Upscale Mexican Cuisine Arrives in Albany Park

Fri. April 1, 2016 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

There are numerous Mexican restaurants in Chicago but food quality can separate one from the rest of the pack. Such is the case with Ixcateco located at 3402 W. Montrose Ave. It is a little hike west of the city but well worth the trip. Word seems to have gotten out about the hot spot that had a packed dining room on a recent Thursday night. It might be time for an expansion, hombres.

The store front is a little unassuming next to the bright colors inside. There is a combination of painted art and photography adorned on the walls.

This is a BYOB establishment so no margarita for me! Groups had already taken advantage of the fact bringing in bottles of wine. The liquor store on the corner across the street was certainly happy about this fact.

Start things off with an appetizer such as the mini sopitos, or three different sopes with caramel plantains, black mole chicken, and sauteed vegetables.

The queso borracho hit spot with Chihuahua cheese and roasted potatoes.

The black mole chicken was so good it was tempting to order as a full entree but the carne asada was calling my name. "Monja, ven aca!" I can tell a lot about a Mexican restaurant from the carne asada entree that is often served and this was no different. It was not a huge peice of steak but combined with beans and guacomole it was plenty. The tomato molcajete sauce was delicious. A molcajete is a stone culinary tool used to mash avocado and tomatoes. The adobo wood grilled skirt steak was cooked perfectly and the server was prompt about checking back on this. All important things that are sometimes lost at other restaurants when busy.

The chayote rellenos were really hearty for a vegetarian dish and hard to find in Chicago so something definitely worth seeking out. It was served in a sweet guajillo orange sauce, yummy!

For dessert the tres leches was a nice finish. Hopefully they add a chocolate flavored dish to go along with other tasty offerings like pecan flan.

Chef Anselmo Ramirez learned from the famous Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill working his way up from being a dishwasher. This self made man deserves all the accolades that are quickly adding up at Ixcateco Grill.

Visit or call for reservations at 773-539-5887 today.