David Hammond

There are a lot of places in Oak Park to get tacos. Hecho in Oak Park or Maya del Sol are obviously places you’d expect to find tacos, but tacos are also served at less obvious places like Poor Phil’s and Winberie’s. There are, by my count, over one dozen places in Oak Park to get tacos – which is not surprising at all. Tacos are now universal.

The case could be made that tacos are one of the most internationally acclaimed of all Native American foods. Originating in Mexico, which is also the birthplace of corn, the taco has become a widespread carbohydrate platform for all kinds of vegetables and proteins. It was, at first, surprising to see Korean taco and fish taco food trucks in California, but now no one thinks twice about soft-shell crab tacos or dessert tacos. Tacos are everywhere.

The best tacos are made of hand-pressed, freshly griddled tortillas, still smelling of corn. Fresh tortillas are moist, and that’s critical. A problem with many tacos, like many sandwiches (and a taco is, effectively, a sandwich), is that they can become dry …especially if the tortillas are just a little past their prime.

Becoming overly dry is not a problem with the breakfast tacos at Courageous Bakery (736 Lake), which honestly is one of the very last places in Oak Park I’d expect to find a taco…but like I said, tacos and tortillas are now pretty much everywhere.

The Breakfast Taco at Courageous Bakery had good flavor, with a mix of spicy chorizo and fluffy egg. But oh man, why in the name of all that’s tasty would the kitchen put two browning and disfigured avocado slices on there? And the taco itself was maybe a little old: it fell apart as I tried to lift it for a first bite (click through the photo above to witness the horror, the horror). If you’re going to wrap something in a taco, you need to make sure the weight of the contents don’t challenge the tensile strength of the tortilla. Eating a talking with a knife and fork makes no sense, but it’s what I had to do with my Breakfast Taco at Courageous Bakery.

The Breakfast Burrito, on the other hand, was quite delicious, and because it was wrapped with a sturdy flour tortilla, everything held together so it was possible to eat the burrito as a burrito should be eaten: by hand. Inside the burrito was, again, the chorizo and eggs, a nice bunch of greens, beans, red peppers, cheddar cheese, and avocado. This was a good breakfast.

On October 4, celebrate National Taco Day…with a Breakfast Burrito at Courageous Bakery.

Note: reviewer is anonymous and personally pays for all meals; viewpoints expressed are those of the reviewer alone.

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...