Sometimes it’s just nice to go to someone’s home for lunch, and that’s precisely what you get with Chilosos, a small steam-table Mexican joint brightening up a converted house in the Heights. Two sisters own and run the bustling operation, governing the place with a welcoming, comfortable warmth. Inside you’ll find two colorful rooms full of high-top tables and stools, a few TVs, and lots of people. The covered outdoor patio, too, is chock full when the weather allows.
Place your order at the steam table, where you can choose from dozens of meat preparations. The menu is neither elaborate nor complex, but the kitchen staff turns out orders with efficiency and flair. Tacos vary in price from $1.75 to $1.95 and arrive in simple fashion with meat and tortilla only. While critics may scream about paying an additional fifty cents for cheese, lettuce, or tomato, the plain truth is that these tacos do perfectly well on their own.
Tortillas are thick and sturdy with an excellent consistency; watch as they make them from scratch on the front counter as you order. If chicken’s your thang, try pollo a la Mexicana in your tacos. It’s tender roasted and topped with a slight bit of spicy red sauce. Even better is the pork, small chunks of white meat encased in a thick, mild green salsa. Ready for some hootin’? The housemade salsas on the tables are deliciously flavorful and muy picante.
Chilosos tacos are the real deal, señor. But should you feel like straying from what is clearly their bread and butter, the handmade pork tamales are a worthy option. Truly a taste of Mexico, these bad boys have all the flavor and none of the grease. No salsa required.
After working out the kinks that go along with any new restaurant, Chilosos has become a casually delicious option for breakfast and lunch, six days a week. Both nicer and tastier than your standard steam-table, it’s a casual sit-down spot where you can enjoy good food and good service, while also giving your wallet a nice break.
Chilosos – 701 E. 20th (at Studewood)