Need More Xoco
As the ever so eloquent Paris Hilton would say, "That's hot." XOCO, the smallest and most affordable restaurant of Rick Bayless' trio of eateries on 449 North Clark Street is still hoppin' after three years. Already excited, I walked into a place so packed that a sardine would feel at home, which geeked me up even more. Add to that scents that made my stomach growl on command and such an enticing menu I was left deciding last minute what to order and I was beyond pumped to eat there.
With limited seating you get held at the register until tables open up. This isn't so bad because the food is fantasticly worth the wait. Plus, having a drink in line until you're up is encouraged. There's wine, beer, delicious looking iced teas and a bunch of different types of authentic hot chocolate made from freshly ground cacao beans. The 5 Rabbit Golden Ale was meh but the Hop Slayer was pretty good. Overall, the beer selection is still above average in my opinion.
I ordered the Saturday torta special: goat barbacoa topped with onions, avocado, black beans and cilantro all toasted in an awesome wood-burning oven. The bread of the torta was toasted to perfection leaving it crunchy on the outside and soft n' chewy on the inside. The tomatillo salsa on the side was refreshing as it cut through the intensity of the flavorful barbacoa. Dylan had the suckling pig torta topped with pickled jalapeños and jack cheese. The sandwich itself was equally delicious but not as spicy as mine, which was only mildly spicy. It was the habañero salsa that had smoke pouring out of my ears. After one bite of this stuff it took me ten minutes to recover even with a neutralizing glass of milk.
Majorly stuffed we managed to make room for the homemade vanilla soft serve topped with maple bacon pecan crumble and salted caramel. Glad we did since it perfectly did the job of cooling me off after a fire ass meal. And how could anyone pass up anything with bacon, especially a sweet? XOCO is caliente indeed.