Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Posted by BAKE-EN at 11:03 AM
Joe and I took a mini vacation to Chicago a couple weeks ago. Our goal was simple, eat as much of Chicago as possible.
First stop: Frontera Grill
When I was a student at the CIA I briefly met Rick Bayless at the Worlds of Flavors conference. Upon meeting him, what stood out was his excitement about food and how nice he was to us students. Friendly, respectful, encouraging, etc. The kind of chef I want to work for. I was happy to hear he won the top chefs masters conference.
Before we begin. Some of my menu descriptions might seem a bit vague, and that's because well; they are. We were there in August, and the menu online has changed to September, some of the items we ordered are no longer available. Hopefully the pictures will speak for themselves.
Enough about that. It's really about the food (and one delicious margahrita).
First up (complimentary):
Peanuts, pepitas and sunflowers seeds with chili flakes
Nice nibblers. Very beer/cocktail friendly.
A baked (fried?) tortilla with black beans, a guacamole-like sauce, frisee, cheese and pork (maybe pork belly?)
Summer Margaritas and Ayinger beers:
The margarita had a cilantro salt rim and was flavored with cucumber and a lovely tequila.
Tacos al Carbon (description from website: Red chile-marinated Maple Creek pork (pastor style), with charcoaled pineapple, slab bacon and red onion served with two salsas, frijoles charros, guacamole and homemade tortillas.
This was very good. I wished there had been a bit more of the pineapple, bacon, red onion mixture, but other than that it was perfect.
The next item was an enchilada stuffed with braised pork and topped with a sweet mole. Delicious.
(entree picture in back with fork)
Unfortunately we didn't have room for dessert.
Next time we go to Chicago we will go back to Frontera Grill. We had a great experience. Our server and the rest of the wait staff were great. We never felt rushed even though we had a coveted seat on the patio. One of the best lunches I've had.