Antique Taco is the Wicker Park love child of husband and wife team Rick and Ashley Ortiz. Like its namesake, this kitschy spot is a blend of Mexican-inspired flavors and shabby-chic décor with details straight from a Pinterestpinboard, complete with antique plates, striped paper straws, and blueberry carton serving containers. After placing their orders at the counter, diners take their own napkins, silverware, and water, served from a stainless steel jug, and seat themselves at the communal reclaimed wood farm tables. Food is then delivered from the kitchen as prepared. Come hungry, and with a group, as everything is delicious and sharing is recommended.
The farm-to-table menu, while limited, features seasonal and fresh ingredients, and locally sourced produce, meats, and cheeses. Tacos, served on house-made tortillas, come two to an order. Options include market mushroom with pickled vegetables, grilled ribeye with heirloom salsa, and garlic shrimp with purple potato, black beans, and crispy brussels. The standout taco at our table was the pork carnitas, featuring an adobo rub and tamarind glaze, and topped with spinach, avocado, and a strip of bacon. On my next visit, I plan to try the crispy fish tempura taco that looked delicious.
Also recommended is the guacamole, simply made with fresh lime juice, as well as the antique taco salad, beautifully prepared with kale, spicy peanuts, queso fresco, and cranberries. On our visit, the daily soup was black bean and bacon, nicely flavored with a medium level of spice. To end the meal, the horchata milkshake, made from a creamy blend of banana, almonds and vanilla ice-cream, and topped with a perfect amount of cinnamon, is outstanding, even on a blustery Chicago winter evening.
Antique Taco is a perfect weeknight casual dining destination, or a fun alternative weekend outing for a group of friends. With a cute and vintage backdrop, the unique and fresh flavors of the food are highlighted, and they are excellent.