Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Frontera Grill in Chicago
Oh, Chicago. To say that I needed this vacation is an understatement. The main goal of this trip was to attend a friend's wedding on Saturday, but, seeing as I took a girlfriend with me, and we had no other plans other than going to the nuptials (my first Jewish wedding - it was amazing!), you can bet that we spent a good deal of our time shopping. And walking. And more shopping. Let's see, Filene's Basement (#1 AND #2...did you know there were two?)...check. Zara, H&M...check. All of Michigan Ave...check. You can see the trend, no?
And of course, we ate. Before we left, I made up a map of all the places I wanted to check out, and Frontera Grill was one of them. Do you watch Rick Bayless on PBS? You know the one, the chef who specializes in Mexican fare, the one who pronounces everything Spanish just right? Well, this is one of his four restaurants in town, and, having seen his shows and seen what he prepares, I was all about trying to get us a table there for Saturday morning brunch. I called on Wednesday to make a reservation, only to be informed that they were already booked up. Disappointed - but obviously not discouraged - we decided to walk by the restaurant on Saturday to see if there was any way we could get a table. And aha! They take walk-ins. So, here's my tip: show up around 10:25 am (they open at 10:30), and you should get a table, no problem.
So what did we eat? To start, and to celebrate our awesome vacation weekend, we ordered mimosas. Mimosas with fresh-squeezed orange juice and hibiscus-flavored water, to be exact. Mimosas with a $14 price tag (!). But so worth it.
And for my meal? I ordered the Sapitos, a "trio of Xalapa-style gorditas (corn masa cakes) in chipotle-black bean sauce, each with its own topping: scrambled eggs, grilled chicken, chorizo and plantains, with homemade crema and queso fresco." My darling friend Christy ordered the same thing, but Erin went crazy and ordered the Hot Cakes Indgenas, which were Iroquois white corn pancakes with whipped goat cheese and piloncillo-agave syrup. Yes, I asked her if I could have a bite, and yes...I sort of finished them off when she said she couldn't eat any more.
Well-priced (except for those mimosas!) and well worth it. Check it out if you're in Chicago!
445 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610