Helpful ReplyThe Contingent's Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

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BuddyRoadhouse
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2016/04/05 16:54:39 (permalink)

The Contingent's Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

This thread announces The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour.  It’s based on an article written by Kevin Pang in the Chicago Tribune’s restaurant section.  You can see photos of his journey here.  Pang visited a dozen or so authentic Taquerias located along the Fox River.  We’d narrow the field down to half or less and add in a non-eating stop or two along the way.
 
This one will require more research before I can announce specifics, although we did try one spot, El Pollo Giro, and found their grilled chicken to be fantastic.
 
I’m scheduling this one for the fall so we can enjoy the changing colors in a beautiful part of the state.  Fill in the Doodle Poll and we’ll settle on a date as we get closer to this event.
 
More info as the research takes place.
 
Buddy
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2016/08/23 22:26:43
#1
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/05/18 14:44:25 (permalink)
Even though this thread got no response, the Doodle Poll indicates reasonable interest.  It may still be too early to nail down a date, but here's how things are shaping up so far:
 
The two strongest dates are Sunday, September 25th and Sunday, October 2nd.
 
Next best dates are Saturday, September 24th; Sunday, October 9th; then Saturdays and Sundays, October 15th & 16th and 22nd & 23rd.  After that things drop off quickly.
 
Things to consider: the deeper we get into the season, the better the fall colors will be.  OTOH the later we go, the colder and possibly rainier it'll be.
 
Please let me know if there have been any changes to your schedules that might affect planning this tour.  If you have contact with anyone in the group who hasn't signed up, please encourage them to do so.
 
More on this trip when I return from Cleveland.
 
Thanks!
 
Buddy
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ann peeples
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/05/18 20:05:42 (permalink)
I cant  respond yet-but would love it! Bob is horribly ill.
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/05/19 08:17:34 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
This one will require more research before I can announce specifics, although we did try one spot, El Pollo Giro, and found their grilled chicken to be fantastic.

Clearly a day like this should begin with a Taco Bell breakfast.
#4
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/05/19 09:40:05 (permalink)
I'm sure there are 30 or 40 of them between Stoughton and the Fox River Valley.  Feel free to stop along the way.
 
No need to bring me anything, I'll manage.
 
Buddy
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abe_froeman
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/05/19 21:41:06 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
 
Clearly a day like this should begin with a Taco Bell breakfast.

Well, you want to make sure your digestive tract is completely clear before you go on any Roadfood trip so that you can truly hit maximum density.
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MilwFoodlovers
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/05/20 15:12:37 (permalink)
Those days look doable for me. Monroe Cheese Days are Sept. 16-18 and Milwaukee's Indian Summer Festival is a week earlier.
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/23 22:31:25 (permalink)
Dear Contingencies,
As you can see from the edited title of this thread, a firm date has emerged from the Doodle Poll.  Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 2nd for our Taqueria Tour.  Research will begin in earnest and further updates regarding an itinerary will be forthcoming.
 
See you in October, if not before!
Buddy
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/24 17:32:21 (permalink)
My map of the Fox Valley doesn't list Earnest.  Is it north of St. Charles?
 
Also, it's very important that we start the tour at 5:15pm.
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ChiTownDiner
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/24 18:04:17 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
My map of the Fox Valley doesn't list Earnest.  Is it north of St. Charles?
 
Also, it's very important that we start the tour at 5:15pm.




Beat me to it...but it will NOT be the last we hear of 5:15pm!  
 
#10
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/24 18:17:17 (permalink)
I'm in the dark, or just too dumb to get the 5:15 joke.  Being a Taco Tour, if you said it needed to start at 4:20, or slightly thereafter, I'd get that, but 5:15 eludes me.
 
Earnest is in fact north of St. Charles and out west, in between Grand Detour and Woosung.  You start the tour out their and we'll catch up with you.
 
Buddy
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Gyp
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/29 23:48:00 (permalink)
I'm in
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MilwFoodlovers
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/30 12:46:48 (permalink)
We're not starting around 11 am?
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/30 12:54:33 (permalink)
Over the weekend Mrs. C and I received an invitation to an Oct. 1 wedding but it's being held out of town, so it's pretty unlikely we'll be able to join the Tour.  Ironically, the festivities are being held in Wisconsin's Fox Valley...
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JRPfeff
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/30 13:07:31 (permalink)
SC - I think that's coincidental, rather than ironic.
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/30 14:14:55 (permalink)
Coincidentally, I concur wholeheartedly.
 
