Saw La Pasadita on Check Please (and have driven by many times). Is it really worth the trip? If so, what's a "must order" item?
I'm not doubting that it's good, it's just that I've found so many great taquerias in Chicago, it's one of the things that I love about it. Tell me why I should make the trip to that one...
The La Pasaditas are merely okay to my mind. Not bad, not great, definitely not deserving of the hype which to my mind figures primarily around the triple storefront concept and Wicker Park's hunger for trend over quality. If you want excellent al pastor or carne asada tacos you might travel up to Ashland and Blackhawk(just a 10 min. walk...if that...away from the La Pasaditas 3) to Taqueria Leon. TL is an unassuming corner store with a taqueria located in the back along with the produce...it just doesn't have the "hip" factor of La Pasiditas. It does have much better food. Just a half a block past TL is a Supermercado Guanajuato with a taqueria located in the center of the store. Not as good as TL, but again, better than La Pasaditas.
If I'm going for burrito's I go elsewhere. If you're in the area and want a good carne asada taco I like eating in at the largest location and having my taco's with the pico di gallo. But they definately can be hit or miss. When it's good it's a 10 when it's bad it's a 6-7. When you say should you make a special trip I guess it depends what you define as far away.
I'd be curious what your other standby location are that you prefer. Not too long ago La Pasadita's was published in the Tribune along with other city Taqueria's. The other comparable locations maybe your local fave in which case the drive would be uncessasary...
I have been to one of the other locations mentioned in that recent article on the south side. Sorry I don't remember the name but I felt like I might has well save the extra time to get there to be eating at La Pasadita's. I'm on the northwest side of the city so driving in to La Pasadita is a "special trip" for me.
IMO: It's not worth it unless you happen to be in the area. I too went on the basis of the check please review, as well as the numerous glowing reviews I've seen on various forums, most notably the California centric Burritophile website.
It was confusing, lots of standing around waiting to be seated (they have about 15 seats total, they are geared more for carry out.) and trying to figure out which one of the three store fronts is the right place, and then the food was only good, but not great.
They specialize in tacos which are tasty, and the Burritos are that California Mission style (read Chipolte here) and not your typical Chicago Taqueria style unlike many of the better Taquerias in the city like the Taco Burrito Palace on Halsted for example.
On the Burrito, I thought the steak to be tough and cut too big so the overall burrito experience was "chewy". There was no spicy kick or overriding flavors to anything, plus due to the overabundance of ingredients everything else was muted giving the overall effect of one big bland mess. The Barbacoa tacos were very good.
FYI: San Fransisco Mission style burritos are basically huge stuffed burritos, everything you get on a dinner plate (steak, rice, beans, cheese, avocado wedges, ensalad) are all stuffed inside a steamed tortillas and then wrapped in foil to help hold it together, its allot of food for $5 and sometimes can be overwhelming!
Chicago Taqueria's tend to keep it more basic; read: overstuffed taco here (steak, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato & salsa rojo inside) and a nicely toasted tortilla.