Barcocina | Lakeview | Mexican/Southwestern | Restaurant
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Lucy Hewitt

Gourmet tacos from Hogsalt Hospitality vet Matt Williams.

Our Review

Baltimore, Maryland, that roiling crucible of Mexican culture, has sent Chicago a taqueria. It's fair to wonder what the folks behind Barcocina think they have to offer a city with an infinity of opportunities to eat well in simple mom-and-pop taquerias, to say nothing of the recent rise of chef-driven taco spots. The chef is Hogsalt Hospitality veteran Matt Williams, who doesn't appear to have been given much independence from the east-coast mothership: the menu's seven tacos, three entrees, three guacamoles, and handful of sides and antojitos represent a truncated version of what the Baltimore location serves. Blandness is a problem found across much of Barcocina's brief menu: fat shrimp quesadillas with corn and melted cheese bear little trace of their promised ancho seasoning; a green mango-quinoa salad with lettuce leaves large enough to pose a choking hazard is slicked with oil, but there's little acid for balance; and in a sizable plate of the pork and hominy stew rebocado, luscious pieces of pork belly never seem to harmonize with the nutty, chile-coated hominy. Barcocina is somewhat evocative of Mexican food. But the way it's executed underscores the worst stereotypes about this neighborhood: that it's unthreatening, unchallenging, and unsurprising. Doesn't Lakeview deserve better?

Mike Sula

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