Start time TBD, but unless you're looking for breakfast tacos (is that a thing?), 11am sounds reasonable.  Milwaukee folks will need at least 90 minutes drive time.  If you want, we can meet at our house, near I-94, to consolidate vehicles, then head out together to the first stop.
 
A research field trip to narrow down the candidates is planned for later this week.
 
Buddy
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/30 14:46:19 (permalink)
JRPfeff
SC - I think that's coincidental, rather than ironic.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/ironically
 
"Used to denote a paradoxical, unexpected, or coincidental situation:"
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/30 14:50:58 (permalink)
Thanks Alanis.
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ann peeples
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/30 18:25:07 (permalink)
Since gyp is in, and I hope he will drive-I am in! Sounds great!
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Wintahaba
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/08/30 18:37:32 (permalink)
 Coincidentally I have lived in both Fox Valley's...Naperville before...Appleton now. BTW, You should have a blast during the tour...I loved cruising through Batavia/St. Charles/Elgin...
post edited by Wintahaba - 2016/08/30 18:39:37
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/18 13:08:33 (permalink)
Buddy,
 
What are the expected hours for this event?
 
Jim
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/18 19:44:12 (permalink)
Any thought of running this from South to North? It will make our drive home an hour shorter.
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/19 01:34:21 (permalink)
I'm thinking an 11am start, lasting as long as it takes us to work our way through a half dozen or so Taquerias.  Maybe 5-6pm at the latest(?).
 
I wholeheartedly agree, a south to north path is the way to go.
 
I hope to have a narrowed down list of specific stops later this week.
 
Buddy
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/23 21:01:22 (permalink)
After a long day of exhaustive and exhausting research, I think we have a solid Taqueria Tour.  We started with a list of 11 candidates, all sampled and approved by food writer Kevin Pang in the Chicago Tribune.  The list immediately dropped to nine when we discovered two of the places were out of business.
 
A third contender, Bien Trucha became irrelevant once we discovered they’re closed on Sundays.  Too bad.  They were the first place we visited, and although they’re a bit upscale by Roadfood standards, they had a very imaginative menu and served excellent food.  You might even put them up in the same stratosphere with Rick Bayless’ operations.  This is the kind of place our group could do as a stand alone visit rather than as a small part of a tour.
 
During the hard research (lots of internet reading, no eating) for this excursion, a Google search reminded me to check a reliable source, well-known to Roadfooders, who I too frequently forget.  He’s known as Da Beef over at LTHForum.com and posts here at Roadfood as our very own KingT.  His ChiBBQKing Blog is an extensive, well organized resource for all things Roadfood and beyond.
 
KingT (aka Titus) recommended several Taco Joints in Aurora.  One particular standout was Taqueria Muniz.   Their specialty tacos include Cochinita Pibil (marinated pork roasted in a banana leaf then shredded) and Tacos Alambre (grilled beef topped with chopped bacon, bell peppers, onions, cheese, salsa and avocado).
 
So now we’re back to Mr. Pang’s list.  El Pollo Giro in Aurora is better known for their fabulous Marinated Grilled Chicken than for tacos.  Some of you may have heard Mrs. Roadhouse and I speak lovingly and longingly about a similar place in Kansas City, El Pollo Rey.  They soak chicken halves in a secret marinade for an undisclosed amount of time (maybe weeks or months for all I know); then grill it over an open fire.  It is something we crave almost as much, and sometimes more than, KC BBQ.  El Pollo Giro approaches that level of greatness.
 
From there we head north to La Huerta Supermarket in St. Charles. This is the first of two grocery based taquerias on this trip.  You can fill your taco with Al Pastor or Carne Asada, or look to the various stews in the long steam table.  I was especially fond of the chicken in salsa verde.  They also have a special Guisada del Dia (Stew of the Day).  There’s a nice selection of Mexican soft drinks in the large cooler.
 
With the addition of the KingT recommendation in Aurora, we decided to skip several of the candidates in the middle of the trip.  Jalisco Tacos and Tacos La Flor were both good, but not great. Plus, one of them (won’t say which) had a bad smell.  Might have been an isolated incident, might have been a regular part of the ambiance.  No need to find out with a return visit; there are better places to choose from as we head north.
 
The third omission, Taqueria Los Comales, is part of a taco empire that stretches all the way from Chicago’s south side to the far flung reaches of the Fox river Valley.  If we really want to check them out, they have 14 locations including one in Milwaukee and another in Niles, about ten minutes from my place.  No need to make them part of a special trip.
 
