I've been studying/outlining/researching take home finals for the last few weeks. My extreme lack of blogging can be attributed directly to the most hectic time of the year for me, so I don't really apologize for that. However, at some point last week, my brain melted from pouring through the Illinois Criminal Code, so I decided we needed to go out for dinner. You may have noticed a theme here...whenever I get to immersed in something, I need to go out to eat. It's amazing that I don't weigh 350 pounds.
So off we went to Tarascas International, which serves Mexican food. Tarascas is located at 2585 N. Clark and its website is http://www.cocinastarascas.com/. My friends, Tom and Mike, have told me that this place was really good, but for whatever reason, I never made it there until last week.
I walked in and expected it to be like every other Mexican place I have ever been to (loud, brightly colored, very busy, etc.). However, the room was dimly lit, it wasn't terribly noisy, it was crowded, but not people-standing-everywhere crowded. I was also on the verge of tears as I'm certain we won't get a decent table. But we do; relief washes over me in an awesome wave.
Anyway, I had the chicken enchiladas with the mole sauce. I had some enchiladas from some other Mexican place a few weeks earlier that were no good, so I needed to redeem enchiladas in my mind. Thankfully, these did the trick. The chicken was shredded and exceedingly juicy. Many times in Mexican food, you will get diced chicken that is way overcooked. Tarascas managed to avoid that pitfall. Secondly, the thing that doomed the enchiladas the last time I had them was the terrible mole sauce. I was a bit skeptical about getting mole again so soon, but again, Tarascas delivered. The mole was dark black, like tar. It was peppery, nutty, and tasted faintly of bitter chocolate. All in all, it went perfectly with the tangy cheese and juicy seasoned chicken.
I would be doing a terrible disservice if I were to leave out the amazing margaritas. I got the regular house margarita, but if you wanted to, it looked like they had some margaritas made with some awesome aged tequila. I got the margarita frozen and it was a bit strong at first taste. I was beginning to think their lofty status in the city's margarita pantheon was unwarranted. However, I squeezed the lime over it and stirred it in, and it was ready to go. I'm not exactly sure what type of magic lime they served with it, but it sucked out much of the burning alcohol flavor that accompanied my first taste. It was well balanced, meaning it wasn't overly sugary or tart.
It would be fair to say that I greatly enjoyed Tarascas. I'll definitely be going back there. Check out the pictures.