Last visit March 2012 before a show at Second City
Adobo Grill in Old Town is a good place to eat before or after a show at The Second City, both are located in Piper's Alley so it's a very convenient. It's also convenient to the Chicago History Museum, just a few blocks away. Reservations are essential on the weekends and can be made through Open Table. Although we were seated with a few minutes of our reservation time, give yourself at least 2 hours if you're catching a show, I've seen complaints about not always seating people right away.
On a Saturday night it was hopping, mostly with young folks in their 20s and 30s from the neighborhood. The noise level isn't as loud as I would have thought, we could easily have a conversation. On Sunday at 5 pm, there were quite a few less people. For the larger group we had in June 2011 for the VT meeting, they gave us a private room which was very nice.
The servers are always excellent, we got guacamole on the house the 1st time, the 2nd time our waiter fully explained the menu to us, very friendly and your drinks and water glasses are always filled.
Parking is free for 2 hours with validation, unfortunately we didn't realize that after 2 hours, even with validation, that prices go back to normal rates. I think they have a valet, check before pulling into the parking garage.
Favorite Dish: The food here is not tex-mex which is common in Mexican restaurants in the US nor was it the authentic Mexican that you'll find down in Pilsen. It's Mexican food ratcheted up a notch, with interesting combinations. Given the choice, I prefer the Mexican food we get in Pilsen or at the Maxwell Street market on Sunday afternoon, but there aren't a lot of Mexican choices in the downtown area near where the tourist stay so for a sit down meal closer to the tourist areas, this is a good choice.
Ordering the guacamole is a must, it's one of the things that Adobo Grill is known for, it's prepared tableside to your specifications. Their guacamole got me hooked on guacamole! They are also known for their margaritas here, I tried one of those and also a mojito.
On our most recent visit, I ordered the Arrachera Adobada ($18.99), grilled flank steak in chile morita quemado Adobo, frijoles puercos, grilled tomatoes & onions. It has a good flavor, the portion size is small for the price but it's certainly enough food for one person
Mmmm, this is Mexican food sooo good, you'll want to go back. This is not your basic and typical fare; think of pumpkin seed molé, wild mushroom quesadillas stuffed asadero cheese, stuffed chayote squash...try it, you'll like it.
Saturday Night Dinner at Adobo Grill
Posted: by Riorich55 Mar 26, 2011
SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER
Come join us after the Old Town Walking Tour for an evening of homemade Guacamole prepared at your tableside and indulge in some unique Margaritas along with a delicious dinner at Adobo Grill starting at 5:30 p.m.We have our own private room downstairs so we can raise a VT ruckus.
Adobo Grill is located at 1620 N. Wells which is located just north of North Avenue.
Our Menu for the Evening is as Follows:
Chips y Salsa - Corn Tortilla Chips with Homemade Salsa
ANTOJITOSs (served family style)
Adobo's Famous Guacamole; Prepared Tableside
Salbutes - Little Tostadas with Yucatan-Style Chicken and Purple Onions
Ensalada - Jimaca & Mango Salad with Pumpkin Seed Dressing; Fresco Cheese
PLATILLOS (select one of the following 3 items)
Enchiladas - Chicken Enchiladas Basted with Mole Coloradito, Sour Cream, Cheese, Black Beans
Tilapia al Mojo de Ajo - Guajillo Marinated Pan-Seared Tilapia with Sauteed Spinach, Potato Machuca and Chipotle-Garlic Salsa
Arrachera - Grilled Flank Steak; Morita Adobo, Frijoles Puercos, Onions, Peppers and Poblano Rajas
POSTRES (served family style)
Tamal de Chocolate - Chocolate Tamal with Vanilla Ice Cream, Dried Cherries and Chocolate Sauce
Pastel de Tres Leches con Coco - Three Milk Soaked Pecan-Cake; Phyllo Cup; Canela-Strawberries and Caramel Mousse
The price is $29 per person. Tax, Gratuity ($38.00) and Liquor are Additional.
VT Members Coming To The Meeting:
Dabs (+ 1)
Donna In India (+2)
Dymphna1 (+ 1)
goodfish (+ 1)
riorich55 (+ 1)
Favorite Dish: Our family style dinner started off with the ANTOJITOS or appetizers, including the delicious Guacamole (pic #2).
For our PLATILLOS or Main Dish, I picked the Chicken Enchiladas (pic # 3) which I really didn't enjoy and left most of it on my plate. Hans picked the ARRACHERA or Grilled Flank Steak (pic # 4) which was delicious (Hans gave me some to try).
The POSTRES or Desserts (pic # 1)were amazing, esp the Pecan Cake
Two popular restaurant owners, Paul LoDuca (of Vinci and Trattoria Parma) and Scott Helm (of Café Gordon and the now-defunct Rhumba) joined forces to create this upscale contemporary Mexican restaurant.
Stepping inside the Adobo Grill on Wells is like going back in time to 19th Century Mexico. As you make your way inside the restaurant, a bar that is ages old welcomes you. Wooden floors and bare-brick walls create a rustic ambience that makes you feel relaxed and cozy. The restaurant has two bars and three different levels. The upstairs is great for hosting a private party.
I find this is a great place to go with a group.
Favorite Dish: You will not find your standard tacos and enchiladas here. The food is regional mexican with unusual ingredients. Be sure to get the tableside guacamole. It is made with a fresh, whole avocado and tomatoes. You choose the spice level but even medium is quite spicy. Even my friends who don't like guacamole love it. I usually fill up with the guac, an appetizer and soup. My friends like to order the steak.
Here are some of my favorites:
Empanadas Potosinas: Stuffed with asadero and panera cheese, fresh corn, poblano rajas and epazote; chile de arbol-tomatilla salsa $6.95
Tamal Yucateco de Pollo: Achiote marinatd chicken tamal steamed in banana leaf with Ixcatic-tomato salsa and pickled purple onions $5.95
Filete al Sabor de Cerveza: Grilled beef tenderloin marinated in negra modelo, topped with asadero cheese, chipotle quemodo salsa, grandma's potatoes and nopalito salad $19.95
If you love margaritas, be sure to check out the selection. They have over 100 different types here and make great drinks i.e. a cosmo with tequila. Just go easy - while the food is reasonably priced, the alcohol is a bit pricey.
Sat noon-2:30pm and 5:30-11:30pm;
Lovely atmosphere, great personalized service, great food and the best Margaritas, shaken tableside.