After 10 years of serving Wicker Park with late night tacos and margaritas, Big Star has finally expanded to brunch. Honestly, it’s the perfect place for brunch, especially in the summertime; a great patio, pitchers to share, and a vibrant neighborhood. Who wouldn’t want to start early and spend the day there??
Unfortunately for me, it’s November and the outdoor patio is closed. But that wasn’t going to stop me from getting breakfast tacos.
My boyfriend, Alex, and I went on a sunny but cold day and took a seat by the window of Big Star’s enclosed patio to enjoy the sun. The interior has booths for larger groups, but the bar is the focus at the center of the room with seats on all sides. Wooden tables and metal chairs create a casual vibe.
There are lots of tequila-forward cocktails on this brunch menu, and I’m not complaining. I ordered the “Georgia on my mind” with tequila and peach syrup mixed in a Lagunitas. It tasted more like beer to me, with a hint of peach and tequila, but it’s a refreshing choice for anyone looking for beer with a twist. Alex ordered the “house Oaxacan old fashioned” off Big Star’s regular cocktail menu, which focuses on tequila and whiskey. The Oaxacan old fashioned is slowly gaining popularity, using tequila instead of whiskey. This version strayed from the norm with coffee syrup to add more depth of flavor and grapefruit for a citrus flavor. I know, sounds weird right? But the combination actually worked really well together. The grapefruit introduced light and bright flavors that awakened the tastebuds, while the coffee syrup brought a smooth richness to balance it all out. It certainly doesn’t taste like your traditional old fashioned, but the strong coffee flavor and tequila make for a delicious morning cocktail to pair with your tacos.
We started our meal with the “tacos durados,” which were essentially taquitos with scrambled eggs and crema on top. This was my favorite dish of our meal. Big Star managed to maintain the crunchiness of the tortilla while holding well-cooked, soft potatoes. In addition to the crema, spicy salsa and pickled onion topped the dish, adding a great mix of vibrant flavors and textures to every bite.
For my entrée, I opted to build my own tacos with “the Texas ranger” (you can also up the ante and get this with a shot of tequila and a Tecate for $5 more). Unfortunately, the fried potatoes weren’t crispy, so ask for them extra crispy if you order this. Also of note: the chiles toreados are extremely spicy – my poor taste buds! Opt for this dish if you’re a fan of spicy foods, and perhaps steer clear if you are not.
Alex had the steak and egg burrito which he easily devoured. It’s a small burrito, but full of flavor with well-seasoned steak and delicious salsa. He did notice that the ingredients weren’t mixed very well, so he had bites with just potatoes and some with just steak. All in all, it’s a traditional burrito and you may be better off ordering from Big Star’s menu of fun and interesting tacos, which you can top with scrambled eggs during brunch.
The Bitches Say: Three Champagne Flutes!
Big Star is a great location to share breakfast tacos with friends. Add tequila, gorgeous weather, and a large patio, and you’re bound to have a good time.
Big Star Wicker Park and Wrigleyville serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.