LOGAN SQUARE – Members of two families with a history of successful Mexican restaurants in Chicago have teamed up to open a Mexican-American restaurant in Logan Square.
Jonathan Zaragoza, who helps his family run the famous Birrieria Zaragoza in Archer Heights, and brothers JC and Edgar Castañeda, of 50-year-old Mexican restaurant chain Lalo’s, are behind Con Todo Cantina y Cocina, which opened last weekend at 2853 N. Kedzie Ave. Eater was the first to report the opening.
Con Todo is a love letter to the three owners’ roots in Mexico and Chicago, serving Mexico City-inspired tacos, a smashburger torta called pamburguesa, spicy chorizo papas fritas, and other modern takes on Mexican cuisine. authentic. For the full menu, go here.
The Castañeda brothers are originally from Mexico City, while Zaragoza, who is of Mexican descent, grew up on the south side.
“There are a lot of people in Chicago who have our past, and we hope we can provide a cool space where people can see similarities and come hang out with us,” Zaragoza said.
To start, the restaurant is only open for take-out, but the owners aim to offer catering service in about a month.
Con Todo is the first restaurant in Zaragoza, who started cooking when he was 12 years old. His family’s restaurant, Birrieria Zaragoza, a James Beard Award-nominated restaurant, began in the Zaragoza family home at 69th Street and Komensky Avenue in West Lawn. Zaragoza and her siblings helped prepare the roast goat, her family’s signature ingredient.
“We used to run an underground restaurant with a wood-fired oven in our garden,” Zaragoza said. “We would be [cook] the goat… with agave leaves and set up tables and chairs in the finished basement for anyone who knew.
As Zaragoza grew older and his family’s restaurant grew in popularity, he worked in the kitchen at Sepia and Sixteen in the West Loop and Downtown, respectively, and became head chef at the now-closed Masa Azul. , at 22 years. In 2020 he ran a pop-up in Hyde Park called El Oso.
Con Todo has been in the works since last spring, Zaragoza said.
Zaragoza said the Castañeda brothers asked him to be a consultant on their restaurant project. Over time, as the concept solidified, Zaragoza, now 32, assumed the role of leader and partner, he said.
“My partners’ family is from Mexico City and I love Mexico City. It’s such a melting point with different cultures. It’s kind of fun that we’re in a similar city…we take inspiration from a lot of different cuisines and try to have fun with it,” he said.
The Castañeda brothers also grew up around food. Their father, Eduardo “Lalo” Castaneda, opened a small taqueria on 26th Street in the early 1970s that grew into a successful restaurant chain, according to the Tribune. Today, Lalo’s has four locations, mostly in the suburbs.
With Con Todo, the three partners aim to forge a legacy while cooking foods that bring them joy and comfort.
Con Todo has taken over the space most recently occupied by the popular Jam brunch. Before Jam, the storefront housed the Japanese restaurant Yusho.
“It’s crazy to open a restaurant in these times, but we’re just happy to do it,” Zaragoza said.
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