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Authentaco- Ex E side of Ashland La Pasadita

Authentaco- Ex E side of Ashland La Pasadita
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  • Authentaco- Ex E side of Ashland La Pasadita

    Post #1 - July 9th, 2013, 6:28 pm
    Post #1 - July 9th, 2013, 6:28 pm Post #1 - July 9th, 2013, 6:28 pm
    Months back there was quite the stir around here when ghost signs of burgers past emerged from the revamp/remodel of board favorite La Pasadita. At the time it was a source of conjecture as to what would become of it? Disclaimer: Felipe the new owner is my friend and currently owns Division St staples Delish Diner and Picante. After months of talking about possible concepts, menu items, equipment needs etc... post lunch @ Katy’s we went over to see the results. Here’s the scoop:

    The exterior signage has been painstakingly refinished and will remain in place for the sake of history, but there will be no burgers involved. Instead, Authentaco will focus on warm, fresh handmade tortillas paired mainly with interesting guisados. As the menu is still a work in progress, we’ll wait a bit to post on that more extensively but a couple of his favorite items sure to be included are Roasted Sweet Potato Al Pastor with Guajillo Peppers and Caramelized Onions; and Poblano Rajas con Queso y Salsa Roja.

    His future plans also call for a contained patio and outside bar in back featuring seasonal Agua Frescas and hopefully the Tepache we drink when we go to La Chaparrita for a little R&D. At the moment he’s looking to open by the end of the month (give or take a week).
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #2 - July 9th, 2013, 7:51 pm
    Post #2 - July 9th, 2013, 7:51 pm Post #2 - July 9th, 2013, 7:51 pm
    Interesting... :!:
  • Post #3 - July 11th, 2013, 8:45 pm
    Post #3 - July 11th, 2013, 8:45 pm Post #3 - July 11th, 2013, 8:45 pm
    Felipe and his business partner Chuck are good friends. And Felipe is real excited about this. About 30 days out as of today.
  • Post #4 - July 11th, 2013, 10:41 pm
    Post #4 - July 11th, 2013, 10:41 pm Post #4 - July 11th, 2013, 10:41 pm
    I always found the east side La Pasadita almost laughable in it's simplicity and starkness. It seemed like they had pared down eating to it's most basic- are you a hungry human and need cheap calories, fast? Tell them what you want, you pay your money, they push it out at you in about five minutes, you eat quickly, you leave immediately. Zero attempt at making it any place you'd want to stay more than that time it took to swallow your foodage.

    And that's exactly what made it so great.
  • Post #5 - July 21st, 2013, 12:36 pm
    Post #5 - July 21st, 2013, 12:36 pm Post #5 - July 21st, 2013, 12:36 pm
    thanks for the update - I was curious what that was going to turn in to. Looking forward to trying it!
  • Post #6 - August 15th, 2014, 5:03 pm
    Post #6 - August 15th, 2014, 5:03 pm Post #6 - August 15th, 2014, 5:03 pm
    Authentaco started their soft opening this past Wednesday and I just sampled an assortment of incredibly delectable tacos, all made with freshly pressed homemade tortillas. The huitlacoche taco was the standout item with the others following closely behind (flor de calabaza quesadilla, lengua and al pastor tacos). They're also in the process of setting up a very nice patio situation in the back that should be quite pleasant when completed.

    I'd hurry over there as there's no doubt in my mind that this place will be hoppin' when the word gets out. They were already drawing a slight crowd this afternoon as we were leaving.

    Nice job, Alan!

    Image

    Left: Tacos are both huitlacoche. Right: Lengua and al pastor.
  • Post #7 - August 16th, 2014, 7:14 am
    Post #7 - August 16th, 2014, 7:14 am Post #7 - August 16th, 2014, 7:14 am
    Authentaco's huitlacohe on freshly made tortilla washed down with a mango chile agua fresca was the perfect quick mid-afternoon snack. Alan mentioned toning down the chile heat component in the drink, I found it delicious as is.

