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South Side Cheap Eats: Mexico Steak House

By Chuck Sudo on Sep 12, 2006 2:00PM

2006_09_MSH1.jpg If one had to determine the dominant cuisine in Chicago's restaurant industry, one could probably toss a coin between Italian and Mexican, and still not have a definitive answer. Both styles are ubiquitous, vary from four-star fine dining to takeout, and are sources of heated debate among gourmands.

Tina Ruvalcaba's Mexico Steak House is located along a stretch of Archer Avenue shiny fresh from road work, a few blocks north of Bubbly Creek. The sign in the lead photo says that carne asada is their specialty. From standpoints of both flavor and cost, it didn't disappoint.

2006_09_MSH2.jpgAt a cost of $13.95, you get a sizeable amount of beef, served with the standard accoutrements of any taqueria worth its salt. The steak was slightly overcooked for our taste - well done, not rubbery - but still enjoyable. We recommend for readers interested in visiting Mexico Steak House to specify how you want your steak broiled, and season it with liberal dashes of salsa verde, lime, and Cholula.

Gratis appetizers include totopos and salsa (both red and the aforementioned green) and a small cup of vegetable and orso soup that made the perfect cure-all for yesterday's rain-induced doldrums. The atmosphere is standard generic taqueria, even if all the cops and state troopers being waited on hand and foot made us feel like we were watching a modern take on a Sam Peckinpah film. You have your jukebox playing Vincente Fernandez and norteno, with some reggaeton and Mana thrown in for the pepitos. Tables and chairs are standard issue 1970's designs, but clean.

Mexico Steak House is yet another culinary treasure in a city full of them. Mexico Steak House is located at 2983 S. Archer Ave. The phone number is (773) 254-5151, and they're open 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday.