You Rate the Restaurant: Bien Trucha

Bien Trucha is nothing short of a phenomenon, earning accolades for its unique dining experience and for the city of Geneva.

  • Welcome to "," a new feature on Geneva Patch. Once a week, we’ll pick one of the city's many restaurants and ask for your opinion of it. You guys are the experts—so let us know that you think.


When's the last time you saw people standing in line outside for a chance to get into a restaurant in Geneva?

Today, maybe?

Yes, is that kind of a restaurant. Something so unique and intimate and intoxicating that it has Chicago food critics in a tizzy and local diners prepared to wait in line, if need be, for a chance to try its excellent food.

It should be noted that you don't always have to wait. I've had lunch there on a couple of occasions with my friend Val (GHS class of 1975) and dinner when my sister Tinya was in town, and only had to wait a few minutes.

The food is great. The presentation is wonderful. I'm not an exotic drink kind of guy, but if you like 'em pretty and interesting, they've got 'em. In my book, you can't go wrong with a good Mexican beer or Margarita.

Brien Trucha has been described as "Mexican haute cuisine." I think of it as a tapas place, with entrees that seem made for sampling and sharing. Each is extraordinary and a taste treat—which is part of what makes the place so interesting.

Bien Trucha has been featured on , and earned Chicago Magazine's vote for No. 1 taco in all of Chicagoland. It's trendy, it's fun—and despite what you read in some of the online reader reviews, it's affordable.

From the "Botanas" category, be adventurous and go for the "guacamole of the day" rather than the standard quacamole; from "Cazuelitas," a tough call, but "Champinones" (wild mushrooms, chiles de arbol, garlic, onion, crema fresca and chihuahua cheese); from "Tacos," the "A la Diabla" (sauteed shrimp, butter-mojo de ajo, chipotle lime, avocado slice) or "Pescadillas," (shredded shark, epazote, avocado-habanero pico).

Don't go there expecting to linger over coffee and dessert—I'm not sure they have either on the menu. Look for off-peak times of day, and you'll avoid the lines, enjoy some wonderful food and have a great time.

That's my 2 cents. Now it's your turn.  give us your review, and be sure to include a star rating!

Lou Pierce January 28, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Rick said it all in his review (but where are his stars?). Bien Trucha is unique, so it deserves to be rated on its own terms. If you are craving Tex-Mex, go anywhere else (El Taco Grande in Batavia for me). Like its name, Bien Trucha goes its own way--I'm told it is an idiom that means something like "very clever" or "slick," literally it means "very trout." I'm not an afficianado of fish, but Bien Trucha sold me on the fish taco, a concept that swept out of the Baja and San Diego to take the world by storm. Then, I also like fish 'n' chips, probably for the same reason--it's so much more than the fish. The magic is in the combination. Bien Trucha presents its tacos in wooden racks of four--all identical--made with SMALL flour tortillas. One person can easily handle all four (note the emphasis on "small"), or they are ideal for sharing. With the complimentary tortilla chips with salsa, and an order or two of the always delightful quacamole of the day, you an make a fulfilling meal with a judicious selection of tacos. Is there anything else? I happen to crave their cream of poblano soup with cubes of queso fresco that slowly soften as you eat it. I've never taken so long that the cheese completely melted, but I think that might happen. I haven't tried any of the other dishes, except for a side corn dish on my first visit. While it was excellent, the tacos were what I wanted. See Rick's review for details on drinks, etc. 4 Stars (out of 4).
Lou Pierce January 28, 2012 at 03:39 PM
An afterthought: while Bien Trucha does take credit cards, they don't take American Express ("only Mexican Express" is the server's comment). The waitstaff is cordial and eager to assist with the menu. ...and, judging from the comments I overheard, provide mucho eye candy--and that includes the bar staff--for the female diners.
Addison Chase January 29, 2012 at 02:15 AM
We found that Bien Trucha was highly overrated. The food was nicely presented and the personnel were very nice. However, the extremely claustrophobic table placements and seating arrangements were overbearing during the dinner. I was actually elbowed, not once but twice by the person next to me, as the seating was so tight. I had to hold my purse on my lap as there was no room between patrons on the benchlike seating. We will not go back, we want to enjoy our dining experience, not have to walk sideways down the aisle. We would rate this as 1 star out of 4 stars.
Koshka January 29, 2012 at 07:36 AM
Bien is as much a club as a restaurant. If you don't like clubs you won't like Bien so much. I like the club atmosphere. I like the food. I like the tunes and the good looking staff. I wish they would expand and add a dance floor. The best seat is at teh tiny bar. If you don't want elbows go to the Herrington.


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