Since moving to Chicago, I’ve been looking for a Mexican cuisine restaurant similar to what I grew up with in St. Louis (Spoiler Alert: They’re not the same up here and this was no exception). While there is a plethora of Hispanic food in the Windy City, they do not provide the queso dip that I know and love in the Show-Me state, or the heavily loaded and thick frozen margaritas.
I may not have found a replacement to my beloved St. Louis style, but Fernando’s was pretty good! Located in the Lakeview/Roscoe Village area, it’s the perfect place if you’re nearby for lunch, dinner, and/or drinks!Since moving to Chicago, I've been looking for a Mexican cuisine restaurant similar to what I grew up with in St. Louis #chifood #foodie Click To Tweet
Fernando’s is definitely set up to be a fun environment. It wasn’t very busy when we got there, but I’m sure it’s a riot during happy hour. There’s a donkey in the entrance with a sign that says “Please don’t sit on my ass” (which I’m sure was the effect of people trying to sit on it) and a stand-alone figure with a cutout face for photos. There’s a large Taco Bar in the front part of the store, which I couldn’t tell was for tacos or drinks.
The main dining area is prepped for people. There are tables and chairs every where, so I’m sure there’s not usually a wait. The decor was fun. There are modern paintings of desert life all over the walls. My favorite was of a man fretting over a woman passed out from too much drink. I thought it was a riot!
Most of the menu offerings were typical of Mexican cuisine, so you won’t be disappointed or confused if you’re a frequenter of this restaurant genre. You’ve got your basic enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, and more. I changed up my routine and tried out their tamale, with a side of street corn. My brother and sis. in law split some fajitas. I also got a lime frozen margarita, of course.
It all turned out pretty well. Even though it was expected, I was for sure disappointed by the lack of queso dip. The feedback on the fajitas was good, as good as any they’ve ever had, so pretty typical. I’ve never had tamales before, so I don’t have a point of comparison, but it was okay. I’d probably order my usual quesadilla or tacos another time. The breading was like a cornbread and filled in the center with pork. The corn was drizzled with queso cheese and a kind of sweet salt. The margarita was strong! But not very smoothie-like, the way I am used to. It was almost like ice chips instead of cubes with the margarita mix.
It was a bit on the expensive side. The one tamale was $12, the half-ear of street corn was $3, and the margarita was $11. Most of my favorite Mexican food places had a total bill of $15. So not the cheapest, but overall, still pretty good!
Try it Out!
I love trying new places in Chicago, so there’s plenty more to come in my highlight series! If you’ve had Fernando’s before, or try it out, share your thoughts and experience! I’d go back, but there are so many other places to try, and so little time!