Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Totopo Mexican Grill

Being obsessed with food, I tend to do things that people obsessed with food do, including (among other things) frequent perusal of local foodie sources such as Chicago Magazine's Dish dining newsletter. This is an easy way to keep tabs on openings/closings and makes you eminently qualified to annoy (er, I mean, impress) your friends with enlightened statements like "Hey, I just read about a new Irish-Bolivian fusion joint that's going to be in Mudtown Square - I can't wait to check it out!". Anyway, it is through this newsletter that I heard about a casual Mexican grill opening close to my old office in Oak Brook by the name of Totopo (it seems like a proliferation of good restaurants appeared in the area immediately after my hiatus from the professional work force began). I found myself with a little precious free time on a Wed. afternoon last week and I decided to stop in for a midday snack.

The restaurant is located in a pretty new, upscale shopping development called Oak Brook Promenade (there's also a McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant there). Upon first entering the place, my impression was that of a high-falutin Chipotle, with a much wider selection of dishes on the menu. There was a table of different chips and salsas to sample right next to the counter - I tried a little "Tres Chiles" red salsa and found it to be tasty with a little bite to it. For the entree, I ordered some fish tacos, which were prepared very simply - it entailed whatever the fish of the day was, marinated and grilled (not fried), served on flour tortillas with some Mexican slaw on top, a little queso, and a lime garnish (see photo above). They were delicious and not really in need of any extra seasoning (the salsa I got with it pretty much remained untouched), but at $8, I found it to be a little expensive, especially since the sides of black beans and rice were not included. The beans also had queso on top and were very good, the rice only so-so. I ordered a mango horchata to drink, thinking it would be a flavored horchata; however, it ended up being a traditional version with pieces of mango floating on top (not that I cared so much - it was also very good).

In summary, I'll be back sometime to sample other menu items (such as the pork or vegetarian tortas), maybe with the progeny, maybe with an ex-co-worker or two. Unless I'm willing to make the 30-minute drive, though, I'll have to settle for Chipotle to satisfy my Mexican grill cravings....

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