A Toda Madre: Authentically Creative

Glen Ellyn Mexican restaurant offers authentic Mexican food with creative toppings.

By Anna Rose McCarthy | Columnist
May 3, 2021
Pico de gallo. Photo: Anna Rose McCarthy.

Whenever anyone asks me what my favorite type of food is, I always say Mexican. I’m obviously a sucker for some Chipotle, Los or Taco Bell, but I love to find restaurants with authentic Mexican food. A Toda Madre opened its doors in downtown Glen Ellyn in November 2014. Madre, which has a sister restaurant in Geneva called Bien Trucha, offers classic Mexican food such as tacos and tostadas while also putting a unique twist on standards such as their daily guacamole special with a fresh fruit topping.

 

A Toda Madre offers in-person dining and has a few tables outdoors that are first come, first served. The interior, with its teal blue and wood seating and table, has a very inviting feel. The restaurant also offers delivery or pick-up.

Chips and salsa. Photo: Anna Rose McCarthy.

To serve good Mexican food, the restaurant must make the perfect tortilla chips and salsa. Madre achieved top marks from me on theirs! The chips were a good size but still didn’t break too easily, and they had a nice amount of salt. A Toda Madre offers a delicious Salsa Sampler with serrano, morita and habanero salsas for only $5. They also have an amazing half-quart of pico de gallo for $7. This generous portion could be shared between three to  five people. Each order of salsa or dip comes with a bag of tortilla chips, or you can purchase an extra bag for only $1.50.

Guacamole three ways. Photo: Anna Rose McCarthy.

My favorite part of the meal was definitely the guacamole! I ordered the Guacamole Trio ($10), featuring three signature guacs: Guacamole Tradicional, Guacamole del Dia and Guacamole de Chorizo. While the traditional guac was a real hit, the Guacamole del Dia was my favorite. For the day I visited, I got to try it with fresh apple cubes on top. At first I was tentative at the idea of apples in guacamole, but it actually turned out to be delicious. Although guacamole is more savory, the sweetness of the apples provided a nice mixture of flavors.

Fish tacos with coleslaw. Photo: Anna Rose McCarthy.

The first entree item I tried was the Pescado. This taco has beer-battered tilapia, red cabbage, onion, tomato, lime and a chipotle-morita aioli drizzle. Out of all three entrees I ordered, this was by far my favorite. Tilapia itself is already incredible, but the cold red cabbage slaw placed on the fish added a nice contrast to the hot dish. Each order comes with two tacos for $8. I think this is an amazing meal for the quality and presentation of the tacos, which are definitely Instagram-worthy.

Pastor and pineapple tacos. Photo: Anna Rose McCarthy.

Even though I would rate the Pescado tacos highest, the award for most creative would have to go to the Pastor tacos ($7.50). These flour tortillas are topped with ancho-guajillo marinated pork, cilantro, onion, pineapple and morita salsa. The pineapple was a really interesting touch that added a burst of flavor to an otherwise simple taco. This was also a visually appealing dish that kept me reaching for another bite.

Flautas de pollo. Photo: Anna Rose McCarthy.

The final taco dish I got to enjoy was the Flautas de Pollo ($7.50). This crispy rolled taco included shredded chicken, potato hash, crema queso fresco and morita-serrano salsa. It is meant to be eaten with silverware due to the amount of sauce poured on top. This one had a nice amount of spice in it while also being perfectly crisp. 

 

As an avid Mexican food lover, I would give A Toda Madre top marks on all accounts. The food was warm, delicious and sold at a reasonable price. I look forward to visiting again to taste more of their creative menu items.

Wheaton College, IL

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