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Mercadito Counter
Take guac to go at Mercadito Counter.

You?ve been coming in to the office early and staying late, and your last big project was a total success. (Don?t worry, your boss noticed.)

This week, treat yourself to a lunch break--as long as you make it a quick one--at Mercadito Counter, a new River North restaurant serving up excellent tacos on the fly.

When we tried the deli-style, street-food-inspired spot on Clark Street--about eight blocks north of the original Mercadito on Kinzie--we were greeted with a bowl of chunky, spicy guacamole served with a basket of light, airy chips ($6.50).

After scarfing those down, we ordered two tacos ($3 each)--tangy steak marinated in key-lime juice and olive oil, and tender pork topped with sweet grilled pineapple--and, for good measure, a norteño chili cheese hot dog ($4.50) laced with crema fresca and crispy tortilla strips.

The guac and chips impressed us so much, we'd go back and grab some to go--along with a stack of house-made corn tortilla shells from the soon-to-come deli section--and voilà, it's a taco party in the making.

Mercadito Counter, 738 N. Clark St.; 312-756-7560 or

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