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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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03.10.08

First Bite: Chato’s Chicken and Mashed

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Due to a recent story I wrote for the Sun Times and my fat Elvis like inability to turn down anything that swims in hot oil, I’m in a perpetual state of deep fried hangover. Today I decided to kick the habit with some healthier rotisserie style fare in Little Italy.

Chato’s has been open for almost a year and breaks up the red sauce cabal they got goin down there on Taylor St. It’s decorated in a Shabby Chic/modern barn/diner aesthetic and is truly a mom and pop. Rose runs the counter and tables for her uncle Richard (aka Chato - his nickname). She doesn’t pull any punches, asked to recommend sides, she steers you away from the corn and beans, because due to seasonality they come in cans this time of year.

Mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, potato and pasta salad are made in house during the winter. The mashed potatoes which I opted for were a rustic skin on mash, fresh, simple, though could have used some salt, which thankfully was on the table and I made the adjustment.

The chicken is rubbed with seven secret spices and cooked in a bottom fired rotisserie. I could take the skin by itself and launch a chicken chip line, it’s that good. Likewise, the leg meat is super juicy and falls off the bone. The breast meat on the other hand was a little dried out.

They also serve a warm Turano white crispy exterior and soft chewy interior roll with the meal, all of this for a very fair $5.95.

Overall the chicken is way better than your supermarket rotisserie and even Boston Market, on the other hand, unless you live within five miles of the hood, I’m not sure I’d make the drive. As a nearby resident of the hood though, I’ll be back.

Chato’s is located at 1519 W. Taylor St., 312-492-9074

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