Diners who still hunger for the fare once served at the famed Mexican Inn restaurant on Chicago's Southeast Side will be delighted to know those tacos are back on the scene.
The Taco Dive, which features some of the former Mexican Inn favorites, debuted on Whiting's 119th Street in the fall. The eatery is owned by David Jimenez, whose late uncle Mario Cornejo Sr. operated Mexican Inn.
Jimenez also formerly owned Taco Trader in Dyer, which is now closed. He vowed he'd be back to offering his family's Mexican fare when Taco Trader closed in 2016.
"We opened in October and it's been going like gangbusters," Jimenez said. He added word is spreading that the eatery has opened and those who missed and loved Mexican Inn's crunchy and soft cheese tacos as well as other Mexican restaurant fans have been visiting the eatery for their fix.
We visited The Taco Dive on a recent Sunday for an early lunch. The eatery's interior sports bright, beach-like, surfing and diving decor. Music plays in the background and TVs are also featured at the eatery.
The Taco Dive's menu features assorted tacos from Crispy Beef and Crispy Chicken to Soft Cheese; Tostada Dinner; Cali Burrito; The Sloppy Jose; The Sonoran Hot Dog; Taco Nachos; and other dishes. While the menu isn't huge, the tacos are what this place is all about and customers primarily visit for the Dive's taco selection.
During a recent visit, we ordered the Combination Dinner ($12) which came with a choice of two tacos, one soft cheese taco and a side of rice or beans or half and half rice/beans. We chose one Crispy Beef Taco and one Crispy Chicken Taco. The tacos were just as good as we remembered from Mexican Inn. And the soft cheese, which the menu states "It's a 95th and Ewing thing," was delicious. The soft cheese is essentially a corn tortilla rolled and smothered in cheese sauce and filled with cheese.
Tacos sell for two for $6 or 3 for $8. The restaurant also has a Kid's Meal ($5).
Sides available at the eatery include Rice, Beans, Fresh-Cut Fries, House-made Crema, Side Salad and more. Beer, wine and assorted soft drinks are available. The Taco Dive also sells Jarritos and Mexican Coca Cola. Catering packages are also available.