    Authentaco's huitlacohe taco

    Image

    Alan Lake/Jazzfood

    Image

    I see myself becoming a regular and agree with Pigmon, go now and beat the inevitable crowds.

    Authentaco count me a fan!
    Last edited by G Wiv on August 16th, 2014, 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - August 16th, 2014, 8:26 am
    Post #8 - August 16th, 2014, 8:26 am Post #8 - August 16th, 2014, 8:26 am
    I'd like to set the record straight. This is a Felipe Caro production in conjunciton with Chef Juan Francisco Garcia and myself. I'm merely a part of this team, the cosigliere so to speak. Juan's worked @ Baume and Brix and Hopleaf- and after quite some time spent together collaborating on recipes and operations, I've come to believe he'll be a culinary force to reckon with. He's got an excellent palate and a lot of heart. We're having a great time bringing Felipe's visions to you all (note the plural) and hope to exceed expectations as we get up to speed. There's a lot more on the burners...

    Thanks for your interest and support.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #9 - August 16th, 2014, 1:25 pm
    Post #9 - August 16th, 2014, 1:25 pm Post #9 - August 16th, 2014, 1:25 pm
    Those tacos look great! But I wouldn't know i haven't had one yet... It could be a bit more Authentico if it were open late. I stopped by last night sometime around midnight and it was closed... bummer. I enjoyed some drunk eats (chachos) at pasadita across the street. Love that salsa negra. What are the hours of Authentaco?
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #10 - August 16th, 2014, 1:34 pm
    Post #10 - August 16th, 2014, 1:34 pm Post #10 - August 16th, 2014, 1:34 pm
    It's day 3. Please be patient. We'll be expanding our hours shortly. We're also getting a grill and adding asada next wk, something we weren't going to do but by listening to the comments, are responding to accordingly. In the meantime, the work in progress will continue.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #11 - August 16th, 2014, 1:47 pm
    Post #11 - August 16th, 2014, 1:47 pm Post #11 - August 16th, 2014, 1:47 pm
    1141 N Ashland Ave?
  • Post #12 - August 16th, 2014, 2:03 pm
    Post #12 - August 16th, 2014, 2:03 pm Post #12 - August 16th, 2014, 2:03 pm
    Si.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #13 - August 16th, 2014, 2:09 pm
    Post #13 - August 16th, 2014, 2:09 pm Post #13 - August 16th, 2014, 2:09 pm
    Gracias.
  • Post #14 - August 16th, 2014, 3:47 pm
    Post #14 - August 16th, 2014, 3:47 pm Post #14 - August 16th, 2014, 3:47 pm
    Ha, I didn't know that was you Jazzfood! Thanks for the sample of huitlacoche! I'll come by for more food when I'm not stuffed with BBQ.
  • Post #15 - August 26th, 2014, 11:14 am
    Post #15 - August 26th, 2014, 11:14 am Post #15 - August 26th, 2014, 11:14 am
    I popped in last week for a few quick tacos and was very impressed with the experience. There is some outdoor seating on the back patio (cool mural) and a bar-type seating section on the sidewalk in front. The service was terrific. Felipe is beaming like a new father, making sure every customer is happy, and the employees are enthusiastic and clearly excited about their new gig.

    On to the food:
    The freshly pressed and griddled tortillas are excellent, and the green salsa is terrific, with a nice burn. Very, very, nice foundation here.
    Barbacoa was my favorite filling. It had a deep richness to it and was just saucy enough to please without destroying the tortilla.
    The chicharron in green sauce was also delicious. Porky, fatty goodness with a heck of a spicy kick. Not for the timid. Loved it. This filling was pretty soupy though, and barely contained by the tortilla. No problem. Just give me a bowl of it next time.
    I'm not usually one to order chicken tacos, but this one called to me from the steam table. I was right. It was very good (for a chicken taco).
    The pastor is hard for me to critique fairly, as I have a strong preference for a different style of pastor. This one is done as soft little chunks of pork with flavorful, but not terribly assertive seasoning. Maybe a little pineapple, IIRC. Fine, but next time I'll take an extra barbacoa (or two) instead.

