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Carniceria Guanajuato #3 - Taqueria

Carniceria Guanajuato #3 - Taqueria
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  • Carniceria Guanajuato #3 - Taqueria

    Post #1 - March 19th, 2018, 11:21 am
    Post #1 - March 19th, 2018, 11:21 am Post #1 - March 19th, 2018, 11:21 am
    LTH:

    This small, unasuming grocery store at the corner of California and Belmont and Elston is home to one of the best taquerias on the north side. Over the past couple years living in the neighborhood it has become a favorite of mine. The store itself is fine, with a full service butcher counter and a fine array of Mexican staples. But I'm here to nominate the taqueria as a GNR. And only this location. The other locations may be perfectly wonderful but I've never been to them.

    Let me get the negatives out of the way first. They do not make their own tortillas, though they handle the locally-made tortillas (that they sell in the store) with great skill and care. The place is not 100% consistent. Like all of us, they have some good days and some days; though mostly very good. Parking in their tiny lot can be challenging, though it can also be found on California, Belmont and Fletcher.

    Ok, that said, what they do exceptionally well here easily surpasses the negatives and easily qualifies it as a GNR. My favorites are a flavorful but not over the top carne asada (none of that scorchy grill flavor). No it's not entirely tender but is just chewy enough that the flavor continues all the way through the chew. Their al pastor trompo is a thing of beauty. I personally love that the juicy pork is well-seasoned but not over the top with pineapple. Tender lengua and carnitas are also exceptionally flavorful. Their house salsa is simply one of the best I've had anywhere. It's spicy and delicious. As you'd expect, any of these meats (as well as several others and chile rellenos), can be had on tacos or tortas, etec., or served into burritos, too. Portions are enormous and prices are insanely reasonable. A burrito as big as your head goes for a mere $5.50, making it one of the best deals anywhere in town. The people who work in the taqueria (and the store in general) are always super friendly and helpful.

    I honestly don't know if there's enough discussion here to justify a GNR but my hope is that at the very least, this nomination will at least spur some interest and get people in the door, which is not to say that they're hurting for business. They're not. The place is consistently busy, patronized by Spanish speakers, English speakers, laborers, cops, people in suits, families, etc. Still, in a way, it's a tough location and on appearances, it doesn't exactly seem like destination dining. It's not sexy. It's not glitzy. It is not innovative. But it is one most satisfying and exceptional places I've eaten over the past 2 years, and I am in there at least once a week. If I go longer than that, I begin to crave it. In that sense it has been my personal GNR for the better part of the last couple of years.

    There have been several mentions of the place throughout the years here in our forums (I'll try to circle back with some applicable links asap) and recently a dedicated thread was started.

    Main thread:
    Carniceria Guanajuato #3 - Taqueria in the grocery store

    Carniceria Guanajuato #3
    3140 N California Ave
    Chicago, IL 60618
    (773) 267-7739

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #2 - March 19th, 2018, 1:22 pm
    Post #2 - March 19th, 2018, 1:22 pm Post #2 - March 19th, 2018, 1:22 pm
    As per R Suburban's (now Urban) taste buds and warm fuzzy's for Carnicercia Guanajato numero tres, I agree. Living closer to it these days, its become one of my local go-to's.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #3 - March 19th, 2018, 7:30 pm
    Post #3 - March 19th, 2018, 7:30 pm Post #3 - March 19th, 2018, 7:30 pm
    Carniceria Guanajuato #3 is a terrific GNR nomination, Count me a Fan!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - March 21st, 2018, 8:24 am
    Post #4 - March 21st, 2018, 8:24 am Post #4 - March 21st, 2018, 8:24 am
    The al pastor is top notch. Carnitas are also a favorite of mine. I can definitely get on board with this place being a GNR. Traspasda's black salsa next door sometimes calls to me, but for the most part I pick this place when bringing food over to the Beer Temple.
  • Post #5 - March 28th, 2018, 11:34 pm
    Post #5 - March 28th, 2018, 11:34 pm Post #5 - March 28th, 2018, 11:34 pm
    the wimperoo wrote: The al pastor is top notch. Carnitas are also a favorite of mine. I can definitely get on board with this place being a GNR. Traspasda's black salsa next door sometimes calls to me, but for the most part I pick this place when bringing food over to the Beer Temple.
    I have photographs. I'm out-&-about @ a 4:00 am bar on N. Western Ave. now, so I can't reference the jpgs in yet {wait for an edit}. :!:
    I fervently endorse Carniceria Guanajuato #3 as a GNR. The quote mentions bringing them to the Beer Temple. I brought the carne asada tacos to the new Metropolitan Brwg. taproom on N. Rockwell St. one Sunday. To my pleasant surprise, the $2.95 tacos were only $1.95 on Sunday. :D
    Learn what Bing prefers you not know: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html

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