Tex-Mex Tuesday: Churros at Cabo Baja Tacos & Burritos
I thought I found my favorite churros when I ventured to the outdoor kitchen of El Rey del Churro on Veterans Memorial Drive a couple of weeks ago. The soft-centered, crispy wands, drizzled in caramel sauce, cajeta, chocolate sauce or all three (I recommend the latter), are indeed something special. But for something inside the Loop with an uncommon twist, there's no competing with the churros at Cabo Baja Tacos & Burritos on Washington Avenue.
The first thing that you'll notice about Cabo's churros is that they're dusted not just in typical sugar, but also powdered sugar, which will likely add a new set of polka dots to your clothes as it did to mine. It's worth it. Your counter server will ask if you want caramel or chocolate. For $6, you will be gifted with three extra-long churros, so the smart thing is to try both flavors.
I expected a small reservoir of goo in each of the churros. Instead, each tender-but-crunchy pastry had a deep well running its entire length, filled with liquid goodness. The rich, intensely sweet caramel is a joy. But I was glad I ordered two of the chocolate ones. This is no retiring milk chocolate. Instead, the bite replicates Spanish churros y chocolate with the dark heft of high-quality European drinking chocolate, only thicker.
You will want to make a meal entirely out of churros, but it would be a mistake to miss the tacos. The owners of Cabo Baja are, as the name suggests, originally from Baja California Sur Mexico. That means dishes that are common on local menus don't taste the same as at other restaurants.
The al pastor tacos, for example, feature slender chunks of pineapple with uncommonly spicy red pork suffused with cinnamon. The battered fish of the Baja taco is as large as the chubby, soft homemade corn tortilla in which it's served. It's a challenge to eat, but with fish contained in an herb-speckled jacket, tangy cabbage slaw, cilantro and creamy chipotle sauce, it's a worthy effort. And in the end, the churros will be waiting.