Next up on the Chi-town train of eats is Big Star. Looking for a place to wile away the day while sucking down wonderful margaritas and some pretty decent chow, this is your kind of place. Sit outside on the large patio on a beautiful fall afternoon and time will melt away. Or, hide away inside when the weather turns and warm up with shots of tequila and queso fundido.
No, Big Star is not terribly authentic Mexican. No, the menu isn’t very large. Yea, service can be hit or miss. But you’ve come here for a good time so relax and take it all in stride.
The Monster starts the day off with some chips (how can half taste good and the other half be incredibly stale?) along with some guac that has merit. In fact, he starts off with two orders as he waits for more friends to arrive. Then the margaritas hit the table and the day takes a decidedly fun turn.
The tacos choices on this occasion are the beer battered tilapia, chipotle mayo, cabbage, cilantro and lime which are fine enough but could do with less of the mayo and the roasted chicken leg, tomatillo, poblano, oregano, charred green onion, radish, pickled cucumber and cilantro which prove to be dynamite. A lot goes into the chicken leg taco but the outcome is even more than the sum of its parts. The waitress was dead on calling this her favorite.
A lot of tables are feasting on al pastor tacos and the Walking Taco, corn chips, ground pastor, pinto bean dip, queso Chihuahua, chili sauce and green onion. As for that walking taco, know that it’s served up in a Frito bag… And if you’re the type to come here and eat salad there is one on the menu and hopefully everyone makes fun of you.
Pretty soon after the food is demolished this becomes an afternoon of shots, beer, and margaritas which is to say it becomes a near perfect day. When the bill finally comes and it’s time to hobble home, know BS only accepts cash but has an ATM inside.
So while you may not find culinary bliss at Big Star, you should find a rocking good time.
Why go? Alex Chilton was a musical pioneer (this one you’ll have to look up most likely)…
Monster rating: 3½/5 Monsters
1531 North Damen
Chicago, IL 60622