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  La Chapin (was Tierra Caliente) [Mexican, Taqueria]
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  • La Chapin (was Tierra Caliente) [Mexican, Taqueria]

    Post #1 - February 4th, 2011, 3:44 pm
    Post #1 - February 4th, 2011, 3:44 pm Post #1 - February 4th, 2011, 3:44 pm
    Carniceria y Taqueria Tierra Caliente [Mexican, Taqueria]

    This is my first GNR nomination, so bear with me, and I hope I get all of the guidelines down!

    I have anxiously been waiting for the GNRs to open up to nominate Tierra Caliente. As I’ve mentioned previously on the board, this has been by far my #1 restaurant in chicago for a long time. It’s the first place I bring guests when they come visit. I think the quantity and quality threads all over the LTH board about Tierra Caliente say a lot about how beloved this place is to the board, it’s surprising that it hasn’t been nominated already. I stopped counting the threads that mention LTH at around 30 and I was only half way through the pages of results, as you can see in this: Google Search
    Whenever I’m within a mile of Tierra Caliente I cannot stop myself from popping in for at least a few of their tacos, all of which are the best I’ve had. I find myself constantly changing my personal favorite, since the majority of them are just absolutely perfect.

    Most LTHers praise the al pastor, and rightfully so. While it is, In my opinion, even better than any which I've had, even in Mexico City, I’m often more impressed by the overall selection of perfect tacos. On weekends, they serve up carnitas, which is melt in your mouth delicious. When you order “campechanos”, carnitas mixed with their perfectly balanced house-made chorizo, the mouthfeel and flavors are so balanced yet complex. Both the barbacoa and birria de chivo are cooked to perfection, never too dry or too fatty, the flavor always spot on. Of course TC shines in the taco department, but the general policy at TC is if it’s not amazing they don’t serve it! This includes the torta and burrito preparation. At any other restaurant I steer away from these and aim for the tacos however at TC they certainly stand out they crisp the tortilla on the griddle, and overload it with meat. On weekends they serve richest most satisfying menudo I’ve had, loaded with, it seems, at least a pound and a half of tripe.

    Tierra Caliente has continued to impress the many people I’ve introduced, and on LTH it is used as a standard of measure when judging any taco in Chicago; all this and the most friendly staff and service I’ve experienced. What started as a Grocery store with a small taco counter in the back has really grown into a full blown sit down taqueria with a small grocery store in the front, both metaphorically and literally. Much care has gone into improving the eating area with the expansion of the seating and tables, new counters and floors, a shiny granite countertop. It is now a comfortable place I’m not afraid to take my mother when she’s in town!

    Given that in one unassuming taqueria, many people on LTH and elsewhere have experienced not just one, but various life changing taco experiences, I hearby nominate Taqueria Tierra Caliente as a GNR.

    Some qualifications:
    Mike G listed Tierra Caliente at #7 of his top 10 dishes of 2009
    3 LTHers listed Tierra Caliente on their top 10 dishes of 2010: ronnie_suburban- the Tacos de Lengua (tongue), jimswside and Commbrkdwn - the Al tacos Pastor

    Some Quotes:
    BryanZ: “I stopped by Tierra Caliente today, and it's a solid spot.”
    wino66: “Tierra Caliente at Ashland and Blackhawk. best.al pastor.ever...outside of Mexico City of course.”
    Mike G: “it was pretty much the pastor poster child that day, crispy and tart” (#7 on his top 10 dishes of 2009)
    2 quotes from G Wiv:
    “You were but a half block away from some of the best, if not the best, tacos in the city, Carniceria Y Taqueria Tierra Caliente (Was Caniceria Leon)”
    “Tacos Canpechanos (chorizo/carnitas mix) was amazing, 4th of July fireworks from spicy hot chorizo, smooth fatty rich carnitas rife with the nasty bits I love so dearly, joining together for an irresistible mouthfeel mambo.”
    Jimswside: (in reference to someone else’s al pastor) “The Al Pastor I agree isnt the best around(tierra caliente gets the nod from me for that)”

    I could post, perhaps literally, 1000 more quotes, however they would start to become redundant, you get the point!

    Linked threads:
    Tierra Caliente - Was Carniceria Leon on Ashland no mas?
    viewtopic.php?p=301841
    Carniceria Leon's Chicharrón - Al Pastor
    viewtopic.php?p=76320
    Tacos de Campechano at Tierra Caliente
    viewtopic.php?f=14&t=23148
    Best Carne Asada Taco besides La Pasadita?
    viewtopic.php?p=236350
    TOP TACO
    viewtopic.php?p=280130
    Pastor in the reader
    viewtopic.php?p=250761
    MENUDO!! - Who serves the best in your opinion?
    viewtopic.php?f=14&t=10067
    Supermercado Taquerias: a guide
    viewtopic.php?f=14&t=27400&p=311542

    Carniceria Y Taqueria (was Carniceria Leon)
    1400 N Ashland
    Chicago, IL 60622
    773-772-9804
    Hours. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily

    All discussion of this nomination should take place in the threads linked above.
    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

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