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The Grid: Paying homage to Logan Square’s roots with Mexican, Latin picks

New hot spots pop up with regularity in Logan Square, where many restaurants — Fat Rice, Lula, Longman & Eagle and Giant — have ended up on “best” lists.

An example of the abundance in dining and drink options is showcased in the number of brewpubs alone. Long anticipated, Middle Brow Beer Co. recently opened, giving half of its profits to various charities.  Last summer, Bixi — an Asian inspired brewpub with the hip neighborhood’s first rooftop garden — made its debut to well-deserved fanfare. Revolution Brewing has been a stalwart on Milwaukee Avenue since 2010. Hopewell Brewing Co. joined the scene in 2016.

To pay tribute to the neighborhood’s roots, I’ve narrowed my picks here to Latino- and Mexican-focused restaurants.

Pan Artesanal

3724 W. Fullerton

This Mexican bakery was born out of sisterly love. Chef Marisol Espinoza was encouraged by her sister Lizette to follow her dreams and pushed her to attend the French Pastry School. The result? Pan Artesanal, where there’s an array of scrumptious breads, flan, croissants, conchas and sandwiches.

Marisol Espinoza (left) and her sister, general manager Lizette Espinoza, at Pan Artesanal bakery in Logan Square. | Brian Rich / Sun-Times

Mi Tocaya

2800 W. Logan Blvd.

Mi Tocaya was recognized as one of the best new Mexican restaurants in 2017.  Chef/owner Diana Dávila’s progressive menu isn’t specific to a particular region of Mexico but is influenced by her travels there and memories of cooking with family. Make sure to make a reservation, and be ready to expand your palate.

Taqueria Moran

2226 N. California

Steps from the California Blue Line CTA stop, Taqueria Moran has been a favorite for 16 years. Go for the tacos al pastor, chilaquiles and the Moran omelette.

Quiote

2456 N. California

Quiote has a happy hour Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with snacks such as rock shrimp fritters and chicken wings paired with $2 Tecate beers. There’s also a basement bar — Todos Santos — that specializes in mezcal cocktails. The focus is on farm-to-table ingredients. Dinner offerings range from mole chicken to sturgeon with salsa verde. Plus, there’s Saturday lunch and Sunday brunch.

Rock Shrimp Fritters at Quiote. | Provided photo

Dos Urban Cantina

2829 W. Armitage

Dos Urban Cantina opened in 2016 to rave reviews for its contemporary Mexican cuisine. Husband-and-wife team Brian and Jennifer Jones Enyart are alums of Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo. The menu has an extensive vegetable selection, including masa ricotta dumplings, roasted sunchoke and charred cauliflower. Other main courses include cochinita pibil — Yucatán roasted pork — and octopus fried rice.

Masa Azul

2901 W. Diversey

There are plenty of taco varieties at Masa Azul, from Baja shrimp, tinga and lamb barbacoa to pork chile verde. You might also want to snack on appetizers and tortas at this street-food joint while attacking the selection of more than 150 tequila and mezcal varieties.

Lonesome Rose

2101 N. California

Tex-Mex and Mexican food is served from 9 a.m. to midnight daily at Lonesome Rose. Breakfast tacos are available until 11 a.m. There’s chile con queso, nachos, tacos and bowls. Try the offbeat Sonoran hot dog — a beef hot dog with bacon, queso fresco, chipotle mayo, pickled jalapeño and pickled onion.

Truck Stop Nachos with brisket barbacoa and assorted tacos at Lonesome Rose restaurant. | Ji Suk Yi / Sun-Times

El Cid

2645 N. Kedzie

Since 1996, El Cid has been serving refreshing pitchers of margaritas and traditional platters of tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas and quesadillas. On weekends, diners can enjoy the upstairs lounge.

90 Miles Cuban Cafe

2540 W. Armitage

Best-sellers at this BYOB place include the ropa vieja, empanadas and an all-you-can-eat pig roast every Thursday. There is no corkage fee on Mondays. There also are 90 Miles Cuban Cafe locations in Roscoe Village and  Lincolnwood.

90 Miles Cuban Cafe in Logan Square. / Ji Suk Yi / Sun-Times