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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, March 1

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Openings Fri Apr 05 2013

Welcome to the Neighborhood, Takito Kitchen

takito4.jpg"This is better than Big Star!" I didn't expect to hear this upon my first visit to Takito, a self-described"modern taco" joint that recently opened its doors for business on Division St. Chicago, and especially the Wicker Park neighborhood, has recently become so saturated with taco options lately that it was difficult not to approach Takito with a healthy amount of skepticism. Better than Big Star? Not likely. However, a few bites into Takito's own pork belly offering, one of my dining partners vocalized what we'd all been thinking: this place is really, really good.

Outfitted with plenty of space for large and small parties alike and featuring a gorgeous open kitchen, Takito fits in comfortably with the vibrant atmosphere of Division St (and will hopefully help to make the area more of a dining destination instead of just one long bar strip).

takito3.jpgOf course, Executive Chef David Dworshak (previously at Carnivale) is a bit of a veteran of the Latin American dining scene. Here, he focuses his energy on crafting the details that set Takito apart from other high-end taco restaurants: ingredients sourced from Midwestern purveyors such as Three Sisters Garden and Maple Creeks Farm, unexpected flavor combinations such as Brunkow cheese, roasted peanuts and date chutney; and upscale plates such as the delicious Suzuki Bass Ceviche, which resembled a take on Mexican sashimi.

takito1.jpgBesides the inspired, fresh-tasting tacos, a huge standout was the salsa flight: served with light, nutty-tasting masa crackers, salsas arrived in shades of vibrant colors and outstanding flavors. My personal favorite was the Chile de Árbol Cucumber, which delivered a tangy, bright flavor heavy on the cucumber. At $5 per flight, this is definitely one of must-haves of the menu.

My one regret? Not trying any of the drinks, crafted by beverage director Adam Weber. And, ok, I spent a buck or two more than I usually feel comfortable doling out on tacos. However, Takito certainly proved its staying power during my visit: perhaps not as trendy as Big Star or as quirky as Antique Tacos, Takito gracefully straddles the line between upscale and inviting.

Takito Kitchen is located at 2013 W Division St Chicago, IL 60622. Hours are 5:00 pm - 2:00 am weekly; closed on Mondays. All photos taken from the Takito Kitchen website.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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