Updated: Jul 24, 2021
A bit too cheeky
Years prior there used to be a pretty good Mexican restaurant that served great burritos. The place was always busy, but eventually shuttered it's doors (most likely moved to a bigger space.) Now in its place stands a rather cheeky restaurant coincidentally named Chikis. Does Chikis hold a candle to the former heavyweight?
Stepping inside you're greeted by silence. It's around 5pm on a Friday & there isn't a soul in sight. In comparison the former Mexican place was usually packed to the brim. Whether that's good or bad I was soon to find out. My mission was simple, get a burrito. Their menu doesn't offer many options, it's pretty much steak, chicken or pork with $2.99 extra for suizo style (melted cheese on top.) The total was $11.02 for a steak suizo burrito which is rather steep considering the staples of a Mexican restaurant like beans, rice & cilantro aren't included nor is a drink.
Waiting around I got a good look at the place. Decor is of a dingy hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, most of which seems to be left over from the previous business. There's pinatas hanging all over the place as well which honestly comes across as trying too hard. The employees huddled around the register doing nothing while the floor or entire restaurant could use a cleaning which seems to be a disturbing trend.
The burrito took about 15 minutes to make. There seemed to be confusion amongst the chef & other employees as orders were not properly being processed which they decided to just blame on the software after bickering for several minutes. It was odd that they were saying that they were "behind in orders" as the place was empty & there only looked to be 2 small online orders (one of them was also a burrito) which left me bewildered. I myself became confused when I received my neatly wrapped burrito as I ordered "Suizo" which typically comes in a box due to the cheese and/or sauce (some restaurants don't do sauce as that makes it more of an enchilada dish.) Unwrapping the burrito I didn't immediately see the cheese, having to turn it over in-order reveal the thin layer of mozzarella cheese barely covering it. The burrito did come with green/red sauce & plenty of napkins although needless to say I was pretty disappointed.
Upon first inspection you can't see any steak, but the taste of steak fills your mouth on that first bite. While it seemed neat on the outside the inside looks like a mess of hastily thrown together ingredients. It was a decent burrito, fresh tasting & somewhat filling although it could use more meat & cheese. The red sauce has a distinct flavor, something I've never tasted before in a red sauce & made it actually pretty good. The green sauce however was spoiled & tasted like it was in a constant cycle of being left out for hours on end before being refrigerated again. That may have been what gave the red sauce it's flavor as well. The sauces being cold & clumpy was a clear sign they had just been taken out of the fridge. *Update: When I got home I was frequently running to the bathroom so yeah... the sauces were off.
Overall, I definitely can see why this place doesn't draw nearly the amount of traffic as the previous business. The prices are steep, they skimp out on major ingredients & the serving of cold, expired sauces leans towards the "we don't care" category. While the burrito itself was definitely good I doubt I'll be back.
3 out of 5 stars
Chikis N' Grill
2817 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647