    I look forward to seeing what they do with carne asada. All in all though, an auspicious start and I wish these guys the best of luck with this new venture.

    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #16 - August 26th, 2014, 1:46 pm
    Post #16 - August 26th, 2014, 1:46 pm Post #16 - August 26th, 2014, 1:46 pm
    Stopped in Saturday with Mrs P for the first visit. Overall we really enjoyed it. The staff was very friendly and helpful, liked the seating out back, especially with the mural on one wall and the real life truck on the other side playing off each other. Forgive me, but it felt a bit like Mexico.

    Tacos were uniformly good, enjoyed the tortillas. Barbacoa was the winner - maybe a little soupy - but such flavor! Really liked the huitlacoche as well. I too believe the pastor needs some work. Our pork chunks were a bit dry, and the flavor seemed to be missing. Green and red salsas delivered. Great afternoon respite and we'll return
    "Living well is the best revenge"
  • Post #17 - August 27th, 2014, 4:34 pm
    Post #17 - August 27th, 2014, 4:34 pm Post #17 - August 27th, 2014, 4:34 pm
    GOOD stuff here! Stopped in for lunch solo today (though I did run into Jefe and laikom!) and only got to try the chicharron taco and the Flora de Calabazas quesadilla but both were absolute slam dunks! No exaggeration. These were really delicious. Chicharron was a great combo of tasty charred and unctuous bits, while the squash blossom was sweet with a hint of dill--not added but the flavor of the blossom itself. Great stuff. Add to that terrific salsas and flavorful, perfectly textured tortillas and this place will be hard to stay away from. Congrats to the team and our own jazzfood for a job well done!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #18 - August 27th, 2014, 5:08 pm
    Post #18 - August 27th, 2014, 5:08 pm Post #18 - August 27th, 2014, 5:08 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:GOOD stuff here! Stopped in for lunch solo today (though I did run into Jefe and laikom!) and only got to try the chicharron taco and the Flora de Calabazas quesadilla but both were absolute slam dunks! No exaggeration. These were really delicious. Chicharron was a great combo of tasty charred and unctuous bits, while the squash blossom was sweet with a hint of dill--not added but the flavor of the blossom itself. Great stuff. Add to that terrific salsas and flavorful, perfectly textured tortillas and this place will be hard to stay away from. Congrats to the team and our own jazzfood for a job well done!


    Ditto.
    laikom and I tried 6 things today and not even close to a dud in the batch. Standouts (for me) were the quesadilla de huitlacoche, all sloppy and savory with a nice ratio of cheese and then the taco de lengua with cubes of melt-in-your-mouth tongue served in a smoky adobo gravy. I'll have a hard time not ordering these two offerings every time. We also ordered a taco de barbacoa (which was also saucy), taco de nopales, and a quesadilla de flor de calabaza. Very much dug the green salsa, which had a nice kick to it.
    The star of the show may be the tortillas hecho a mano. As supple and light as the taco tortillas (appropriately) were, the more robust tortilla of the quesadilla was even better, charred up in spots and ever so crisp, like the best of its kind on the streets of Mexico.
    Very excited to have this place right around the block from me! It more than fills the void left by Tierra Caliente on the Ashland strip with its elevated offerings prepared with reverence to tradition. Also, you would never know that you were off an alley at the Ashland and Division intersection on their cute and serene patio. Gonna have to make the most of it with the remaining summery days.
  • Post #19 - August 27th, 2014, 5:30 pm
    Post #19 - August 27th, 2014, 5:30 pm Post #19 - August 27th, 2014, 5:30 pm
    Very glad you all are enjoying Authentaco. For the record the sauce for the lengua is guajillo. And for what it's worth, my personal favorites are the huitlacoche taco w/guac, cilantro and onions- a real umami bomb, and the barbacoa queso w/salsa verde. But then, there's that lengua and the flor de calabaza...
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #20 - August 27th, 2014, 7:20 pm
    Post #20 - August 27th, 2014, 7:20 pm Post #20 - August 27th, 2014, 7:20 pm
    I was there last Thursday and ordered 6 tacos, 2 elotes, a bean salad and refried beans. The food was quite good, but I have some caveats:

    The service leaves something to be desired. I only got 5 of the 6 tacos that I ordered AFTER expressly asking the young lady behind the counter if she had packed all six into my to-go bag. I also didn't get the hot and mild sauces on the side that I ordered.

