1531 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Neighborhood: Wicker Park
I walked into Big Star on a Sunday afternoon, surprisingly there were tables available and the bar wasn’t crowed. For those of you that know Big Star’s reputation, you understand that this is rare! I actually really like sitting at the bar. When you walk in, you get the feeling that you may have died and entered Hipster Heaven, DO NOT WALK OUT! Besides the mustaches and tattoos, there is actually great quality food and amazing service. The service is being reviewed based on my experience with Laurent and Maria Sunday July 15th. It’s very important that I recognize what an amazing job they did. They were personable and engaging. Very knowledgeable about the spirits they carried and did not make you feel rushed.
I was greeted by Laurent, who took our drink orders, but Maria also helped us make some key ordering decisions. My girlfriend opted for a Gumball Head, (yes, they just about ALWAYS have Three Floyds on draft). I asked for Horchata with rum. Laurent advised me on the type of rum to get to balance the sweetness of the Horchata. We started with the Queso Fundido (melted queso chihuahua, rajas poblano, house made chorizo, fresh tortillas). Their portion size can easily be shared between four people. When you stick a fork in it, the cheese just drapes the fork so well that it’s hard not to simply dive in face first. The accompanying chorizo is spicy without being overwhelming. This usually takes about 15 minutes to prepare and get to the table, so make sure you have a little time to spend if you want to experience this delight. For the faster diner, you can get a taco in under ten minutes.
After we devoured the Queso fundido we then ordered our tacos (we weren’t in a rush), I don’t like ordering it all at the same time because it comes out too quick. At times, I even will order one taco at a time so I’m not inhaling a ton of food in 20 minutes. This may be sounds like a pain, but really it helps me enjoy the experience and I relax with the company around me. New food order came with a new drink, so I matched my girl and opted for a Gumball Head with my tacos. We both ordered the Tacos De Pescado (beer battered tilapia, chipotle mayo, cabbage, cilantro, lime). Now I’m not a fish taco girl, (insert lesbian joke here), but really it’s not something I would order without a little persuasion. They just get it at Big Star. The tilapia and cabbage give it a nice crisp bite, the chipotle mayo is not overwhelming and gives it a great Latin twist. I also ordered Tacos De Panza, (crispy, braised pork belly, tomato guajillo sauce, queso fresco, onion, and cilantro). Amazing! The pork was tender and crisp all at the same time. Between the tacos, the booze, and small talk with Laurent and Maria I was overwhelmed with what an amazing time I was having.
By the time I asked for my check, two hours had passed. The Gumball Head was flowin’, and I was really excited when Maria said we had to try the Jalepeno Tequila. We weren’t really excited about the idea, but Maria seemed so enthused that we decided to try it out. We took the shot, (yes, on a Sunday afternoon and the sun was shining down on us). It was so smooth and so delicious I think I will have a Jalepeno Shot in a Michelada (Tecate with a salted rim, lime and salsa) next time, just to kick it up a bit. When we received our bill we were also delighted that we did not break the bank. The prices are great. The service we received from Laurent and Maria was amazing and we can’t wait to be back. Definitely on a Sunday afternoon with Big Star’s Sunday crew!
You May Also Like:
Nina is a Chicago native, of Puerto Rican decent. Four years ago she co founded Doll House, which is a weekly Lesbian night in Chicago. Nina is now running Doll House with a team of twelve people, and swears it’s been the best four years of her life. After 18 years of arroz con gandules, Nina decided to take on the city to see what the neighborhoods have to offer. Some people eat to live, and although she hates to admit it, she lives to eat. Spoiling herself with one, two…OK maybe four or five nights out a week. When Nina is not indulging in Chicago eats, you can find her with a colorbrush in her hand in a high end salon making Chicago more beautiful every day.