Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Dec 20, 2007 03:40 PM

Bayless' Frontera Fresco?

Any 'hounds brave the Macy's shopping crowds to try the new Frontera Fresco?

Early reports (2005) on the Chicago Frontera Fresco -

Frontera Fresco
170 OFarrell St, San Francisco, CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I was at Macy's yesterday, but we had just eaten at Sultan and decided to avoid the temptations in the Cellar.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Windy

      I was there this evening and had also eaten before, but I did try the mango limeade. It had a decent mago flavor, but it needed more sugar. Otherwise, the menu listed tortas, quesadillas (which looked like big stuffed quesadillas you get at most places, nothing spectacular), tamales and soups. The tamales were $1.95 each.

    2. The Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago are the only two restaurants directly managed by Bayless. When I ate there last he was adamant that he was not going to open elsewhere. Frontera Fresca is a chain run by Macy's that he acts as advisor to, but he doesn't manage the kitchen and ingredients as he does with the Grill and Topo. Frontera Fresca may be very good (although I doubt it), but no-one should be under any illusions that it reflects what Bayless can do with Mexican cuisine.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mc2

        Then he's a big sell-out. It's his name! I would make sure it was good if I were him.

        1. re: Earl Grey

          He's certainly attaching his name to the place so should be held accountable for what it serves ... from his Amazon blog on 11/04/07
          "I’m excited to bring authentic, regional flavors of Mexican cooking to San Francisco this November with my new spot in Macy’s Union Square. It’s a great place to grab a bite while doing your holiday shopping. "

          Also he'll be making a personal appearance on 01/12/08 at 2pm

          "Chef Rick Bayless, a member of the Macy's Culinary Council and owner of Chicago's Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and Frontera Frescao will be in The Cellar to celebrate the opening of our very own Frontera Fresco "

          A picture of the place from a blog

          From what I've been reading, they are working out the opening kinks. One would at least hope that on the day Bayless makes an appearance that the food would be as good as it can get at the Macy's location ... he will be there available to express a personal opinion on whether its basura or not ... if you buy a book.

        2. re: mc2

          But have you tried it? is it any good? Is it not as good as the places in Chicago? I don't see the point in slighting a place without having eaten there first.

          1. re: ccbweb

            I had a pretty decent huarache at the Fresco in Marshall Fields (RIP) in Chicago about a year or two ago.
            I think mc2 is right in assessment.

            That said - I would still check it out. I admire the guy and like his shows and books.