Uncle Julio’s brings quality Mexican food to Schaumburg

Greeted by the booming Hispanic music, you enter into the warm and welcoming restaurant and are instantly surrounded by the different aromas of savory Mexican food.

Uncle Julio’s is a great place to try Mexican cooking made from scratch. The restaurant chain has been successful country-wide, including in several other cities in Illinois, and there is now a Schaumburg location. Conveniently located at Woodfield Mall next to the Cheesecake Factory, it’s an exceptional place to celebrate special occasions.

As guests enter the restaurant, they are surrounded by a cozy atmosphere of dimly lit lights, the chatter of the customers, and music which is loud but not overpowering. The interior of the restaurant isn’t overwhelmingly bright and the minimal decorations create an elegant look.

The meals are pricey for a student’s budget, so it’s probably best to come with family. Despite the high prices, the food comes in large quantities, which could be easily split between two people. You’ll definitely leave the restaurant on a full stomach.

The appetizers ranged from $12-16, the main courses were around $12-37. Most of the meals came with a side, which is one of the reasons why the price is high. It’s also worth mentioning that some entrees, including the chicken fajitas, are discounted if you order two servings.

The restaurant had varieties of homemade Hispanic cooking such as the mesquite grilled specialties, tacos, tamales, fajitas and more. One excellent choice for a meal is the chicken and steak fajita.The dish consisted of mesquite grilled chicken combined with cuts of grain-fed steak and served with savory Mexican butter. The meal comes with appetizing sides of fresh guacamole, sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo, Mexican rice, frijoles a la charra, sauteed peppers and onions with homemade flour tortillas.

Another good dish to try is Juanita’s Platter. This dish consisted of flavorful ground beef enchilada with agave queso sauce, pulled chicken enchilada with hatch chile sauce, one crispy taco with beef and one pork tamale with New Mexico red sauce. The platter also includes sides of Mexican rice and frijoles a la charra.

A downside to Uncle Julio’s is that they didn’t have many vegetarian options. They had roughly two options for salads and almost every meal incorporated meat. Other Mexican restaurants such as On The Border are more accommodating for vegetarians.

Once you’ve finished your meal, the restaurant had a good selection of desserts on offer, as well. However, the dessert might be unnecessary, as the main course would probably be filling enough.

The majority of the drinks they offered were alcoholic, but there were also options of soda, lemonade, and tea. Each drink cost $4 with $1 refills.

Service at the restaurant was fairly quick and friendly. The food was served in a reasonable amount of time. When one of the options on the menu didn’t look familiar, the waiters were very patient in explaining what the item was and what size the portions were.

For a restaurant that just recently opened, Uncle Julio’s has a lot of business. It’s recommended that people book ahead of time on their website. The restaurant will definitely continue to gain success in the area from its homemade dishes and kind service.

Rating: 4.5/5 popper bowls

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Gallery credit: Hannah Blesson
Graphics credit: Eleanor Park

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