Chicago >Food & Dining > Irazu
1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6064741.915537 -87.684986
Neighborhoods: Bucktown, North Side
I found this place on accident and am so glad I did. Their very odd oatmeal milkshakey thing is worth a walk, drive, run or bike to Irazu.
Oatmeal Milkshake better than ambrosia – The food here is great, but that's not important.
Not when it's a melting humid day and I'm sweating like a pig in a sauna. On these instances, which happen all too often in Chicago, all I want is an Avena Shake sprinkled liberally with cinnamon. These oatmeal shakes are heavenly and unlike anything I have tasted anywhere else. Like an horchata and DQ blizzard lovechild on steroids.
Imagine the best oatmeal cookie you've ever had, blended up and chilled. You pretty much get the idea. This shake is rich and flavorful, but never overpowering. I'm always able to finish the entire thing in just a few gulps. Try the oatmeal banana if you're in the mood for something a little tropical.
If you know a poor teenager who has braces and chewing hurts so bad that they are on a bizarre liquid diet - bring them to Irazu for an oatmeal shake and they will be eternally grateful.
Good, cheap and fast – This afternoon, a wormhole opened up at Irazu Restaurant and delivered this unsuspecting diner straight to Buca Di Beppo. Now it is unusual indeed for a wormhole to masquerade as a bowl of chicken soup but evidently, adding enough garlic to a bowl of liquid can create strange phenomena. And this wasn’t all. It would appear that the soup pot doubles as the restaurant’s grease trap since there was more of it floating on top than actual ingredients. I guess during these economic times, anything to save a penny is worthwhile.
However, it would be unfair to withhold the positives of which there are many. Not even at Subway can one still get a giant sandwich for $4.95, on great bread and bursting with beef. The burritos are bizarrely good and the empanadas the greatest deal on the menu.
This place has been around for years and you owe it yourself to go the next time a burrito craving strikes you. Just hold the soup and save everyone around you from holding their noses.
worst service – Worst service in Bucktown, rude guy behind the counter, waiters never follow-up with you. Food has no taste. Looking for Costa Rican food, it's not found here.
Great food, spect to wait. – I don't own a car, but everytime I have access to one I go to this place. The food is delicious and very affortable. My picks: passion fruit juice, pepito, empanadas and sweet fried plantain. yum!
Relaxed atmosphere – I feel bad that some people had a bad experience, but let's face it, you can't please everyone. I on the other hand found the service to be wonderful. It's not a 5 star kind of place and I found that refreshing. It's got character and the food was brilliant. Simple, cheap, good food!
Be Leary of Drinks – My husaband and I traveled once again to far away land in search of something new. I figured he might like this spot considering he spent 5 weeks in Costa Rica and this is the only costa rican restaurant listed in the city of Chicago. The atmosphere is quaint and small on the inside. The outside of the building looks like it used to be an old gas station so don't be thrown off by that. I ordered the grilled flank steak dinner with yellow rice and black beans which was decent. My husband however ordered " chicken cosado" ( I hope that's right). It was some very tired looking chicken with a type of pico de gallo on top, rice with a fried egg on it and black beans. Needless to say he was not thrilled. Seeing that I like tea and had never run into a bad one yet I ventured to order the " iced hibiscus tea". First time for everything (running into one I didn't like). It was like grape kool-aid with no sugar. We informed the waitress that we didn't like them and would like to change drinks. My husband had fond memories of Guanabena also called Sour Sop. The first indicator that we should have stayed away from these drinks was that they were offered as shakes made with water or milk. I thought all shakes were made with ice cream and milk but hey, I am not well traveled. The surname to this drink said it all. It tasted like spoiled milk ( in both water or milk, it didn't matter). I hate that we wasted 12$ just in bad soft drinks alone. In short it was nice just to try something different but not an experience I would welcome again. As always though try it for yourself and see because what is trash to one person may be treasure to another.
What Service? – We walked in at about 7:30 on a Tuesday night,we were told the wait would be 20-25 minutes,which was a lie,we waited an hour and ten minutes. When we were finally seated, the waitress failed to give us menus. After seeing her taking order for people that had been seated after us,I got up and asked her for menus,she STILL failed to come over and take an order or acknowledge us. In fact,she took more orders for people seated after us. That is the point when we decided to leave for poor service. After waiting as long as we did apparently wanting them to take our order was a little to much to ask. At the end of the night I paid $3 for my chips and salsa and wasted two hours of my life. I will never go back to this place and I absolutely DO NOT reccomend it!
Why? – I've lived in the carribean and have lived on Costa Rica. I don't see what chicagoans flock to this place. It has character someone says. Sure, if character is what you describe the woman that runs it as having no personality and no social understanding. Someone says the food is terrific! So I tried the food. what most of what they server turns out to be just simple fired or sautéd steak. steak that is not that tender to begin with! Maybe my taste buds are different than most? But for good quality dishes that run about the same type try Rinconcito Sudamericano. The owners's idea of 20 minutes seems to be 1 hour..yes we waited 1 hour for food....for take out!.. her comment.."we're not a fast food chain"....but she forgets.. they're also not a gourmet restaurant and sautéd steak doesn't take 1 hour to make!
Unique and delicious – The shakes are sublime, but like nothing else I've ever had. I've tried several flavors, but I keep going back to the oatmeal shake. Amazing! As for the food, it's all quite good. I highly recommend the veggie burrito with the mushrooms. Yummmm!
This casual Costa Rican counter appeals to Bucktown veggie lovers and meat-eaters alike. – In Short
Popular for takeout, the restaurant does dine-in at a handful of tables and stools. A wall mural depicts a cottage beneath palms and tree frogs. A loyal vegetarian contingent comes back for dense, flavorful black bean and avocado burritos and other meatless fare, while carnivores swear by the authentic Costa Rican steak dinner. For breakfast, there's spicy huevos con chorizo or simple, gallo pinto (white rice with black beans and eggs or plantains).
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