The food at Taquitos, the latest Mexican taco bar in the northwest suburbs, is freshly prepared to order. When the Mystery Diner visited the new restaurant, which had a soft opening Sept. 14, the menu was still under construction.
However, the service was friendly, and the restaurant offers a wide variety of generously portioned Tex-Mex staples to make it a sturdy addition to the Lake in the Hills restaurant scene. In addition to the classic offerings of tacos, burritos and enchiladas, Taquitos also has such specialties as mole sauce and ceviche.
Part of what should make Taquitos stand out from the crowd are their enormous and massively delicious tortas. We ordered the steak/carne asada torta ($15), and it was perfect. The meat was spicy and well-seasoned, and the sandwich was overflowing with fresh avocado slices. The hefty sandwich bread was fluffy but not dry. It’s a quality offering.
Another treat was the restaurant’s appetizer of mini elotes, $4 each: street food-style corn-on-a-stick, dripping with a delicious cheesy crema fresca topping. The corn was slathered with the sauce, and for those who are new to elotes, be warned the saucy corn will “juice” you when you bite down.
The seasoned guacamole was fresh and tangy, with an appetizing consistency ($11). At some eateries, the guac can be hit or miss, so that was a nice bar for Taquitos to clear. That opinion is colored by this Mystery Diner’s time in southern Arizona, where a lot of counter service taco franchises just serve pre-made guacamole.
The other entrees we ordered were the taco dinner ($15) – we got one of each kind of meat – and chicken enchiladas with salsa verde, also $15. A favorite among the tacos was the seasoned tilapia, which paired well with either the green or red salsa.
The chicken enchiladas were delicious, but spicy: eaters should be aware the dish has quite a kick to it.
We finished off the meal with some dessert churros ($4); the restaurant also offers tres leches cake that we missed out on at this sitting.
As for drinks, Taquitos offers margaritas and micheladas, a favorite of this Mystery Diner. They were tasty and nicely presented, with the classic salt and spice around the rim and an accompanying slice of fruit.
The restaurant is set in a strip mall in the space formerly home to the Rock N Grill; an added perk of its location is WiFi access.
The restaurant is family-owned and operated, and all the eye-catching plates and silverware come shipped from Mexico, the server said.
They added that the hope is for Taquitos to become an evening destination with karaoke and other events.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Taquitos Tacos & Drinks
WHERE: 335 N. Randall Road, Lake in the Hills