My friend Carlos was visiting from Mexico and I took him to Carmela’s and he said the al pastor tacos were really good and authentic. Another friend – an American who lived in Mexico for two years – said the al pastor tacos were really good and authentic – he had 8 of them. I could be wrong, but to my knowledge, this is the only place in Chicago that has al pastor on the trompo.
Carmela’s is a hole in the wall located right around the corner from the Green Mill, and within a block from The Riviera and The Aragon Ballroom, in the Uptown neighborhood. It’s small – it has about five tables and some counter seats. The al pastor – marinated pork with onions and pineapple – is cooked on a spit, similar to Greek gyros. The pineapple sits on top and as the pork rotates, it gets crispy and the juices run down the sides of the meat. It’s a beautiful thing and it tastes even better. Best al pastor tacos in Chicago.