Sister Date at BigStar

Sometimes time will go by, and my sister and I will realize that we haven't seen each other in weeks, so we plan a sister date.

Sometimes we hang out near my house, and sometimes it's near hers, but there's always great conversation and fantastic food involved.

Sometimes we go to a fairly nice restaurant and drink wine; sometimes she comes over and we eat gnocchi out of tupperware. But as I said, it's always fun!

Our last Sister Date was at BigStar in the Wicker Park neighborhood in Chicago.


It's a small, relaxed restaurant with a huge outside seating area, walk-up ordering station, airy bar area, and almost always a long wait. They took Leigh's cell phone number to call when there was an available table, and we went on a short walk to kill the time. I took photos of random things as we walked, talked, and drank iced tea.



Soon, her phone rang and we were seated at an outdoor table. We had just enough time to order a margarita and have a short photo shoot…


Just look how cute my date is!


Bigstar has a short, very specialized menu. Tacos, tostadas, guacamole, queso… all done impeccably well and inexpensively with local ingredients.


We ordered a few things.

Guacamole with house-made chips


Queso fundido (melted cheese with chiles, chorizo sausage, and homemade tortillas)


Tilapia tacos with cabbage, cilantro, and chipotle sauce


These were slightly spicy, fresh and delicious with lightly fried tilapia that wasn't at all greasy. The house-made tortillas held together amazingly well, which is a common problem with corn tortillas, and fresh lime and red onion topped them off perfectly

And quite possibly the most remarkably simple and delicious tacos al pastor I've ever had. Ever.


Roasted local pork with spices, pineapple, cilantro, and lime atop those perfect tortillas were nothing short of phenomenal. I could probably live happily on nothing but these tacos.

One of the nicest thing about Bigstar is that there's truly no rush. Leigh and I wanted to sit and talk, so we were able to just hang out there without being bothered with pushy servers trying to get our table cleared. We spent about two hours there, just enjoying the amazingly perfect summer night, and then walked up the street to a self-serve frozen yogurt place. Cake batter frozen yogurt topped with raspberries and hot fudge? Yes please!

Oh, and I turn 31 tomorrow… I'm really and truly hoping that 31 is better than 30, because to be honest, 30 kind of sucked. We have a weekend full of celebrations, and i'll be sure to keep you all in the loop 🙂

Have a wonderful night!



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9 Responses to Sister Date at BigStar

  1. Marianne says:

    I think it’s funny that you consider a few weeks not seeing your sister a long time – honestly, I don’t see my sister even that often now that she’s moved out, and when I lived in Victoria, I saw my family a handful of times a year. But it’s cool that you are close and get to hang out with each other and eat amazing looking Mexican food.

    PS – Happy Early Birthday!

  2. Lauren says:

    Awww, your sister is adorable!! So glad you guys got to catch up.

    HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!!!!!!!!! Hope it’s everything you could ever imagine and then some! 🙂 <3 you

  3. Nicole says:

    I live in Bucktown and everyone is always amazed when I say I haven’t been to Big Star yet! I’m told their tacos delicious and that I’m so missing out, but every time I go by there it seems like a rowdy crowd. Maybe I should try a week night? I’m on a guacamole kick right now and theirs looks great!!

  4. mom says:

    glad you are friends!!!! now, as always, i want a taco

  5. Roz says:

    What a wonderful date with your sister!!! Wishing you an VERY VERY Happy Early Birthday Mara!!! May 31 bring you peace, joy, health, happiness, love….and cake!!! Lots of cake! Brithday hug from Vancouver.

  6. Biz says:

    Happy Birthday Mara!! OMG, those tacos look amazing – I think I need to make tacos again for dinner next week.

    I am going to Nozumi for lunch tomorrow with the hubs – I keep dreaming about their calamari fries!

    Have a great bday weekend! 31 will be great!

  7. Gorgeous pictures!! And I love me some fish tacos! 😉

  8. ah, yay for sister date! what a great place to go!!!

    and happy birthday to you!!! 31 will treat you very well i’m sure of it!

  9. I’ve always wanted to try Big Star — now I see why! Such a fun sister date. 🙂

    Can’t wait to see you tonight, birthday girl!

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