Valentina's

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This Chicago Lawn Mexican joint is fairly small (boasting about 12 tables) and unassuming, but the staff is friendly and the tacos are among the best in Chicago. In 2006, it ranked 4th among the best tacos in Chicago in the Chicago Tribune: "With heavy wooden chairs, a dim interior and a prominent margarita menu, we were afraid food would be an afterthought in this cantina-like spot. Our fears were allayed when the gorgeous steak tacos ($1.50) came out generously endowed with cubed, grilled skirt steak, then topped with fresh cilantro, lettuce, tomato and shredded Chihuahua cheese. The meat yielded just enough juices to infuse the corn tortillas with a nice beefy flavor, and the corn-kernel-studded pico de gallo gave the tacos a flavor boost. The only knocks: The meat was slightly underseasoned, and the chopped onion was sharp and bitter."