The menu at La Perla Tapatia may not be as bulky as what you'd normally find in a Mexican restaurant, but you'll get a bang for your buck at this Humboldt Park
eatery where Mexican staples are prepared swiftly by a lone cook and served at dirt-cheap prices.
Tacos are a measly $1.45-$1.95 and can be filled with carne asada, al pastor (Mexican gyros), chicken, picadillo (ground beef), chorizo or lengua (beef tongue). You'll find tostadas ($2.35), tortas ($3.65) and burritos ($4.20) in the same fashion, along with fish, beef and chicken soups.
If you're looking to splurge, La Perla features a la carte dinners ranging in price from $7.50-$10.25. Served with rice, beans and salad, choose from a list including bistec a la tampiquena (grilled skirt steak with avocado and enchilada), enchiladas suiza and flautas de pollo (three tortillas with chicken, sour cream and guacamole). There's also the special $5.99 taco dinner, which gets you three tacos, rice and beans. And, for those indecisive diners who canít make up their minds about what they really want, there's the economical combinacion la Perla ($5.75), a meal consisting of one taco de carne asada, one tostada de picadillo, one enchilada de pollo, rice and beans.
A massive jug swirling agua de horchata (rice water) may tempt your thirst, as will milkshakes in flavors like banana, coconut, chocomilk and strawberry. Soda, lemonade, coffee and Jarritos are also available to hydrate, but you wonít find any alcoholic beverages here.
There's not much to intrigue the eyes if you're dining in Ė the seating area is sparse with 10 booths, a few candy machines and mostly-white walls save for a few mirrors and small, framed paintings. Make like the others and get your food to go.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Katie Piepel