Soup Cook and I were looking for a place to grab dinner after work and we literally stumbled upon XOCO while wandering around River North. I always forget that this place is so close. Lucky for us, we were early for dinner so there wasn't the usual line out the door.
I haven't been back since January and I was so excited to try some different things on their menu. To start, I got some of their guacamole & chips. My roommate recently got me guacamole and chips from Big Star and I have to say, Big Star's was slightly better, but no complaints with Rick Bayless's guac.
Do I get a torta or a caldo? Decisions, decisions ... I opted for their Carnitas Caldos, which is a soup with slow-cooked pork carnitas, potato-masa dumplings, chayote, roasted serrano chile, spinach, arugula and avocado. Yum, yum, yum. I always think a soup is not going to be filling enough, but this is like eating a huge bowl of pho minus all the noodles. The chunks of tender pork and veggies make this very filling. The potato-masa dumplings added an element of starchiness to the dish as well.
Now for my favorite part, their desserts. I wanted to order dessert after we were done because I had my heart set on trying their soft serve ice cream, but by the time we were done with dinner, the line was out the door again. So we waited and waited hoping that it would die down and realized, that there was no way around it, we'd have to stand in line again. Thank goodness the hostess recognized me and told me I could just go up to the register because the line is usually due to people waiting for seats to free up. So if you want to order to go or order dessert, you can just go up to the counter. Good to know for next time!
So here's a pic of the homemade Mexican vanilla soft serve with maple-pecan-bacon-streusel & salted caramel sauce. Yes, you read that right, bacon-streusel. I've been seeing a lot of bacon in desserts lately and XOCO was no exception. I liken this to a grown up version of McDonald's caramel sundaes. The soft serve had amazing flavor, the pecans and bacon added great texture and crunch and let's face it, salted caramel can do no wrong.