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Texican Puts Tex-Mex on Chicago’s Map; Eden is an Oasis for CS

Both spots receive high marks from critics this week

Marc Much

Texican puts all other Tex-Mex restaurants to shame according to Mike Sula. Chef Kim Dalton is “offering a focused menu of iconic Tex-Mex dishes that appeal most in their assured simplicity.” The King Ranch Casserole, which can “induce the kind of coma that is the only effective treatment for certain high-grade hangovers,” features chicken enchiladas layered with melted cheddar, sautéed red peppers, and sour cream. Chili mac is a simple yet comforting “salvation,” while pork guisado tacos—slow simmered in tomatillo salsa—“can stand up to the best of them.” For dessert, an “alluring” French toast bread pudding is neither Mexican nor Texan but delightful nonetheless. [Reader]

Michael Nagrant thinks Texican has “found a sweet spot melding the best of Texas and Mexico.” He writes that Dalton “isn’t half assing some kind of bastardized Ladies Home Journal version of Tex-Mex.” Instead, the chef is creating items like a “soulful carb-infused comfort” king ranch casserole that’s like a “light Mexican lasagna.” Breakfast tacos are “overflowing” with creamy scrambled egg curds and queso fresco, and complemented with “complex and balanced” red and green salsas. The chili, which has a “heady spice islands perfume,” is “truly the best bowl of chili” that Nagrant has had in Chicago. Topping it all off is French toast bread pudding that will “fulfill all your sweet dessert and brunch fantasies.” [RedEye]

Graham Meyer also sings the praises of Texican. He describes the menu as one that “unabashedly trumpets ingredients authentic to a cuisine often branded inauthentic.” The tacos “shine,” coming in options like stewed-pork guisado and “well proportioned” Gulf shrimp with chipotle crema and red cabbage. Texas chili mac is “all hominess and comfort” and the King Ranch Casserole similarly offers “remembrances of home” to Meyer. To finish, the “indulgent” mangonada is a mango-tango frozen dessert that blends a parfait out of yogurt and mango sorbet with chamoy. [Crain’s]

Eden is a West Loop hideaway delivering farm-to-table fare sourced from its own greenhouse. Lisa Shames visits the garden party happening on Lake Street and thinks the food is a “mix of Mediterranean-leaning influences along with a California aesthetic” that “appeals to a wide variety of tastes.” Umami doughnuts are a scrumptious starter stuffed with mushrooms, spring onions, and shiro miso paste and served with a side of raclette-bechamel sauce. The classic wedge salad also has “fun twists”—fried cranberry beans replace bacon bits and charred scallions provide a hint of smoky flavor in the ranch dressing. Housemade pastas include must-try fennel brandade-stuffed tortelli while a lamb loin entrée comes with “terrific” lamb sausage as well as “refreshing” cubes of pistachio-yogurt panna cotta. Desserts like the chocolate crunch—log-shaped chocolate cake with chocolate gelato and coffee brittle—are an exciting end to the meal. [CS]


2734 West Roscoe Street, , IL 60618 (312) 366-2294 Visit Website