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Mysterious Rabbit Tacos

  • j
  • Jim Leff May 29, 2000 01:07 PM
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Just found this, written on a torn shred of paper, in the bottom of the pocket of a pair of pants I haven't worn in months (of course, this is how some of the best tips come):

Corner of Western avenue and Armitage (spelling?) in Chicago: great rabbit tacos

That's it.

Can anyone do anything with this information?

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  1. Jeff - I live about two blocks from this location. On the corner of Western & Armitage, there is a mexican restaurant called Arturos. There is another restaurnat right next door called Lazios(?) which seems to specialize in more seafood. Across Western is an old fashioned candy store/soda fountain called Margies Candies. Either of these mexican restaurants could have rabbit tacos but I've never sought them out and I wouldn't recognize it in spanish on the menu.

    18 Replies
    1. re: Terri
      j
      Jim Leff (not Jeff!)

      "I live about two blocks from this location"

      God, I love the Internet!

      "Either of these mexican restaurants could have rabbit tacos"

      I get the feeling it's Arturo's

      "but I've never sought them out and I wouldn't recognize it in spanish on the menu"

      Hey, that's what we're here for! Your personal chow support group. If you'll bring home a takeout menu, I'll be glad to help out (and other Mexicanphiles will surely chime in). Look for "conejo".

      Or, if you're feeling intrepid, here's how to ask in Spanish, phonetically: eye [as in eyeball] tacos de coNAY ho?

      alternately, write out the following on a slip of paper and show the guy:

      "Pardona que no hablo Espanol, pero hay gente que dicen que ustedes se serven muy ricos tacos de conejo. ?Es verdad?"

      And check out the reaction. And try some! And report back!!!

      ciao

      1. re: Jim Leff (not Jeff!)

        I'm sorry to report that rabbit tacos are not available at Arturo's. We went last night, had some very pleasant burritos, but were not able to convince the waitress that a rabbit taco would even be a delicious thing to eat at all, let alone an item to be offered at her establishment.

        We were sad and disappointed having had our interest piqued by the prospect of delicious bunnies. If anyone has any other suggestions for places to try that might have them--do tell!

        seth

        1. re: seth zurer

          It looks like I'll have to do some scouting around. It may be that these pesky rabbit tacos may be up the street (Western)a ways north or south of Armitage.

          1. re: Terri

            I hate to seem pushy, but PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE find the rabbit tacos!

            This is turning into a bit of a "thing" for me. I'd fly/drive there, but seeing as how you're right there on the block and everything.....

            We're sooo close to an answer!

            ciao

            1. re: Jim Leff

              I'm on the case, Jim. Last night I did a quick reconnoiter of the area in question. Since Arturos and Lazos are the only restaurants on the corner of Armitage and Western, it looks like I'll have to expand the search grid. (There are only about a billion taco joints on Western.)
              Since I did not have time for any real detective work (THE MAN made me work late), I grilled Jorge at Estrella & Juniors, my corner liquor store. After laughing in my face at my sorry attempt to pronounce "conejo", he told me he hasn't had a rabbit taco since he left Mexico. However, he told me that there is a restaurant called "El Conejo" on Western near Fullerton. Seems too obvious to me.
              The closest I got to a rabbit was Ciales Poultry which is a live poultry, rabbit, pheasant, quail place a couple of doors down from me. I'm pretty sure they don't have cooked anything there and the smell is pretty intense in the summer. Needless to say, I've never been inside but the sound of chickens squawking and crowing in the morning is kind of refreshing in the city.
              I have only scratched the surface. Will keep you posted.

              1. re: Terri

                Woops. Oh, my...

                They weren't laughing at your pronunciation. Sorry, I forget to warn you that conejo also means...something else. I'd forgotten about that, myself. But you needn't be embarrassed...the liquor store guys knew what you were trying to say, and never in a million years would assume that you knew the slang second meaning.

                Thanks for your dedicated work. "El Conejo" restaurant sounds obvious, but sometimes obvious works...

                ciao

                1. re: Jim Leff

                  Jeez. Now Jorge's subsequent offer regarding conejo makes more sense...

                  1. re: Terri

                    I'm loving this cliff-hanging Mysterious Rabbit thread. My first image was of bunnies in little lone ranger masks, but now I'm thinking an overdecorated Mysterious Rabbit Taco book in a Griffin & Sabine-type format. Each post folded up in a precious little envelope...scribbled cryptic notes found in pants pockets....semi-misunderstood queries in liquor stores....live chickens in the city...it's too good to be true.

                    1. re: Betty

                      Strange, I dreamt of rabbit tacos just last night. What do you suppose it all means? We had all better be very careful. We may have stumbled upon something bigger than we realize.......

                      1. re: allison9090

                        Yes, they are deep, deep in our collective chowhound unconscious by now. A true archetype, like Quisp....

                        So, where are they, people???

                        c'mon, Chicagoans...we can do better than this! Don't tell me I gotta fly out there!!

                        ciao

                        1. re: Jim Leff

                          OK, I promise to Drive on Western on Wednesday and look at the El Conejo place, which someone said was near Fullerton on Western. Is it possible that this note was to remind you that a place NAMED rabbit on Western had good tacos, not good rabbit tacos could be found on Western?

                          Lee

                          1. re: lee

                            Is it possible that this note was to remind you that a place NAMED rabbit on Western had good tacos, not good rabbit tacos could be found on Western?

                            I typed out a whole defensive, sputtering reply to you, attesting to my certainty that it's tacos of rabbit, not Rabbit Tacos I was hipped to several years ago.

                            Then all of a sudden, this pure crystalline holographic memory came bursting into my consciousness, and I realized, much to my embarrassment, that you're absolutely right. Even more embarrassing, because someone earlier in the thread already suggested this!

