Don Diablo is temporarily closed for renovations. It should be back open by March.
When Fonda del Mar
closed its doors and made the move up to North Center, there was trepidation among Logan Square residents that they were losing one of their best eateries. Doubtless, they were, but it turned out that Fonda found a pretty good replacement: itself.
Or close enough, at least. When the owners of Fonda del Mar went north to reap the rewards of a tawnier address, they left a bare-bones version of the best the restaurant had to offer. Taqueria don Diablo is a self-described "simple and unpretentious" shop focusing on Mexican small plates "the way they eat in Mexico City."
Mexico City may have provided the inspiration, but the special of the house is more along the lines of something one might find in California, and it's prepared the way the West Coasters do it, too: fish tacos are outstanding here, and garnished with cabbage and a white sauce. Other regulars keep coming back for the Cochinita de Pibil taco, a slow roasted pork taco served perfectly balanced with pickled onions and black beans.
Diablo stays true to its blue-collar Logan Square roots. While its older sister may have left the roost in search of its fortune, this taqueria was happy to stay home and serve the people. There are a good variety of tacos on the menu from $2, to an order of three flautas for $3 to a seafood cocktail for $8. A few seafood and steak dinner plate options are also on offer for $10-12.
Diablo lives up to its name by offering a half-dozen types of salsas and hot sauces ranging from the mild to the outright devilish. A major plus: the taqueria is BYOB with no corkage fee AND serves incredible margaritas and more.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman