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Lalo's (Oak Park)

View Map804 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park
Tel: (708) 386-3386
View Website
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Editorial Review of Lalo's (Oak Park)

With more than 10 locations throughout the Chicagoland area, this family-owned chain is gaining recognition throughout the city and suburbs as a destination for anyone seeking satisfying Mexican fare. It's a well-deserved reputation, especially in this location, where Southwest pastels join forces with high-top tables and a festive atmosphere. Casual margarita slinging may be in order, but the care you'll receive is anything but sloppy: Friendly, attentive servers emerge from thin air to refill your chips and drinks, and return often to check your progress throughout the meal.

Lalo's extensive menu goes beyond tacos and burritos, venturing into traditional territory with selections such as pollo con mole (chicken simmered in mole sauce), camaron al mojo de ajo (shrimp in a garlic and butter sauce) and carne asada. And few Mexican places offers so many seafood possibilities, which means lovers of fresh fish will be in red-snapper-veracruz-style paradise. Wash any of these down with exotically flavored margaritas (mango is the best), but be sure to watch your wallet, because although the food is reasonable in most cases, they more than make up for it with steep drink prices.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: Jenny Seay

With a handful locations in the city and throughout the suburbs, Lalo's brings authentic Mexican food to the Chicagoland area. Eschewing the minimal menus of simple taquerias, the restaurant that started as a family-owned eatery in the heart of the Mexican community gives burrito lovers a large variety of genuine, home-cooked meals.

The pollo con mole pablano (chicken with the traditional mole sauce), huachinango a la veracruzana o al mojo de ajo (red snapper with veracruzana tomato or garlic sauce) and bistec con rajas y queso (grilled ribeye steak with onions, tomatoes, poblano peppers and melted chihuahua cheese) are tasty entrees, but a warning: Vegetarians and vegans will be hard-pressed to find anything appetizing. The sizeable selection of seafood dishes offers a welcome change, and the enticing pastel de tres leches (literally cake of three milks) dessert sounds delectable.

Lalo's laid-back atmosphere is a good environment to enjoy the restaurant's famous margaritas. Though the drinks are a bit pricey, starting at $7.25 for a small and up to $26 for a pitcher, the tropical flavors and the exotic assortment (including a sweet 'n' sour margarita), may make it all worth it. A tip: check out the restaurant's promotions on its website and print out a coupon that might help you save a few bucks.

Lalo's official website:

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11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday

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Lalo's (Oak Park) was mentioned in these articles...

Virtual L: Oak Park (Blue), 11/9/08
Gateway to the southwest 'burbs.


chicago, metromix