1601 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
Friday night January 11th, 2013
What a delight of authentic Mexican flavors. From the outside looking in you would not imagine MIXTeco to serve high caliber Mexican cuisine in Ravenswood. I have past the restaurant hundreds of times running errands and getting around town. During the day the orange curtains are drawn and the black awning with MIXTeco name on it is well, simply ordinary, which is not to say the same for the food.
When you enter the restaurant you are struck by the beautiful and colorful painting reflecting the rich Mexican culture giving the restaurant a feeling of being in a neighborhood restaurant in Mexico. The restaurant is not over the top and has a casual atmosphere while serving top notch cuisine.
By the way I was invited to the restaurant for dinner as a celebration for my good friend’s promotion.
Our reservation was for 7:30PM we were seated promptly at our two top table. Across from us were three large parties celebrating. The only draw back in the dining room is it is a little loud. Our waiter came over quickly and explained the daily special which comprised of fresh Halibut. He than told us to take a minute and look over our menus and went over to help more customers. When he returned for an appetizer we ordered the Sopes De Hungo which is a corn masa boat filled with mushrooms, and chile pasilla salsa, topped with sour cream and queso fresco. They were absolutely delightful the flavors played with our taste buds. I highly recommend.
For me a true test of fine Mexican cuisine is the Mole. A traditional Mole can have 23 different ingredients and is extraordinarily complex in flavor. While the daily special sounded delicious I turned my attention to the Enchiladas en Mole Negro (chicken enchiladas), and my friend Phil ordered the Borreg en Mole Negro (Rack of Lamb). When our food promptly arrived his plate was just beautifully arranged, the lamb on top of a nice portion of mashed garlic potatoes, with this chocolate lacquer colored Mole, finished with a little cilantro. My plate was a little less exciting only in appearance. You could make out the three enchiladas that had something sparkled on top of them and a lump of something to the side. The entire meal covered by this beautiful chocolate lacquer colored mole. The lump as this delicious refried black beans, and on top the enchiladas was grated radish and onion. While at first all you I could see was this uniform color I was delighted by the complexity of flavors my dish had to offer. To put it simply, I think it is the best Mole I have ever eaten and the chicken in the enchiladas was cooked to perfection. My friends Phil lamb was cooked to perfection and the potatoes heavenly. Who doesn’t like well seasoned mashed potatoes? Right?
For desert we ordered the special and the sorbet. The special was a baked apple and raisin apple crumble with walnuts, served with fresh strawberry ice cream on top with a mint leaf. The sorbet we ordered the pomegranate. The pomegranate sorbet came with one scope of pomegranate and two scoops of Champaign flavored sorbet. The bake crumble was delightful and came to the table nice and warm. The sorbet well, we both loved the pomegranate flavored but felt the Champaign flavor lacked any sophistication which was a surprise considering the rest of the meal was flawless.
From the high caliber of fresh ingredients and flawless execution of flavors I should not be surprised that Chef Raul had also worked for Frontera Grill. By the food you can tell he is passionate about food. For me MIXTeco is a great find that has been under my nose all this time.
If you should decide try the restaurant which I highly recommend, it is a BYOB. So stop and get your wine or beer before you go. While the restaurant has a mild manner street appearance if you want to get seated quickly I would call and place a reservation. The atmosphere is very relaxing and no one makes you feel as if you have to get going after you have finished your meal which I love. When we were walking out the door at 9:45PM at least 7 people were waiting to be seated who didn’t have reservations.