    The prices aren't listed on the menu board.

    I wasn't told that I could have saved some money by ordering two taco platters (each with 3 tacos and 2 sides) than ordering a la carte.
  • Post #21 - August 27th, 2014, 8:27 pm
    Post #21 - August 27th, 2014, 8:27 pm Post #21 - August 27th, 2014, 8:27 pm
    Prices were on the board today.

    And, if it's the same young gal, she's still struggling but the owner was there, along with another obviously more seasoned young man, and both were keeping a close eye on her and correcting her mistakes (several just in the time I was standing there :)) Guessing she's pretty green and/or someone's pretty sister/daughter/niece/GF/etc. LOL. Probably something they'll need to deal with once the word really gets out on this place!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #22 - August 27th, 2014, 9:21 pm
    Post #22 - August 27th, 2014, 9:21 pm Post #22 - August 27th, 2014, 9:21 pm
    huitlacoche quesadilla= cheese + umami = win.

    The service was good tonight, I wonder if the guy working the counter was the seasoned young man boudreaulicious mentioned. He seemed to know what he was doing.
  • Post #23 - August 27th, 2014, 9:48 pm
    Post #23 - August 27th, 2014, 9:48 pm Post #23 - August 27th, 2014, 9:48 pm
    had the pork and the chicken this afternoon kept to just onions and cilantro. both were good will be back to try more things on the menu.
  • Post #24 - August 28th, 2014, 6:14 pm
    Post #24 - August 28th, 2014, 6:14 pm Post #24 - August 28th, 2014, 6:14 pm
    Went for lunch today and got tacos de pastor and barbacoa and the huitlacoche quesadilla. The barbacoa was fine, the pastor didn't do much for me, and the tacos overall were decent, but I expect more than decent for $3 a pop.

    The handmade tortillas were great though, as was the huitlacoche quesadilla. It's worth going back just for that, and the guy behind the counter said I just missed an overwhelming lunch rush, so I'll give them another shot even though I didn't think it was a great value

    .
  • Post #25 - August 28th, 2014, 10:54 pm
    Post #25 - August 28th, 2014, 10:54 pm Post #25 - August 28th, 2014, 10:54 pm
    In short, this place rocks!

    I knew immediately that this place was going to be awesome as soon as I saw how thinly they were pressing the tortillas. I love the flavor and freshness of handmade tortillas, but at almost every place I can think of make them too thick. Not these, they were better and thinner handmade tortillas than any I've ever had.

    Jefe and I pretty much agreed on the order of preference. The huitlacoche quesadilla was a real thing of beauty. I liked the way the tortilla fried up crispier, maybe just due to longer time on the griddle, but also the oilier probably from the oil seeping out of the cheese. I will have trouble ordering tacos over quesadillas because i liked the tortilla on the quesadilla that much more. Lengua was my 2nd favorite filling, just the right seasonings. Barbacoa was my 3rd fav. Chicharonnes were very respectable. While still good, I was less impressed with the (pickled) nopales. I would prefer fresh, but also thought the taco was jut kinda plain. Our flor de calabaza quesadilla was tasty, but I would have liked more flor. It was more grilled onion than flor de calabaza. I think Jefe and boudreaulicious disagreed with me about this one, so to each their own. I have only had quesadillas with flor de calabaza at Maxwell Street market and in D.F. but on both of those it was mostly just flor, and I like that. I also agree that the green salsa is great.