                            I'm also disappointed. First, that there are no rabbit tacos (nor Santa Claus nor Keebler Elves) second that no chowhound was able to dig some up for me in spite of my own wrong-headedness re: this particular tip. I'll not end my quest. Remember, Quisp (against all odds!) came back!

                            Ok, next issue...if I wrote down that this Conejo Tacos place was good, it might be real good. Anybody have a sec to drop in and report?

                            ciao

                            1. re: Jim Leff

                              This means I've been wandering the neighborhood for weeks looking for rabbit tacos in every hellish taquiera in Bucktown/Wicker Park FOR NOTHING. Last night I entered a dim establishment that I swear had no running water and some very scary customers that were not very amused by my attempts to order tacos made of rabbit. Jim, I believe you owe me a taco or something. Chalk the credit for Conejo Tacos up to Jorge, the man at my corner liquor Store.

                              1. re: Terri

                                "Jim, I believe you owe me a taco or something"

                                I agree! Email me your mailing address (tacos may not work, but I'll think of something else suitable). Actually, you're kinda owed by all of us who were waiting with baited breath (we have thousands times more "lurkers" than posters, you know). So if you're ever looking for info on something the resident hounds here can help with...you know where to bark!

                                Did you find anything else of worth in your quest? Did you try the Conejo Tacos place? I hear they're good!! At least give 'em a try. Might make it all worthwhile. The journey of a thousand miles, etc etc....

                                ciao

                                1. re: Jim Leff

                                  Have you unwittingly started a new urban legend?

                                  1. re: Dave Feldman
                                    b
                                    Bill Pisarra, Jr.

                                    Looks like they have 'em at a this spot in Prague, of all places, see link.

                                    Anyone going there that can Czech it out?

                                    Link: http://www.prague-tribune.cz/articles...

                                    1. re: Dave Feldman

                                      Looks like this is the place that's caused all the fuss, thought folks might like to see it, see link.
                                      Looks promising to me. Is that a white rabbit on the door?

                                      Link: http://www.rocket99.com/zoom/1160.html

                                    2. re: Jim Leff

                                      I will go there this afternoon (Wednesday 26 July), and report back tomorrow.

                                      Lee

        2. l
          Laura Levy Shatkin

          Not to side track you guys or anything but if you're interested in duck tacos, I may have a suggetion. It's not grungy, not in Wicker Park and some would call it over-hyped.....but Frontera Grill has the best duck tacos imaginable (I think they're still on the menu.)Most of the authentic dive Mexicans in Chicago keep the dishes pretty straight and don't experiment with game. But, I still keep a look out for rabbit tacos, too.

          1. I went to El Conejo yesterday. It is CLOSED!

            Yes, that was a white rabbit on the sign, and there were light-up rabbits in the windows (like those Santas you can put on your lawn). But it was padlocked shut, with big FOR SALE signs in the windows. Worst, there was no menu in the window, so I couldn't even look to see what they did, once upon a time, serve.

            But, given the review in Metromix, I think this was the place.
            http://www.metromix.com

            El Conejo
            2230 N. Western Ave.
            773-486-6558

            The door to El Conejo has a drawing of a rabbit playing soccer, which is appropriate. Some regular customers come here to eat the popular rabbit dishes while watching the soccer game on TV. This friendly restaurant offers beers, as well as pina coladas and margaritas. The rest of the menu is the standard Mexican-American fare: tacos, burritos, etc. It's across the street from the gentrifying Bucktown neighborhood.

            Lee

            Link: http://www.metromix.com

            8 Replies
            1. re: lee

              This whole thing is taking on archtypal qualities, no?

              Actually, maybe more Carollian! Follow that rabbit down the rabbit hole, etc...

              1. re: Jim Leff

                I really do think this was the place your note referred to -

                BUT WE WILL NEVER KNOW!

                (I'll ask on chi.eats and see if anyone there ever ate at El Conejo)

                1. re: lee

                  While we are on the subject of esoteric Tex-Mex offerings... Does anyone know of any Chicago Mex. joints that have cabrito (roasted goat)? [Sorry Jim, if this isn't the proper forum.]

                  1. re: Erik M.

                    Hey, don't apologize to me...if you placed your query as a new thread (or at least changed the subject title of your posting to reflect the new topic), you'd probably get better advice/response (a thread titled "goat" would attract specialist attention). Plus you'd be helping keep things organized for the benefit of All Houndkind.

                    Don't practice good threadsmanship as a favor to me; do it for The Pack.

                    ciao

              2. re: lee

                So there's this website...well, actually there isn't, not anymore, but Google caches defunct sites, so I found it.

                So there's this ghost of a lost website. It's composed by a man trying to sell an out-of-the-way plot of land on Mt. Palomar. The tone is strange. He talks about the land, and why he originally bought it, his state of mind at the time, hopes he once had. It's almost a memoir...rather moving, actually.

                Anyway, what sort of great American dream did he have, what did he want to do with this piece of pristine wilderness?

                He wanted to open a rabbit taco restaurant.

                Link: http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:...

                1. re: Steven Stern

                  Good work, Steven. Note there's a map on that page. Anybody in San Diego want to do some exploration?

                  ciao

                  ps--Wait, isn't there a famous telescope atop Mt. Palomar? How does that fit into all of this??

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    Clearly, we're dealing with Space Tacos.

                    I imagine a "Close Encounters" sort of situation: random people from all over the world suddenly find themselves in the throes of an inexplicable obsession with rabbit tacos and all converge on top of Mt. Palomar to await the coming of the madre-ship.

                    Link: http://einstein.stcloudstate.edu/Dome...

                    1. re: Jim Leff

                      Hi,

                      we should move this over to So Cal - there is at least one, maybe more, place called El Conejo in Orange County....