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Angels & Mariachis
(now closed) A taco cantina on Division

It's fine for an ethnic restaurant to rep its country's festiveness while glossing over problems -- who wants to dine under posters of corrupt police officers -- but what's not fine is skimping on the festive. Bringing all of Mexico's partytime: Angels & Mariachis.

A&M's a two-story "taco bar & rock cantina" jammed with murals, 1000 photos (lucha libre, vaqueros, saints, matadors, mariachis, Day of the Dead action), masks, marionettes, bull heads, and other booty hauled back from six fruitful border crossings. Booze is similarly blown up, with 10 Mexican beers (Negra Modelo, Pacifico, etc), specialty rocks 'ritas like The Mariachi (mezcal w/ crushed mint and key lime, lemon, and orange juices), frozen margs, and frozen sangrias just like Seite-Once used to make. Grub's highlighted by ten varieties of deconstructed tacos (meat/chicken/fish arrive in steaming cast-iron skillets), Uncle Saul's ranchero beef/tinga chicken enchiladas, Holy Guacamole, and Nacho Libre -- which ironically start at $7.50.

Just in time for not-winter, A&M's got sidewalk seating for 50 -- stumble off with your beverage, and you'll be less than festive when you discover Chicago's police officers won't take your insultingly skimpy bribe.

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1. Angels & Mariachis 1721 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

A&M's a two-story "taco bar & rock cantina" jammed with murals, 1000 photos (lucha libre, vaqueros, saints, matadors, mariachis, Day of the Dead action), masks, marionettes, bull heads, and other booty hauled back from six fruitful border crossings.

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