Everyone has a Mama, but not everyone has a “Mama” like Fernando’s Tequila Bar and Restaurant. That’s because Executive Chef Carmen Gonzalez is the matriarch of the twenty-five year old Mexican joint and has been in the industry for forty-five years. Carmen, affectionately known as “Mama” by the regulars and her kitchen staff, is married to husband Fernando and together have made their restaurant a mainstay for authentic Mexican regional cuisine.
Like most Mexican restaurants, Fernando’s menu consists of traditional items such as burritos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and fajitas. Two dishes that are special to Fernando’s are the Chicken Oaxaca (a boneless chicken breast cooked in a paper bag) and Grilled Rainbow Trout (topped with garlic and cucumber). The ceviche ixtapa appetizer stood out, but the queso fundido needs some work. What really makes Fernando’s hop are their signature hand-blended margaritas specially prepared by Fernando himself. Fresh fruits and their secret family recipe may have contributed to Fernando’s selling more than 3,400,000 margaritas over the past twenty-five years. The atmosphere definitely feels like a friendly neighborhood spot and is great for families.
Fernando’s, located at 3450 N. Lincoln Ave in the Lakeview area, will celebrate 25 years on July 22nd. Food samplings, a mariachi band, and tequlia samplings will highlight some of the festivities. For more information call (773) 477-6930. Also check out www.efete.net for more dining options and watch Fete Select TV to get an inside look at the newest and hottes restaurants in Chicago.