Hot, sultry August days call for eating light. As many of you know, Xoco is one of my favorite places for lunch. But as good as the tortas and caldos are, this time of year calls for a crisp, cool salad. Making an exception to Xoco’s Mexican street food theme, Rick Bayless offers only one salad as a main meal: the Xoco Salad. Thankfully he knows how to coax the best out of a mix of simple and fresh ingredients to make a winner. The blend of romaine and arugula taste just picked. Shreds of pork carnitas are juicy from the right amount of fat for flavor. (Or smoked chicken is an option.) Crispy tortilla threads add crunch. Chunks of avocado are perfectly ripe. The marinated black beans and pickled red onion (today it was sweet onion) lend contrast and tang. The finishing toss of avocado-lime dressing is nothing short of refreshing. No other salad needed here.
449 North Clark Street
Closed Sunday and Monday
Note: Carry-out is available all day long