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.
Behind Con Todo Cantina y Cocina are Jonathan Zaragoza, who helps his family run the acclaimed hole-in-the-wall Birrieria Zaragoza in Archer Heights, and brothers JC and Edgar Castañeda of 50-year-old Mexican restaurant chain Lalo’s opened last year Weekend at 2853 N. Kedzie Ave. Eater was the first to report the opening.
A love letter to the three owners’ roots in Mexico and Chicago, Con Todo serves Mexico City-inspired tacos, a smashburger pie called Pamburguesa, chorizo-spiced papas fritas, and other modern interpretations of authentic Mexican cuisine. The full menu can be found here.
The Castañeda brothers hail from Mexico City, while Zaragoza, a Mexican, grew up on the South Side.
“There are a lot of people in Chicago that have our background and we hope we can provide a cool place for people to see similarities and hang out with us,” Zaragoza said.
Initially, the restaurant will only be open for takeout, but the owners plan to offer dine-in service in about a month.
Con Todo is the first restaurant for 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 his siblings helped prepare the roast goat, his family’s signature ingredient.
“We used to run an underground restaurant with a wood-fired oven in our backyard,” Zaragoza said. “We would [cook] the goat… with agave leaves and tables and chairs set up in the finished basement for anyone in the know.”
As Zaragoza grew older and his family’s restaurant grew in popularity, he worked in the kitchens at Sepia and Sixteen in the West Loop and Downtown respectively, and at 22 became chef at the now-defunct Masa Azul. In 2020 he ran for 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 act as a consultant for their restaurant project. Over time, as the concept solidified, Zaragoza, now 32, took on the role of chef and partner, he said.
“My partner’s 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 eating. Her father, Eduardo “Lalo” Castaneda, opened a small taqueria on 26th Street in the early ’70s, which grew into a successful restaurant chain, according to the Tribune. Today, Lalo’s has four locations, most of them in the suburbs.
With Con Todo, the three partners want to leave their own legacy while preparing food that brings them joy and comfort.
Con Todo took over the space last occupied by popular brunch spot Jam. Before Jam, the storefront housed the Japanese restaurant Yusho.
“It’s crazy to open a restaurant in these times, but we’re just happy about it,” said Zaragoza.
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