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Best Mom-and-Pop International Spot 

Critics' Pick

click to enlarge Los Gauchos is a family affair. Left to right: Nelson Ramirez, Marleny Ruiz, Victor Villa, Hector San Martin, Fabian Ramirez, Natan Ramirez, Carla Ramirez, Maria Ramirez and Franco Ramirez.

Scott Elmquist

Los Gauchos is a family affair. Left to right: Nelson Ramirez, Marleny Ruiz, Victor Villa, Hector San Martin, Fabian Ramirez, Natan Ramirez, Carla Ramirez, Maria Ramirez and Franco Ramirez.

Worth a drive even if you don't live on North Side, Los Gauchos is the real deal, with Dad cooking in the kitchen and his daughter taking orders — and occasionally rolling her eyes — out front.

Meat reigns supreme, from house-made chorizo on the Choripan sandwich to the churrasco, boneless beef cut sliced like steak, grilled and served in the traditional style with salad and potatoes — in this case, red potato salad. Anyone who takes a pass on the empanadas, no matter the filling, is seriously missing out.

With service in a casual atmosphere by one member of the family or another, Los Gauchos is the kind of place where customers are treated like relatives who showed up unexpectedly and hungry. And speaking of Argentine relatives, it's not uncommon to find one manning Los Gauchos' food truck at festivals or a few others having an animated conversation and eating at a front table.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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