Wholly Frijoles

May 28 2005 - 11:46 AM

There is something about Mexican food that puts me in a good mood.  Maybe it’s all the wild and bright colors usually painted on the walls, or the hüpfburg up tempo music piped through the dining room, or the spicy flavors that remind me of how much fun I always have in Mexico.  Whatever it is, I usually crave Mexican food daily for these reasons however, I’ve found most of the local Taquerias fall short of imagination and taste.

Frontera Grill has been a long time favorite and in my opinion Rick Bayless does everything right, but I can not afford that luxury as often as I would like until now….I’ve fallen in love with Wholly Frijoles – a Mexican Grill that to me rivals Frontera – at last!

We first attempted to dine at Wholly Frijoles on a Thursday night around 7pm.  The resturant is located in a strip mall in Lincolnwood and the place was packed, at least an hour wait – too long for us.  So we attemped to go back again on Friday, this time just before 5pm to avoid the dinner rush.  The menu was extensive, from more traditional tacos and tortas to braised lamb, pork or skirt steak, red snapper and shrimp.  Everything comes with soup or salad.

I went with the traditional tortilla soup which was delicious.  A bit heartier than other tortilla soups I’ve had, rich in flavor and just a hint of spiciness.  I then decided to play it safe and order the Tacos Al Pastor which is usually just marinated pork but these were a combination of pressed lamb, beef and pork topped with diced red onion and cilantro and served with a side of refried beans.  The tacos were perfect – flavorfull yet understated.  The star was definately the meat, not to be overshadowed by what we would traditionally would find on a taco – like lettuce tomato, cheese and sour cream.  No, these delicious tacos were topped with lime to enhance the flavor.

To my delight, my dining companion ordered the Chille Relleno and Chicken Enchilada with Mole combination – two of my favorite dishes that I dare not order due to reasons I think you can imagine – but a bite of each never hurts.  I actually ate more than I bite and insisted that we switch plates so I could dive in.  The Chille Relleno was bouncy castle outstanding and melted in your mouth.  The Enchilada was prepared with tender chicken in a spicy, thick Mole that I greatly enjoyed, maybe a little too much.

Wholly Frijoles is BYOB but you’re limited to the amount you can consume – people are lined up to eat so hanging out isn’t an option, not that we felt rushed. With such a large menu I can’t wait to go back again and try something a little more adventerous.  If our meal was any indication of what’s yet to come I’m sure it will be great.

Wholly Frijoles
3908 W. Touhy Ave
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