    Overall, especially considering how new the place is, they are really doing an amazing job on the food. The service was great as well, and I love the back yard seating area. I have been telling everyone I know to get there as soon as they can, and I can't wait to see how the asada turns out.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #26 - September 17th, 2014, 1:49 pm
    Post #26 - September 17th, 2014, 1:49 pm Post #26 - September 17th, 2014, 1:49 pm
    Had another very tasty lunch at Authentaco yesterday. Tried the Barbacoa taco and Huitlacoche quesadilla this time, along with a side of the pickled cactus and onion salad. Not much to add to what's already been written on the taco and quesadilla--both are fantastic. In particular, the value on the quesadillas is outstanding--this is a BIG portion and so stuffed with Huitlacoche that it almost oozes out (but not quite!!) Also really enjoyed the cactus salad--it was slightly spicy--guessing there are some jalapenos mixed in--and the perfect amount of acid.

    And it's definitely on other chefs' radar--Carlos Gaytan was working his way through a few different items while I was there and took a to-go back of everything he didn't finish :)

    Only negative is what they're going to do for seating when winter comes--without the front and back patios, there isn't anywhere else to eat really...maybe they should start gathering a list of bars that don't serve food in the area to give to folks.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #27 - September 18th, 2014, 2:13 pm
    Post #27 - September 18th, 2014, 2:13 pm Post #27 - September 18th, 2014, 2:13 pm
    The back patio will be enclosed.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #28 - October 4th, 2014, 3:42 pm
    Post #28 - October 4th, 2014, 3:42 pm Post #28 - October 4th, 2014, 3:42 pm
    Finally made it here today. The fresh tortillas are really a standout - fantastic. Otherwise, I had three tacos and a quesadilla. My favorite taco was without question the huitlacoche - spectacular and as good as I've had. I didn't get it with guacamole -- just cilantro and onions -- and I'm not sure it could have been improved.

    I also enjoyed the chicharron, and its combo of crisp and tender. And the lengua was impossibly tender, though I'm not sure I detected much in the way of smokiness.

    I will say that I didn't find the green sauce (which I ordered on the side) to deliver much in the way of heat. Perhaps it was toned down today, but I thought it was more of a mild to medium salsa (though tasty).

    Finally, the flor de calabaza quesadilla. It was terrific - nicely griddled tortilla with just enough charred bits, and loaded with delicious squash blossoms and cheese. The only thing I would have liked here was a hotter salsa, but otherwise, I really enjoyed the quesadilla and the meal.

    My dining companion had the horchata, and while it was on the really sweet side, I will say that it was delicious . . . like drinking one of the best rice puddings imaginable. Get one for dessert.

    Here's a look at the posted menu:

    Image
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #29 - October 4th, 2014, 9:12 pm
    Post #29 - October 4th, 2014, 9:12 pm Post #29 - October 4th, 2014, 9:12 pm
    BR wrote:I will say that I didn't find the green sauce (which I ordered on the side) to deliver much in the way of heat. Perhaps it was toned down today, but I thought it was more of a mild to medium salsa (though tasty).


    On my most recent visit the salsa verde was not the same stuff as I raved about the first time. I'm not sure if they have replaced it or were just out that day.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #30 - October 7th, 2014, 4:22 pm
    Post #30 - October 7th, 2014, 4:22 pm Post #30 - October 7th, 2014, 4:22 pm
    I had a very good batch of salsa verde yesterday, along with significantly above-average horchata, and the justly-praised huitlacoche quesadilla on the fresh tortillas. I happened to learn by coincidence last night that there was an ideal smut:cheese ratio designed for both the taco and quesadilla that they don't seem to be executing consistently in the quesadilla. Mine had a massively generous portion of fungus to very little cheese, which was exciting but a little overwhelming in the end; apparently it's more commonly the other way, which would also have been fine with me. A Zaragoza plain quesadilla is a very happy thing to me and this has the quality ingredients to hit that sweet spot.

    Two quibbles: packaging for the elotes needs a rethink, a deep thin plastic cup for undrained scalding corn. My order had liquid up 2/3 of the way and little mayo, butter, and cayenne on top. It tasted just fine. A paper boat (and draining the kernels) would be great for this and allow for better topping coverage. The al pastor was unsuccessful - my order was entirely unsalted and cooked to a textureless pulp. Still, quality of meat and the chipotle flavors were good - and those tortillas are fantastic, as was the staff.

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