Xoco | River North | Mexican/Southwestern | Restaurant
Rick Bayless's street-food spot, offering churros and hot chocolate, tortas, and caldos.

Our Review

Anyone avoiding Xoco because of the daunting lines Rick Bayless’s "quick-serve" Mexican street-food joint should know that the Chef Who Can Do No Wrong provides plenty to think about during the wait: the chalkboard menu lists a half-dozen caldos and nine or ten tortas (from the wood-fired oven or the griddle). And action fans can thrill to the battery of line cooks frenetically constructing meals a few arm’s lengths away. Still, there’s a certain variety of grump who no matter what is going to stand in line, arms folded, and ask himself, damn it, is there nowhere else in town to turn for a comparable ham-and-cheese torta under $12 or so? The answer is no. There is nothing like Xoco’s jamon torta, griddled flat and layered with La Quercia prosciutto, seasonally variable organic Wisconsin cheddar, black beans, avocado, and chipotle mustard. Caldos are all more than meals in themselves, and the third wave in Xoco’s attack are the freshly fried churros, best accompanied by bean-to-cup hot chocolate lightly spiced with chile or spiked with almond or cow's milk. The dining area is cramped and awkwardly arranged, with a good number of seats facing directly into a wall, but there's the option of takeout.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa


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