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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



SAVOR Fulton Market taqueria Tacombi; upcoming events
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 1527 times since Sun Aug 13, 2023
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The Fulton Market district of Chicago (just west of the Loop) has changed significantly over the past several years—and is altering more every day, with sleek and new office towers, condos and businesses populating the area.

One of those businesses is Tacombi Taqueria (126 N. Peoria St.; )—an East Coast chain of spots offering authentic Mexican food that's making its initial Midwestern foray with its first Chicago restaurant.

And how authentic are the ingredients? According to manager Aaron Patlin, the chicken is from Yucatan; the pork from Mexico City; the steak is from Mexico's northern states; the cheese is from Oaxaca and Chihuahua; and the fish is from Baja California. (However, the Chicago menu is missing some items that the NYC menus have in order to facilitate "quicker service.")

Tacombi actually started in 2006, according to Camilo Beltran, who was training Patlin the day my friend and I visited there. In fact, Beltran said, the name is a portmanteau of "taco" and the Spanish word "combi" (describing the VW bus the business started in). By 2007, the business had relocated to the United States.

As for the dishes themselves, they were definitely authentic—and tasty. (And the spot, which only opened a week ago when we visited, was vibrant and had already dealt with block-long lines.) Sides included corn esquites (delightful, but ask for it without the sauce if your spice tolerance is low), rice and beans, avocado tostada and guacamole. Taco varieties include al pastor, carne asada, beef birria with dip (which my dining companion absolutely adored), Baja crispy fish (simple and simply wonderful), mushroom and pollo Yucateco. Several of those options can also be served as quesadillas, and there are even breakfast tacos (larger than the standard ones, and served all day).

And please don't leave without sampling a drink—whether or not it has alcohol. I really liked the non-alcoholic agua de pina (pineapple) but LOVED the agua de sandia (watermelon); it actually tasted like a freshly squeezed watermelon and I could've drunk it all day. I wanted to try the horchata but didn't want to push my luck because I might've actually stayed all day and night. My friend thoroughly enjoyed his spicy margarita—and there are several other alcoholic drinks to try there, such as the Mezcal Mule, Pina Colada and Paloma.

My only quibble with the food was that there are no dessert items, as some people like even a light dessert to end their meals. However, with this being Fulton Market, there are plenty of nearby bakeries and similar spots.

Also, the staffers deserve a shout-out, for sure. They're all very friendly (and my dining companion mentioned how attractive he thought they all are).

By the way, don't think this will be Tacombi's only foray into the local culinary scene. According to Patlin and Beltran, there are plans for up to 10 spots in Chicagoland (including taquerias in Wicker Park and Old Town)—and more are opening along the East. It seems like Tacombi's goal might be world domination—one delicious taco at a time.

Note: This visit was arranged.

More reviews and Chicago restaurant news are at .


River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., will host its 6th Annual Seafood Boil on Thursday, Aug. 17, 6-9 p.m.

Guests can mix and mingle on River Roast's waterfront veranda while stopping at each food-and-beverage station to indulge in a spread created by Executive Chef Jason Qureshi.

Tickets are $95/person and will include various apps, a classic seafood boil (shrimp, andouille sausage, sweet corn and potatoes), two drink tickets and a DJ in addition to the incredible views of the river and skyline. Purchase at .

George Trois Group sommelier/Beverage Director Brian Duncan will host The "Blind Ambition" Champagne Experience on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. on Aboyer's French garden-inspired patio in Winnetka.

Duncan will talk through varietals with guests to explore the blind tasting with them, and provide his insight. There will also be passed hors d'oeuvres and small bites from Chef Michael Lachowicz.

Tickets are $75 each; visit .

The Fairmont Chicago will host a Hunneus wine dinner (especially curated by Chef Elton Ambrose) on Wed., Aug. 23, 6-8 p.m.

The featured five-course menu is slated to include crab and tomato herb salad paired with Flowers Chardonnay, mushroom ravioli paired with Benton Pinot Noir, pork tenderloin with cocoa rub paired with Flowers Pinot, roasted ribeye paired with Leviathan Red Blend, and peach clafoutis paired with Flowers Rose.

Tickets are $99 per person (plus applicable taxes and service charges); visit

If you're a fan of Britney Spears, it's almost obligatory that I let you know of the "A Britney Drag Brunch" at Headquarters Beercade, 213 W. Institute Ave., on Sunday, Aug. 20, 12-4 p.m.

The performing queens will include the iconic Mimi Marks as well as Lola Madison, Amber Valentine and Kenzie Coulee. See .

Kellogg's Away From Home (which "sets trends and inspires cravings away from home with a portfolio of iconic brands") announced its cheesiest partnership ever: a new Cheez-It brand partnership with Chef Mitchell Aboujamra, owner and head chef of the Lincoln Park-based sandwich shop and market All Too Well.

Aboujamra, known for his gourmet sandwich menu, is offering the "Gutman Bros" as All Too Well's "Sandwich of the Month" during August. The sandwich features Cheez-It® infused whipped cheese, Cheez-It® fried onions, a choice of bacon or sausage, and avocado, served on two fried waffle hash browns.

Also, All Too Well customers who purchase the Gutman Bros sandwich will receive a free grab-and-go 1.5-ounce size package of Cheez-It® Original Snack Crackers, while supplies last.

See .

Chicago-based fast-casual sandwich concept Hannah's Bretzel is teaming with James Beard-nominated Chef Rodolfo Cuadros of Bloom Plant Based Kitchen as part of its next Chef Sandwich Series.

Cuadros' Fire Banh Mi (which is currently available) is made with marinated daikon and is joined by sweet pickles, arugula, fresh jalapenos, cilantro and red-pepper aioli between Hannah's organic bretzel bread. Bloom features an elevated menu that is 100% plant-based and gluten free and is designed for everyone to enjoy.

The Fire Banh Mi will be available for a limited-time at all three Hannah's Bretzel locations throughout the downtown Chicago neighborhoods, including River North and the Loop. The sandwich is available now for delivery and catering orders. Visit .

This article shared 1527 times since Sun Aug 13, 2023
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