La Bamba Chicago
122 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 338-0080Add Hours
La Bamba Chicago Inc
Good For Groups: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Wheelchair Accessible: No
Take Out: Yes
Takes Reservations: No
Outdoor Seating: No
Cuisine: Mexican, Latin American
11/30/2006Provided by Citysearch -
At some point more than a year ago, I stopped in at La Bamba for a simple burrito late in a long workday. When I got it back to the office to eat, I imediately discovered it to be runny and flavorless, with gummy, gristly meat. While I didn't expect much, the food failed to live up to the fairly low expectations I have for any local Tex Mex place.
I didn't go back for some six months, when one day I had a taste for Tex Mex and couldn't think of any non chain alternative to go to downtown. Walking into the empty retaurant, I wondered if I should reconsider and go to Chipotle instead. Which is exactly what I did after standing at the counter for five minutes waiting in vain for someone to take my order. I swore I wouldn't go back. Unfortunately, I didn't keep my pledge.
This afternoon, I again wanted some Tex Mex and wanted to avoid the big corporate chains. I decided that I'd punished La Bamba by bypassing them on a number of occasions when I had a taste for border food. I walked in, again the place was empty. This time at least a cook stood behind the counter to take my order. Steak torta please, hold the sour cream. After a few minutes, my order was up, so I headed back to the office. Opening the wrapping immediately dashed my glimmer of hope for a decent meal.
The torta was cold, on a limp bun that more resembled a slightly chewy hamburger bun than any torta bun I've ever had. No avocado, a few meager chunks of tomato, a decent hint of cilantro and onion. Oh, and that same flavorless, gristly meat. Not only was the meat flavorless and gristly, since it wasn't sliced properly for a torta, the floppy bun immediately disgorged half of the meat into the wrapper.
Word to the wise. If you ever decide that a restaurant has disappointed you to the extent that you promise not to return, keep that promise. Your first instinct was probably right. By the way, La Bamba is really a good deal either. This miserable torta cost almost $5.50 with tax!