Disclaimer:Since this story went to publication, co-owners Bertha Montes Garcia and David Rodriguez have left Xocome Antojeria. Our critics have not revisited the restaurant since this change.
Yes, we know there’s nothing good to eat at Midway Airport. But just a few blocks away — close enough you could sneak out during a long flight delay — is this clean and spare all-hours spot. With sunlight pouring in through its plate-glass windows and new wave cumbia on its eclectic soundtrack, Xocome presents a trim menu that, while focused on tacos and tortas, makes room for some wonderful surprises. Chief among them is the Mexico City–style tlacoyo, an oval of griddled blue corn masa filled with refried beans and heaped with crisp vegetables, crema, salsa, and juicy beef tenderloin. Xocome also serves one of the city’s best pambazos, a hearty sandwich soaked in a depth-charged guajillo chile sauce.
Bertha Montes Garcia and David Rodriguez, the mother-and-son team behind this stealth charmer, bring two generations of experience. She grew up working at a family street stall in central Mexico, while he cut his teeth as a cook in Chicago’s high-end restaurant world. She makes overstuffed tamales that taste of love; he makes a tamarind agua fresca so tart, pulpy, and balanced that you almost wish they had a liquor license, if only so you could kill more time here before takeoff.