The Los Comales restaurants are the region’s most famous Mexican food franchise—you can find one as far as Joliet. But not all Comales restaurants are created equal. While the menus are fundamentally the same, each restaurant has a different owner and a different appeal. The location on 60th and Pulaski is run by a family matriarch, Doña Ana (whose name has been added to the restaurant name), and she opened the business when the area was predominantly Polish.
There are quite a few things that make her Comales stand out. For starters, the establishment is impeccably clean. This is not true for all taquerias. However, this Comales always has swept tile floors; the tables, condiments, and salt shakers are religiously wiped down; the bathrooms smell like purple Fabuloso; and a neat but bustling kitchen is within eyesight of the customer. It made customers like me feel reassured when we decided to venture out for tacos in 2020.
The restaurant serves the characteristically small street tacos and fat tortas that all Comales are known for. But, in my opinion, the portions here seem more generous, the meat feels more tender, and the salsas haven’t lost their spiciness—as I’ve found to be the case in some Mexican restaurants that try to cater to a white clientele.
The menu includes classic dishes like enchiladas, mole, and seafood, as well as more trendy options like quesabirria with consomé. One underrated item is the Tacos Jalisco, which are Guadalajara-style semi-crispy barbacoa beef tacos (the meat resembles pulled pork) with a signature fiery salsa on the side that will clear your sinuses and lift your spirits by the time you’re done.
The location includes a fair selection of tequila and imported beer, which allow for decadent cocktails like micheladas, piñas coladas, and margaritas—or you can keep it simple and just get a six-pack in a bucket of ice. The non-alcoholic options, needless to say, are delicious: the aguas de horchata, tamarindo, and jamaica are never watered down.
For entertainment, the restaurant has a digital jukebox and five flatscreens that are tuned into the soccer game or the telenovela. There is an altar of La Virgen de Guadalupe in one corner of the dining area, which further attracts customers year round and is a popular backdrop for selfies.
Despite a series of other great restaurants popping up on the block over the last decade, Los Comales de Doña Ana is unfazed and here to stay.
Taqueria Los Comales de Doña Ana, 6035 S. Pulaski Rd. Monday–Sunday, 10am–10pm. (773) 838-1977. facebook.com/loscomalesdedonaana