Taqueria Traspasada

3144 N California Ave Chicago

Hot Doug's
Written By Hot Doug's

Most Americans are pretty familiar with Mexican food, so if you’re looking for a culinary adventure, a taqueria is probably not the first place that comes to mind. “Traspasada” means “turned over” or “transgressed,” but at first glance its menu featuring tacos, burritos, and huevos rancheros doesn’t seem to offer many surprises.

But sometimes the details make all the difference. You’ll know what I mean when you order your meal with black salsa, a true delight that makes this local favorite stand out. “Black” salsa gets it dark color and distinctive flavor from roasted poblano chiles.

The poblano is a relatively mild Chile that’s native to Puebla, Mexico. When it’s dried, it’s known as an ancho, and when it’s stuffed it’s a chile relleno. To make black salsa, poblanos are roasted until their skin begins to char. The charred skin is then peeled off, and the soft flavorful insides become salsa.

Of course, the salsa’s not the only reason to come here. If you grew up in a Mexican household or you’re a hard-core fan of the cuisine, this is the place to go for comfort foods like tripe and lengua. Guests from all backgrounds rave about the tacos al pastor (tacos made with pork that’s been grilled on a spit with pineapple and spices.) Their small but very popular location in Avondale has spawned a second location near Ukrainian Village.

Cover photo: hombrlobo84 via Instagram.

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Taqueria Traspasada

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