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Ceviche Appetizer from Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant

Item Purchased: Ceviche Appetizer from Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant
Location Purchased: Irazu / 1865 N. Milwaukee Ave. / Chicago, IL
Price: $6.95 + tax

Review: My girlfriend and I have been meaning to visit Irazu for quite some time now, but due to the fact that they are closed on Sundays, it has taken us nearly two years to finally walk through the small establishment’s doors. At first, Irazu looks like it is just a carry out lunch counter, but round the register and passed the wait station lies a dining room that will seat approximately 30-40 people at max capacity. A large mural on the wall of a farmer and what I assume to be the Costa Rican country side is the only thing that makes the interior of Irazu stand out from any run of the mill taco joint around Chicago.

As one of the few (if not the only) Costa Rican restaurant in Chicago, Irazu has received rave reviews from the press and public at large, so I was expecting something spectacular.

When the ceviche I ordered came served up in a sundae glass, the expectations began to be met.

Ceviche, put simply, is a marinated seafood, usually served cold. The marinade is usually comprised of lime or other citrus juice, which partially “cooks” the fish or other seafood. Irazu’s ceviche uses plenty of lime juice and a white fish cut into smallish cubes. Mixed beautifully with onion, tomato and topped with avocado, the dish comes served with a side of saltines on which to spoon the appetizer.

If I hadn’t ordered a full meal to follow this appetizer, I could have easily finished it by myself. Freshness, presentation and flavor were all present and in good form. If you happen to find yourself in the Wicker Park vicinity, this appetizer is worth seeking out. After my entire meal experience, I wish I would have finished every last piece.

Rating: 4.25 / 5

2 Responses to “Ceviche Appetizer from Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant”

  1. Consumatron » Milanesa Meal from Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant Says:

    [...] otherwise noted « « Previous Post [...]

  2. transiit Says:

    Not to split hairs, but in the name of culinary science, the quotes around “cooks” might not be entirely appropriate. When all is said and done, the acid in the citrus is performing a very similar duty when it comes to denaturing the proteins in the fish, breaking up some of the bonds that keep the proteins in tightly packed units, and leaving a result that’s not far off chemically from what heat would do. Bonus points for creating an environment that is incompatible with most things you’d fear from meats that hadn’t been heated to FDA standards for safe-eatin’

    Of course, when I can get it, I really enjoy the quality sushi, and by way of the processes, carries more risk of food-borne illness than the ceviche.

    Probably preaching to the choir. I’m just sayin’, is all.

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