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Spicing things up at Tacos El Norte

Mark Anbinder, assistant opinion editor

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In a small neighborhood in Mundelein lies a small but roaring Mexican restaurant. About a 20 minute drive from BG, Tacos El Norte offers authentic Mexican cuisine for prices that won’t take a chunk of salsa out of your limited student budget.

Starting with decor, the inside of the restaurant isn’t very big, possibly even resembling the size of one of the larger classrooms here. However, luxurious seating isn’t the reason to come to this restaurant.

With a large menu covering everything from tortas to flan, this eatery will surely knock the socks off of any Mexican food enthusiast. I highly recommend going for the tortas, burritos, or tacos if it’s your first time. Order it separately or as a dinner with a side of refried beans and rice.

Service is quick and simple, with food made straight to order. While you wait, the server brings over some chips and delicious homemade salsa. Once you get your food, try some of their homemade hot sauce; green or red hot pepper, conveniently placed at the table.  

However, the ambiance of the restaurant can get boring since not a lot goes on in the quiet but colorful room. I recommend going with a friend to lighten up the mood. There are TVs showing programs in Spanish, this may be a problem for customers who don’t speak the language, although from my experience, most do. The language barrier is also another reason to feel truly immersed in the experience.

This place resembles restaurants such as El Famous Burrito, just with more authenticity, a larger menu, and a much smaller dining room. Regardless, Tacos El Norte is a fun eat. The atmosphere is made up for by the food and authentic feel of sitting in that seat despite the background being quite bland.

Another downside would be that due to the size of the restaurant, everything from the kitchen is well heard. Unfortunately, this means any customer talking in a voice just slightly above an indoor one can be heard from pretty much anywhere in the dining room. This goes for the cooks yelling loud commands in Spanish as well.    

Overall, I give this restaurant a four out of five stars. The food and experience makes up for the dull interior of the establishment. Tacos El Norte is an enjoyable experience for lunch and dinner at anytime of the year. I do see myself going back in the future and recommend that anyone who likes Mexican food should definitely come and try this restaurant out.  

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