DeColores, a Spanish expression meaning “the colors” or “in colors,” has been showcasing its affordable Mexican cuisine, comprised of many family recipes, in Pilsen’s Art District since October, 2009. Capitalizing on its location, DeColores rotates the artwork featured on its walls in order to showcase local artists. DeColores is small, with a bar at the front of the restaurant, and it only takes reservations for parties of 6 or more, but service is efficient and food is served timely, so waits are typically not long. If you do have to wait, I recommend ordering the margarita to bide the time, one of my favorites of any Mexican restaurant in Chicago.
To start, the guacamole is a must. With plenty of lime, red onion, diced tomato, chili serrano, fresh cilantro, and cucumber, it was bright and refreshing, with a hint of spice. I requested sliced cucumbers on the side to enjoy with the guacamole, and our server politely obliged. While the freshly made corn tortilla chips looked and smelled fantastic, I wanted to save room for what was the come. However, those who had the chips really enjoyed them.
For lighter appetites, I recommend the ensalada del mar, or seafood salad. Offering plenty of grilled shrimp and calamari atop a blend of romaine lettuce and spinach, along with cucumber, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries, this salad was delicious.
DeColores is known for its award winning mole sauce, so both the mole poblano, a platter of dark chicken meat smothered in a deep and rich mole sauce, as well as the enchiladas de mole, three rolled up chicken enchiladas beneath a heaping serving of mole sauce, were ordered at our table. The mole sauce was good and not too sweet like some moles can be. It also featured a nice kick of spice. Both dishes were accompanied by standard rice and beans.
The spinach quesadillas offered plenty of the healthy green stuff, along with the requisite gooey cheese, as well as a side of freshly made guacamole. However, they also offered an excessive amount of salt, rendering them basically inedible. Additionally, while the fish tacos, made with tilapia, were good, they, too, were too salty for our tastes. Unless you like your food salty, ask your server to limit or 86 the salt when you order any dish, as it appeared to be a repetitive issue.
To finish the meal, I HIGHLY recommend the tres leches cake. So incredibly moist, delicious, and addicting, this dessert beat out the cheesecake flan, which resembled more of a flan than a cheesecake.
Overall, I enjoyed our experience at DeColores. Service was very good and the drinks were delicious. While some of our dishes were hits and others were misses due to the high salt content, for the price and casual atmosphere that DeColores offers, it is a nice place for a casual date spot or dinner with friends.
I am always searching for great, real Mexican food in Chicago. If you have suggestions, please comment below!
1626 South Halsted Street, Chicago, 60608