LOGAN SQUARE — Members of two families with a history of successful Mexican eateries in Chicago have teamed to open a Mexican-American restaurant in Logan Square.
Jonathan Zaragoza, who helps his family run acclaimed hole-in-the-wall Birrieria Zaragoza in Archer Heights, and brothers JC and Edgar Castañeda, of the 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 first to report on the opening.
Con Todo is a love letter to the three owners’ roots in Mexico and Chicago, serving up Mexico City-inspired tacos, a smashburger torta called a pamburguesa, chorizo spiced papas fritas and other modern takes on authentic Mexican cuisine. For the full menu, go here.
The Castañeda brothers are from Mexico City, while Zaragoza, who is Mexican American, grew up on the South Side.
“There’s a lot of people in Chicago that have our background, 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 carryout, but the owners aim to offer dine-in service in a month or so.
Con Todo is the first restaurant for Zaragoza, who got his start cooking at age 12. His family’s restaurant, Birrieria Zaragoza, a James Beard Award nominated-eatery, started out of the Zaragoza family home at 69th Street and Komensky Avenue in West Lawn. Zaragoza and his siblings helped prepare the roasted goat, his family’s signature ingredient.
“We used to run an underground restaurant with a wood-burning oven out of our backyard,” Zaragoza said. “We would [cook] the goat … with agave leaves and set up tables and chairs in the finished basement for anyone who was in the know.”
As Zaragoza got older, and as 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 now-closed Masa Azul at 22. 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 chef 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 kinda fun that we’re in a similar city … we’re taking cues from a lot of different cuisines and we’re trying 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 ’70s, which blossomed into a successful chain of restaurants, according to the Tribune. Today, Lalo’s has four locations, most of them in the suburbs.
With Con Todo, the three partners aim to carve out a legacy of their own while cooking food that brings them joy and comfort.
Con Todo took over the space most recently occupied by the popular brunch spot Jam. Before Jam, the storefront was home to Japanese restaurant Yusho.
“It’s crazy to be opening a restaurant in these times, but we’re just happy to be doing it,” Zaragoza said.
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