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The Chicago Traveler


by Matt B on November 6th, 2007

IrazuInside the green-roofed hut of Irazu, you’ll find a good mix of Chicagoans in a friendly, casual atmosphere—the trendy Wicker Park crowd, Lincoln Park yuppies, the artists from Bucktown, and the professional Gold Coasters—many of whom only found out about Irazu via word of mouth. People can’t stop talking about the menu, which has something for everybody. The Costa Rican cuisine is generally much tamer than most traditional Mexican foods, making it much easier on those with more sensitive, untrained palates.

The casado is a house specialty: thin rib eye steak or chicken breast caramelized with onions, served with white rice, black beans, sweet plantains, an over-easy egg, and cabbage salad. The flavors will explode on your tongue. The potato tacos with mole sauce (or guacamole) are another favorite, a combination of foods that you wouldn’t expect to be so good. There are plenty of other vegetarian options, including a chile relleno (stuffed poblano pepper) and a very popular black-bean burrito. If nothing else, you must must get one of their shakes, made with your choice of milk, soy, or water. The oatmeal shakes have earned quite a cult-like following, and for just a dollar more, you can add a second flavor. (I recommend banana.)

Irazu bistec tacoA little over a block south of Gallery Cabaret, Irazu is named after one of the many volcanoes in Costa Rica. Stop by, and enjoy the incredible eruptions of great flavor.

Irazu ($ - cash only): 1865 N Milwaukee Ave; 773-252-5687
Mon – Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Street parking
Public trans: Bus # 49, X49, 56, 73 or Blue Line train (Western – O’Hare branch)

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POSTED IN: Restaurants

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