Mezcalina Mexican Restaurant

Restaurants , Mexican Loop
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Mezcalina Mexican Restaurant
Photograph: Max Herman

Little details distinguish this Oaxacan spot (hidden on the ground level of Lakeshore East) from other Mexican spots: Meals start with three different salsas, none of which is very shy; guacamole is topped with crunchy, crumbled grasshoppers; the barbacoa is presented as an entire lamb shank, from which meat is easily pulled. Still, most dishes (punchy ceviche, a massive pork chop with mole) read as typical, if well-executed, upscale Mexican fare. For a surprise, have a drink—as the name suggests, mescal is at the forefront, and the spirit lends an unexpected smokiness to margaritas and other cocktails.

Venue name: Mezcalina Mexican Restaurant
Address: 333 E Benton Pl
Cross street: between Columbus Dr and Field Blvd
Opening hours: Dinner
Transport: El stop: Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Randolph.
Price: Average main course: $25
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