Adolfo Garcia (Son of a Butcher) is opening a Mexico City-style taqueria at Lake and Michigan featuring 20 different tacos. He's again partnering with Phil Stefani to unveil Broken English Taco Pub in late April, a 90-seat, 3,000-square-foot restaurant. Though it obviously will focus on tacos, Garcia also mentioned there will be brunch items, breakfast tacos and tortas—but no entrees.
"Going into Mexico City, it's like taking a trip through the whole country without taking different flights," Garcia says. "You just visit different taquerias in different neighborhoods."
Garcia said he's wanted to open a taco spot for a long time but couldn't find that ideal neighborhood: he didn't want to open in Wicker Park/Bucktown and compete with Big Star or in Logan Square to compete with L'Patron. River North was also a no-no, as Garcia, a native of Puebla, Mexico, didn't want to compete with Mercadito.
Tacos will cost around $5 for a pair, customers will be able to mix and match, and Garcia says nothing on the menu will cost more than $10. They'll also have an affordable beverage program, with margaritas costing between $5 to $8, Mexican beer will be available, and Garcia is planning Broken English's own mezcal, which will come from his father's distillery in Mexico. Spiked horchata and a special Old Fashioned (named after Chilangos — the Mexican slang for residents of Mexico City).
Expect it to open at 10 a.m. daily, and those breakfast tacos—including one with chorizo, scrambled eggs and poblanos—will be available all day. They'll offer homemade corn and flour tortillas, plus tostadas. The latter will serve as a vessel for ceviche and poke.
While he described the menu as traditional, he wants a more modern atmosphere. The interior will be decorated with lucha libres and a nod to "Reservoir Dogs." The music will be upbeat, as Garcia described himself as fan of Motown and funk. There's also outdoor seating for 40 and a spit for al pastor.
The goal is to open Broken English before Garcia's other collaboration with Stefani, Flamingo Rum Club, which should open three weeks after Broken English starts serving customers. Stefani's involvement began after Garcia started sneaking off from the Rum Club site, visiting the Broken English space. Stefani eventually visited the spot, and pitched the partnership: "I don't have to sneak around anymore," Garcia, who hopes to open Broken English Taco Pubs in other cities, joked.
As for the name, Garcia doesn't want to offend anybody. He said it's a reflection of him, as he said his wife often calls "Broken English" as a nickname. "I'm still having a hard time with English even after 15 years in Chicago," he said. "Sometimes I mix the words, and that's become the fun part."
Expect a Cinco de Mayo soft opening.