855 W. North Ave. (1600N, 900W)
Chicago, IL 60642
Chicago Bar Project "Bite"
I normally avoid chain restaurants (in this case 15 locations in five states), but was inspired to drop by Uncle Julio's Hacienda after a friend of mine originally from Monterey Mexico shared with me that Uncle Julio's is his favorite spot for Mexican food in all of Chicagoland. After such a weighty recommendation, I sped over. It was a tad chilly for Uncle Julio's outdoor deck, separating the restaurant from its ample parking lot, so we headed inside to find an appealing explosion of color and sound in a huge open space that rivaled the exterior. After a surprisingly good basket of chips with perfectly spicy salsa, we ordered the Camarones Brochette (jumbo shrimp, stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese and jalapeños and wrapped in bacon) and the Tacos al Carbon (steak fajita tacos). The tacos were the best I'd had in a long time and the shrimp were superb. We washed it down with Julio's Gold margaritas made with passion fruit, lime, Herradura Silver tequila and Grand Marnier orange liqueur, and a few Dos Equis Ambers. No wonder there's a line out the door every weekend. We subsequently walked several miles home to work it off... If you like Uncle Julio's be sure to check out Las Fuentes in Lincoln Park, El Jardin in Wrigleyville and Cafe El Tapatio in West Lakeview. For more information, check out the Uncle Julio's website. ¡Salud!