Friday, June 14, 2019


-Grubbing in Chicago
BYOB Chef Driven Mexican in Albany Park

I stopped trying to figure out why this place doesn't get more love a while ago. For me it's one of the best BYOB's in the city. Not just that but also home to one of my favorite places to brunch. Odds are it's the odd location on Montrose just west of Kimball that keeps this delicious Mexican restaurant somewhat off the radar. The chef/owner is one of the handfuls of Rick Bayless proteges to branch off onto his own. He started off as a dishwasher at Frontera before moving up and then onto other spots. 

Locals Favorite in Albany Park

Ixcateco opened back in 2015 and it certainly didn't go unnoticed. If I remember correctly the reviews were mostly favorable. The chefs training in fine dining allows him to create contemporary takes on classic Mexican dishes. Both the feel of Ixcateco and also the menu have a little bit of a 90's vibe going on. The menu is small. A group of 5 could probably go through all of it. A few items crossover to the brunch menu but not all of them. I find the brunch to be one of the best in the city bc it isn't too boring as far as breakfast dishes go. Simple bacon and eggs doesn't do it for me. But you know what does do it for me? Tacos. No matter what the meal is. I'm always down for tacos.

Steak Taco at Ixcateco

There's only a few taco options. None of them are exciting as far as fillings but the carne asada is one of the best steak tacos around. It's made with quality wood grilled (medium rare) meat and served with grilled onions on a house tortilla for the sick price of $3. I'd have been happy paying double. My wife likes the chilaquiles. You can order them green or red with your choice of meat should you want to add some. They're a very solid version though there's a few others I personally prefer around town.

Chilaquiles at Ixcateco

If you're looking for a brunch-y dish I recommend the lesser seen Huevos Motuleños. This is a regional specialty from the Yucatan region of Mexico. Exact recipes vary but the main ingredients will most often be eggs served over corn tortillas (sometimes fried) and ham, black beans, cheese, peas, plantains, and a Salsa picante like sauce. There's only a few spots in Chicagoland making this dish which is one of my favorite plates of breakfast. Ixcateco makes theirs with bacon instead ham.

Huevos Motuleños at Ixcateco

The best value on the menu is the red meat and that's whether you're here for brunch or dinner. The wood grilled skirt steak is a large piece of tender meat cooked to your liking. When served at brunch comes it comes served atop a tomato molcajete salsa with black beans, guacamole, and a fried egg. It's huge plate of food that would feed two with appetizers. The smokey tomato sauce is served warm and compliments the grilled meat nicely. At just $17.00 it's one of the best steaks in the city at the under $20 price-point. At dinner it's virtually the same but comes without an egg and is $3 more.

Skirt Steak and Eggs at Ixcateco

3402 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 539-5887


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