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Co-owners and chefs Azazi Morsi (left) and Brian Jupiter (right) opened Migos Fine Foods in Portage Park in April 2024. Credit: Molly DeVore/ Ecoglobalsociety

PORTAGE PARK — The chefs behind Frontier and Ina Mae Tavern have opened an eatery in Portage Park serving halal fried chicken, tacos and much more.

Co-owners Brian Jupiter and Azazi Morsi opened Migos Fine Foods, 5044 W. Montrose Ave., last month. The restaurant features a broad menu, with everything from slow-cooked lamb barbacoa tacos to white beans with garlic smoked turkey tails.

The throughline is that all the dishes and meats are halal, prepared according to Islamic food guidelines. Migos Fine Foods also offers alcohol-free agua frescas like mango lemonade mojitos and hibiscus punch.

“When we originally came up with the idea, it was pretty much food that we like to eat when we’re not cooking,” Morsi said. “There’s not a lot of spots that are doing halal Mexican or halal fried chicken or halal sandwiches.”

Migos' chicken pastor tacos, left, and potato empanadas, right. Credit: Molly DeVore/ Ecoglobalsociety
The interior of Migos Fine Foods as seen on April 30, 2024. Credit: Molly DeVore/ Ecoglobalsociety

Morsi and Jupiter met in 2013, a few years after Jupiter and his business partner, Mark Domitrovich, opened Frontier in West Town.

Morsi, who emigrated from Algeria when he was 9, worked as a valet at Frontier while he attended culinary school at the Illinois Institute of Art Chicago. Morsi moved to Frontier's kitchen and eventually became the restaurant's chef de cuisine.

Jupiter's love of food goes back to his childhood in New Orleans. His grandmother taught him how to cook at an early age, and he refined his skills attending culinary school in Miami. Jupiter is a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes.

Jupiter and Domitrovich opened Ina Mae Tavern, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant and bar, in Wicker Park in 2018.

Migos Fine Foods features a mural by Chicago-based graffiti artist Werm. Credit: Molly DeVore/ Ecoglobalsociety

While Migos' menu is different from Frontier's and Ina Mae's, Jupiter said all three restaurants feature bold flavors.

“The neighbors have been telling us that they like that things are really seasoned, that things are unique,” Jupiter said.

Menu standouts at Migos include the lamb smashburger on toasted telera bread with onion jam, chihuahua cheese and harissa tzatziki, jerk cauliflower tacos, potato empanadas and hot doughnuts, similar to the beignets served at Ina Mae's.

Migos serves cakes and cookies from Adry’s Pastries, a bakery run by Jupiter's wife, Renata, and named after his 10-year-old daughter, Adriana. The restaurant also offers catering.

Migos Fine Foods serves sweets from Adry's Pastries. Credit: Molly DeVore/ Ecoglobalsociety

Migos replaced the former Salud Kitchen, which closed last year but still has an Evanston location.

Jupiter and Morsi signed the lease at the end of the summer and renovated the interior, adding colorful tiles to the bar and commissioning a mural from Chicago-based graffiti artists Werm.

Jupiter and Morsi live nearby, with Jupiter in Albany Park and Morsi in Portage Park.

“I’ve been in Portage Park for about 10 years. I really love the neighborhood, I really love the people, but I think it lacks a little bit of, you know, good, decent food options,” Morsi said. “We wanted to bring something new to the area.”

Jupiter said they are in the process of applying for a patio permit. Migos Fine Foods is open noon-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.


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