Breaking away from the family biz to start a solo career can lead to big things, like a big house, in a big amusement park, and big legal bills to cover up your even bigger lies. Going big without being Dangerous, the dude behind Barrio.
From a guy who grew up helping run his family's traditional Mexican restos in the far-flung burbs, Barrio's a 60-seat "urban taqueria" with amber drum lighting and fiery red walls covered in photos of colorful graffiti and street art from Chi 'hoods, but not Lincoln Park, 'cause spraypainting without getting caught is too trixie. Housemade tortilla tacos come in mix-and-match sets of four, with the eight varieties including battered fish, adobo shrimp, chicken verde, and lengua, aka cow tongue, something you should be used to having in your mouth latenight by now. Other highlights include Chihuahua/ Manchego/ Gouda queso fundido with optional add-ons like housemade chorizo, roasted poblanos, and wild mushrooms; bay scallop & Gulf shrimp ceviche w/ apple and habanero; and mango-buttered carne asada w/ roasted fingerlings, caramelized cippolinis, asadero cheese, and cactus paddles -- odd that they aren't more popular at fraternities, as they love spiking stuff.
Drinks-wise they're rocking a beer list split evenly between Mexican faves and Chi microbrews, and house margs're made with organic agave nectar and fresh squeezed limes, though squeeze anything else and you might find your legal bills making you sour.