaced by some place that will provide a product to customer base that demands more than a melted cheese chaser to a couple dozen beers.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,080 posts, read 56,016,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleking View Post
This is spot on and as for the bolded, Mexican joints (and i'm talking more mom and pop variety) in Lake View or Lincoln Park just don't have to execute or deliver a high quality product to make money. And even if they did, the local customer base probably wouldn't notice enough difference to make the increased cost outlay in labor/product worth it, especially considering the areas high rents.

A joint on Lawrence in Albany Park, Clark St in Rogers Park, in Logan Park, Pilsen or Little Village doesn't have that luxury, they either deliver or get replaced by some place that will provide a product to customer base that demands more than a melted cheese chaser to a couple dozen beers.
And yet there are quite a number of fantastically mediocre tacquerias in Albany Park. But there are some damn good ones too.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Andersonville, Chicago
2,167 posts, read 3,290,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
And yet there are quite a number of fantastically mediocre tacquerias in Albany Park. But there are some damn good ones too.
That's what I never understood. The clientele in Albany Park would definitely know the difference between authentic and garbage, yet there are still (hispanic) people patronizing these places.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:45 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,258 posts, read 11,448,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MannheimMadman View Post
That's what I never understood. The clientele in Albany Park would definitely know the difference between authentic and garbage, yet there are still (hispanic) people patronizing these places.

Maybe the garbage IS authentic? I don't know but I'm open to the possibility.

Last edited by Irishtom29; 10-28-2011 at 08:11 PM..
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,784 posts, read 14,528,050 times
Reputation: 5338
I don't disagree. Beans, rice, tortilla, pork and chicken plus mole and salsa (seasonings) are staples in every kitchen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleking View Post
This is spot on and as for the bolded, Mexican joints (and i'm talking more mom and pop variety) in Lake View or Lincoln Park just don't have to execute or deliver a high quality product to make money. And even if they did, the local customer base probably wouldn't notice enough difference to make the increased cost outlay in labor/product worth it, especially considering the areas high rents.

A joint on Lawrence in Albany Park, Clark St in Rogers Park, in Logan Park, Pilsen or Little Village doesn't have that luxury, they either deliver or get replaced by some place that will provide a product to customer base that demands more than a melted cheese chaser to a couple dozen beers.
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,196 posts, read 4,302,353 times
Reputation: 2321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleking View Post
This is spot on and as for the bolded, Mexican joints (and i'm talking more mom and pop variety) in Lake View or Lincoln Park just don't have to execute or deliver a high quality product to make money. And even if they did, the local customer base probably wouldn't notice enough difference to make the increased cost outlay in labor/product worth it, especially considering the areas high rents.

A joint on Lawrence in Albany Park, Clark St in Rogers Park, in Logan Park, Pilsen or Little Village doesn't have that luxury, they either deliver or get replaced by some place that will provide a product to customer base that demands more than a melted cheese chaser to a couple dozen beers.
I think a more plausible explanation is crappy Mexican food joints often thrive in areas with lots of bars as the patrons are less concerned about food quality when eating at 2 or 3 am. Lazo's and Arturo's come to mind, not the best food by far, but they can hit the spot if you're in need.
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,080 posts, read 56,016,761 times
Reputation: 24754
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Maybe the garbage IS authentic? I don't know but I'm open to the possibility.
For the taquerias in Albany Park, I don't think it's a question of authenticity so much as the quality and preparation of the ingredients. Up there, 95% of their clientele is Mexican (or at least Hispanic). So it's really a matter of them being either authentically good or authentically bad, or somewhere in between. The "American" equivalent would be all the burger and hot dog joints that serve blah food but still manage to stay in business; they can't all be Gene & Jude's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi-town Native View Post
I think a more plausible explanation is crappy Mexican food joints often thrive in areas with lots of bars as the patrons are less concerned about food quality when eating at 2 or 3 am. Lazo's and Arturo's come to mind, not the best food by far, but they can hit the spot if you're in need.
Arturo's is actually pretty good. Even though its primary clientele is half-drunk (or completely drunk) yuppie bar patrons, that obviously has not always been the case. And their menu hasn't changed that much to accommodate its more recent clientele. It's one of the few taquerias where you can get genuine al pastor cut from a shwarma spit. They serve fried fish with the head and tail still attached. They serve brain tacos and stomach tacos. About their only concession to the gringo crowd is giant-ass burritos stuffed with 85 different toppings. My only gripe with Arturo's is their carne asada is griddle-fried and mercilessly bland. Their chicken is a little bland too but you kind of expect that from chicken.

Lazo's on the other hand is just awful no matter its authenticity.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
2,893 posts, read 3,328,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post

Arturo's is actually pretty good. Even though its primary clientele is half-drunk (or completely drunk) yuppie bar patrons, that obviously has not always been the case. And their menu hasn't changed that much to accommodate its more recent clientele. It's one of the few taquerias where you can get genuine al pastor cut from a shwarma spit. They serve fried fish with the head and tail still attached. They serve brain tacos and stomach tacos. About their only concession to the gringo crowd is giant-ass burritos stuffed with 85 different toppings. My only gripe with Arturo's is their carne asada is griddle-fried and mercilessly bland. Their chicken is a little bland too but you kind of expect that from chicken.
I think Chicago-Native is right that many places in Lake View get by on late night drunk patrons (maybe we could call this the Flash Taco model of business), but I agree that Arturo's doesn't fall into that category. Their Al Pastor is up there with any in the city, and there menu is pretty solid across the board. Fortunately Las Asadas is right up the street for Carne Asada done right!

Arturo's still has a pretty solid clientele of Mexican Immigrants, they just aren't there at 2 AM. You will see plenty of Mexican cab drivers (and cab drivers of all ethnicities for that matter) there at all hours of the night. If you go there at 6 PM on a weeknight it is primarily Mexican immigrant families eating there. Just a little ways up Milwaukee Los Comales has a predominantly Mexican clientele, but it is not an outstanding place. They have a tendency to WAY overcook all the meats and leave them dry and chewy.
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