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Looking for Loud & Mexican

j
jbr919 Feb 13, 2009 01:33 PM

Hey All - I'm planning a get-together to celebrate a friend's upcoming wedding. She has no requests save for not having to get too dressed up and being able to drink margaritas. My only request is that we not have to eat lousy Mexican food.

Any suggestions for a place where a group of 8 would be able to get a reservation on a Saturday night with two weeks' notice? We're staying downtown but folks will be coming from the burbs, so location isn't an issue.

Thanks in advance!

  1. j
    jbr919 Feb 20, 2009 12:36 PM

    Terrific - thanks for all the recommendations. I'll let you know where we end up!

    1. nsxtasy Feb 13, 2009 01:49 PM

      You'll find descriptions, contact information, and directions for a lot of Mexican restaurants, including the ones I'm about to recommend, in the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/463572

      I think the best bets among them for what you're seeking - i.e. places with spectacular food, but also very casual and where you can be fairly noisy without being out of place - are Fonda del Mar* (in Logan Square) and Mixteco Grill (on the north side on Montrose), and you should be able to get a reservation at either one. Frontera Grill, in River North, would be another possibility, but only if you can get a reservation, which is iffy (they only accept a *very* limited number). Another place that would meet your needs is Fuego, in northwest suburban Arlington Heights; the food is very good (although maybe a small step below these other recommendations) and again, the casual/noise factors work for you.

      *Note - when I ate at Fonda del Mar recently, I noticed that they get going on the somewhat late side. The place was virtually deserted till after 6:30, and didn't really even start to fill up until 7:30 or later. So if you go there, don't worry if it seems quiet at an earlier hour; they *will* fill up with enthusiastic revelers.

      5 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy
        nsxtasy Feb 14, 2009 05:21 AM

        I forgot to mention - Mixteco Grill is BYOB, with no corkage fee. The others I mentioned offer a full bar.

        1. re: nsxtasy
          m
          motomouth Feb 17, 2009 03:22 PM

          I'd rock El Barco. Big drinks, loud, great food, crazy memorable. And send me a little of that salsa negra while you're there. Mmmm... El Barco...

          1. re: motomouth
            Vinny Barbaresco Feb 17, 2009 06:58 PM

            I'd skip El Barfo - you'd find better food in a Tijuana jail.....seafood of marginal quality, poorly prepared and washed down with rot-gut tequila and sour mix Margaritas. As for the vibe, it feels like an extremley noisy Mexican "Hooters".

            For an authentic South of the Border experience, with real mariachis, good margaritas, guac and salsas made to order at your table and killer roasted goat and seafood -- I'd head 20 minutes West of Downtown to La Quinta de los Reyes in Berwyn.

            La Quinta de los Reyes
            6431 Cermak Rd,
            Berwyn, IL
            (708) 484-4689

            1. re: Vinny Barbaresco
              a
              amoncada Feb 18, 2009 08:42 AM

              Hey Vinny: your description of El Barfo cracked me up LOL! Thanks for a great laugh! You wrote:

              I'd skip El Barfo - you'd find better food in a Tijuana jail.....seafood of marginal quality, poorly prepared and washed down with rot-gut tequila and sour mix Margaritas. As for the vibe, it feels like an extremley noisy Mexican "Hooters".

              BTW: Berwyn and Cicero seem to be a treasure trove (or not) of Mexican restaurants and taquerias. It's tough to know where to begin.

              Thanks for the tip on La Quinta de los Reyes!

              1. re: amoncada
                abf005 Feb 18, 2009 09:52 AM

                amoncada, on the topic of great Mexican I think you one the most knowledgeable people on this board, in other words; I really respect you recommendations.

                What would be your recommendation for a North of Madison (not Downtown) place to eat with an adult group of about 10 (5 couples), that has not only great food (obviously) but also Latin dancing & music? I also need to keep it at about $50 a couple (minus drinks) Thanks!!

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