We will make a non-food stop at the halfway point at the Fox River Trolley Museum.  Admission is free, and there are reasonable fares to actually ride the trollies.  If enough people are interested in taking the ride, I can inquire about a group rate.
 
Three more stops further north.  First up is Tacos El Norte.  We sampled the Al Pastor, the Lomo (Rib-eye steak smothered in grille onions), and a new addition to the menu, Taco Cochino (sorry, no pix) is a sweet/salty flavor combination of Shrimp and Bacon.  Very tasty!
 
We’re flying blind on the last two stops in Crystal Lake.  We got a late start (surprise!) and didn’t get to either one in time to actually sample their wares.  We’re including Taqueria Las Cumbres because it’s right next door to a cute looking Mexican Bakery.  Mr. Pang recommends the Al Pastor, the Carne Asada, and the Fish Tacos.
 
We’re including La Rosita Taqueria (the second operation located inside a grocery store) because it’s right next door to a Paleteria (Mexican Ice Cream Shop) and it’s only about a minute away from Taqueria Las Cumbres.  So as we get to the end of the day, we can pick and choose where or whether we want to make these last stops.  Everything makes the cut at La Rosita, but the Tacos Al Pastor are especially recommended.
 
That’s the story.  The complete list of stops is below.  I’ll have handouts with additional information for all interested parties.  See you all on Sunday, October 2nd at 11am in front of Taqueria Muniz in Aurora!
 
Buddy
 
P.S. It's time for a headcount.  Who's in?
 
Taqueria Muniz
518 S Lake St
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 896-8727
 
El Pollo Giro
991 Aurora Ave.
Aurora, IL
(630) 896-0755
 
La Huerta Supermarket
580 S. Randall Rd.
St. Charles, IL
(630) 587-0549
 
Fox River Trolley Museum
365 S La Fox St. (Rt. 31)
 South Elgin, IL 60177
(847) 697-4676
 
Tacos El Norte
2122 W. Algonquin Rd.
Lake In The Hills, IL
(847) 458-4777
 
Taqueria Las Cumbres
93 Grant St.
Crystal Lake, IL
(815) 455-8200
 
La Rosita Taqueria
131 N. Main St.
Crystal Lake, IL
(815) 444-0565
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2016/09/24 15:57:05
#24
ChiBears15
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/23 22:32:25 (permalink)
I am in, Jeff.  Thank you for doing the research for this trip.  Everything looks great.
 
Danny
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Gyp
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/23 22:40:59 (permalink)
I'm in, along with whoever is riding along with me
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JRPfeff
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/23 22:49:18 (permalink)
Jeff,
 
Many thanks for scheduling this for the Green Bay Packers' bye week. You are an honorary Cheesehead.
 
We will be there until we get sick of tacos,
 
Jim
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/24 01:42:53 (permalink)
The "IN" List:
 
ChiBears15 - 1
Gyp - 1
JRPfeff &
      Pie Diva - 2 + ?
MilwFoodlovers - 2
abe_froeman & Mr. Maki - 2 + 2 guests
X1 - 1
BuddyRoadhouse - 2
 
         Total - 13 + ?

 
The "OUT" List
HowlingChickenMonkey
quijotes (probably out, but possibly in w/a kidnapped child)
ann peeples
ChiTownDiner
 
 
Buddy
 
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2016/09/27 02:02:14
#28
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/24 16:09:04 (permalink)
JRPfeff
Jeff,
 
Many thanks for scheduling this for the Green Bay Packers' bye week. You are an honorary Cheesehead.

No such consideration was consciously made.  The Bears are doing so badly, with little hope for a winning season (or even winning a single game, it seems), I just didn't consider football as an impediment at all.  But I'll accept the title and, presumably, the foam headgear that goes with it.
 
JRPfeff
We will be there until we get sick of tacos,
 
Jim

Just because they're called "Taquerias", it doesn't mean your ordering has to be limited to tacos.  All of these places have other stuff, including enchiladas, burritos, tostadas, gorditas, etc.  Mix it up and keep it fresh dude.
 
Buddy
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ann peeples
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Re: Who Loves Tacos? The Contingent Does! The Fox River Valley Taqueria Tour, Fall 2016 2016/09/24 19:22:13 (permalink)
Unfortunatly, I just got out of the hospital after a 3 day stay in neurology icu for a bad whack on the head which resulted in a bad concussion and a bruised brain. I am told to take it easy for awhile, but I will contact Gyp if I can go. Sorry I cant be more specific.
#30
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