Chicago: Irazu

When a mass invite to dinner produced only 3 takers, myself included, we stubbornly headed out to Irazu anyway. We got there pretty late, so we weren't surprised by the long line:



BYOB is a blessing when it comes to long waits. People in line were getting the party started early by busting out their cases of beer. We took the classier route with our bottled wine.

The weather in Chicago that weekend was pleasantly nice for a change, so the outdoor patio was open for service and that's where we ended up being seated.

My roommate and I shared our entrées (no surprise there). We got the shrimp/veggie platter, which came with white rice, black beans, cabbage salad, and sweet plantains:



The shrimp and vegetables were saturated in garlic sauce, which was fantastic. But my favorite part of the dish was the rice. The rice was seasoned to perfection and I could've just eaten that by itself.

We also ordered the casado, which is essentially thin rib eye steak with caramelized onions, white rice, black beans, sweet plantains, over easy egg, and cabbage salad:



Big surprise of the night: I did not enjoy the steak at all. Perhaps it was because of the grill, but the steak tasted like liver. I wasn't imagining it either. My roommate confirmed it for me. Gross.

Overall the wait was just too much. The wait to get in was understandable, but the wait for our food to come out was a little over the top. Granted, it was a busy night and the unexpectedly nice weather probably prompted Irazu to optimistically open up the patio without having a sufficient number of staff on hand. All the same, the weather got colder as the night progressed and by the time the food arrived, I was cold, hungry, and eager to go home. My roommate and I basically scarfed down our meal, which is what most likely caused my subsequent tummyache.

The food simply wasn't good enough to justify the misery.

Irazu is known for its oatmeal shake. We didn't order it that night, but I had had it before. It wasn't as thick as I was hoping it would be, but was still delicious in a gritty horchata kind of way.


Irazu
1865 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-5687

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