Gourmet Mexican in Chicago for kids

Holy mole! For fans of mole sauces, there is no better place in Chicago to treat your family to an authentic Mexican experience than Mixteco Grill, a BYOB establishment on the northside, where in-the-know foodies go for Mexican and quickly become repeat customers.

If you go

  • 1601 W. Montrose Ave.
  • (773) 868-1801
  • mixtecogrill.com
  • Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday;
    10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 5-9 p.m. Sunday.

Located at the corner of Montrose and Ashland, passersby might be fooled. The unpretentious façade gives no hint of what lies within: inventive, gourmet entrees that change with the season. Dishes like wood-grilled rack of lamb served in oaxacan black mole with garlic-mashed potatoes; mahi-mahi in a rustic salsa of roasted tomatoes, onions, and peppers; slow-roasted pork marinated with achiote and sour orange juice; and succulent duck breast complemented with a mole poblano and white rice, garnished with chopped cilantro, peanuts and sesame seeds. Even the chicken breast-bathed in a guerrero green mole and paired with garlic roasted potatoes and garnished with sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro-is rave-worthy.

But don’t skip right to the entrée. As a starter, enjoy the delicate, freshly made tortillas filled with chunks of spicy avocado, the gazpacho accompanied by grilled corn or the delightfully light grilled calamari salad. And don’t limit your visit to only dinner. Brunch on the weekend brings eggs that never tasted so good: try them scrambled with tortilla strips surrounded by grilled shrimp, served with black beans in a spicy tomato sauce and sprinkled with cheese.

Is all of this too much for a kid’s palate to handle? Perhaps. In which case the little ones will appreciate the more simple cheese and chicken quesadillas with black beans and rice piled high into a fun pyramid shape.

Last but not least, don’t get your bill until you’ve ordered at least one delicious dessert like the almond cake soaked in tres leches and topped with pineapple and strawberry.

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