Los Primos is a small restaurant at the corner of N. Sheridan Road and King Street. The earthy-orange colored building is without embellishment with the exception of the name painted on one side in bold letters. At first glance, some might drive past, completely oblivious to the gem hidden behind this ordinary building. It's a nondescript building, save the surprising drive thru window.
Upon entering the restaurant, I was greeted by the warm smells of freshly-cooked Mexican cuisine. The dining room was relatively small and cramped, but none of the patrons seemed to notice. A colorful jukebox playing traditional Mexican music sat on the front wall. Straight ahead was the takeout counter replete with menu on the wall. In another corner was a small TV with the subtitles in Spanish.
The dining room hummed with the sounds of families and warm conversation. The air buzzed with a mixture of Spanish and English. When I dined on a Sunday afternoon, I watched many happy customers come and go. The servers greeted each one with familiarity and warmth.
When my dining companion and I arrived, the courteous woman at the counter offered us a seat. Shortly after we sat down, a very pleasant server brought out chips and salsa. Tortilla chips were hot from the warmer and lightly salted. The salsa had only a hint of spiciness and lacked the chunks of tomato, onion, and pepper that salsa often is associated with.
Our cheerful server informed us that Los Primos serves Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, sweet tea, a variety of Mexican sodas, and beer (both Mexican and American). We placed our orders. I ordered a burrito with carne asada ($5.50), and my husband ordered the Los Primos carne asada ($7.99) without onions. The kids ordered from the children's menu, choosing (surprise) a grilled cheese and the chicken nuggets. Kids' meals are $3.99 and come with French fries and drink of choice. Special requests and questions about the menu were delightfully received. I felt like the server wished to take care of us like we were guests in her home.
The menu has many familiar items on it, notably chimichangas, gorditas, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos and nachos. In addition to traditional Mexican dishes, Los Primos also serves several types of burgers and chicken sandwiches. On the weekends, there are two specials: menudo and birria de chivo (goat stew). For those early diners, this eatery also serves breakfast. The menu is deep and provides a wide variety of food.
Los Primos offers several choices of meat for many of its dishes. The options are carne asada, pastor (marinated pork), chicken, tongue, stomach, cheek, chorizo (Mexican sausage), tripe, and ground beef.
The Los Primos carne asada was thinly sliced seasoned steak with rice, spiced refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and guacamole served with corn tortillas and sauce on the side. The carne asada was lean and exquisitely tender with a hint of sweetness, and rather than the traditionally served chopped steak, Los Primos' carne asada consists of two whole pieces of steak. The spice in the refried beans complimented the savory flavor of the meat. The homemade corn tortilla was amazingly delicious. The special sauce served with this is simply labeled "sauce" on the menu, and it tasted like something akin to enchilada sauce. The best description of this dish is a cross between a fajita and an enchilada.
The burrito comes with a choice of meat, beans, rice, cheese, cilantro, tomatoes, sour cream, and onions with sauce on the side. I likewise chose the carne asada. When the server brought our food out, I was shocked at the size of this burrito. It was huge! I poured the sauce over my burrito to transform it into a wet burrito. The meat fell apart in my mouth. The combination of flavors excited my taste buds. By the time I was done, I hardly had room for anything else.
The kids' meals had realistic portions, and both of my children enjoyed them, which is rare. I give Los Primos extra credit for satisfying both of my picky children. I especially enjoyed the fries, which were crisp and not greasy. They were slightly sweet and not at all salty.
To finish things off, Los Primos offers flan, cheese cake, and Mexican ice creams. We decided to taste one of each. The flan ($2.50) was covered in sauce and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. It was served ice cold and full of caramel custard goodness. The cheese cake ($2.50) was chocolate. It wasn't at all what I expected. The first bite was soft and bittersweet. This "cheese cake" was more of a torta de leche than a New York cheese cake. It was an amazing creamy, filling treat. Lastly, my daughter had an ice cream. She had a chocolate-covered raspberry ice cream ($1.10) on a stick. Being the wordsmith that she is, she told me it was "awesome." We didn't try the frozen fruit bars, but there were several types available.
I did notice that some customers ordered items that didn't appear to be on the menu. For instance, a gentleman at a nearby table was enjoying a pitcher of sangria. As so often happens with small family restaurants, it appears that other dishes and drinks are available if you know to ask.
Overall, I'd say that Los Primos was a surprising treat for the whole family. This eatery satisfied everyone in my brood, even my little picky eaters. There's a lot to be said for simple, homemade, wholesome goodness. I can't wait to go back and try some other dishes.
Send all comments and feedback regarding Restaurant to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share this article: