It's rare that I'm hungry in the morning, but I had a breakfast dish at Bar Takito that made me (compelled, forced, gave me no reason not to) keep eating it: I had thirds, I could hardly stop. It was wonderful.
The object of my affection was a bowl of Carolina Gold rice with big kernels of choclo (chewy, lush Peruvian corn), some crushed pistachios and pickled vegetables. Oh my, this was a wonderful dish. The flavors were so clean, the rice so lush and lovely and beautiful, the corn offering a textural contrast, bursts of moist carb liquid, and the pickles perking it all up. I loved it.
We were invited to have brunch at this place, which kind of surprised me, as I did an "impertinent interview" with Bar Takito Chef David Dworshak in Eater some months ago (the last question in the interview was from him to me: "Are we about done with this?") Even though this piece was intended to be humorous, I was concerned that I might have burned bridges with him, which I'd be loath to do as he's an awesome chef and a good guy. Such concerns were quickly allayed when he came over to chat with us during lunch.
Carolyn got the arepas (South American corn cake) with steak and eggs, and I had the pombazo (a long bun filled with meat and, usually, floating in sauce).
The arepas with steak and eggs and bacon was superb; nice touch of spicy sauce, a great way to start the day.
My pombazo had excellent flavor, but as I mentioned to Dworshak, I think it needed more sauce. The house-made chorizo was very good, meaty and spicy, but the sourdough bread was so thick, it really needed a knife and some serious elbow action to cut off a bite-size chunk. If this dish were done in traditional style (and I'm not saying it should have been, just saying), it'd be awash in spicy, tomato-based sauce, which would help soften the bread and thereby defeat dryness, the great enemy of all sandwiches.
For drinks, I had a mezcal that'd been aged in a cask that previously held a wash of coffee; a very fine breakfast booze.
Carolyn had an "avocado shake" that was mind-blowingly good: rich, vegetal, with a little tequila and aloe vera liquor. Lightly green and rich, fantastic.
Bar Takito is on Morgan Street, less than a block from the new Google Headquarters. It's actually a shorter walk (in terms of actual feet traveled by our feet) from our house in Oak Park to Bar Takito than it is from our house to downtown Oak Park. A 15-minute shot from the Green Line stop at Ridgeland, it's way worth the trip – and you should make that trip for brunch before Google kids take over the west loop and, eventually, the world.
201 N Morgan St, Chicago
Answer Book 2018
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