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Frontera advice

nextguy Nov 27, 2010 05:18 PM

I will be in Chicago at the end of the year and have made reservations at Frontera for lunch on the 30th. Aside from the typical tacos, burritos, etc., I don't know much about Mexican cuisine. Can someone advise me about Frontera's specialty or best dish?


  1. g
    gordeaux Nov 27, 2010 06:23 PM

    IMO - definitely get some form of ceviche.
    Whenever I go, I always try the thing with the oddest sounding sauce, and I always love it.

    1. chicgail Nov 28, 2010 06:03 AM

      You can generally rely on the day's specials or your server's recommendations. My rule of thumb is to follow my mother's admonition at restaurants: "Get what you can't get at home." And expect to be pleasantly surprised.

      1. s
        sh827 Nov 29, 2010 01:06 PM

        Don't know if it's available at lunch time - but I love the Frontera version of eggs benedict.
        It's mesa, black beans, egg, and a wonderful sauce with chorizo and some type of chile. Fabulous!
        (I usually go on Saturday - this is on the brunch/lunch menu.)

        7 Replies
        1. re: sh827
          Db Cooper Nov 30, 2010 06:46 AM

          From his profiles on various cooking channels/travel shows, I would recommend trying to order something with Rick's Mole sauce. I've never had the chance to try it, but it seems like everyone from Food Channel Chefs to the President of the United States seem to rave about Rick's Mole sauce. I know it takes something like 30 ingredients and hours to prepare it.

          I'm sure others can speak more intelligently than I on this topic, but that would be my opinion.

          1. re: Db Cooper
            chicgail Nov 30, 2010 07:39 AM

            I don't think Bayless has a single mole sauce. There are many different moles in Mexico and Bayless creates a number of them. But the advice is good. Order something with a mole.

            1. re: Db Cooper
              nextguy Nov 30, 2010 10:33 AM

              Yes I have heard about his Moles. To be honest, I am not really a big fan of Mexican cuisine. Hopefully Frontera can change my mind.

              1. re: nextguy
                chicgail Nov 30, 2010 12:15 PM

                I could be wrong and you could be very familiar with fine, creative Mexican cuisine, but odds are, nextguy, you've never had anything like this. Let us know what you think.

                There's nothing wrong with the typical tacos and burritos that most of us think of as Mexican food, but this isn't that. Here is a sample of the November menu at Frontera:

                1. re: chicgail
                  nextguy Dec 1, 2010 06:43 AM

                  No I am absolutely not familiar with fine Mexican cuisine. I like tacos and burritos like most everyone else but I wouldn't pay Frontera prices for them. That is why I was curious about what is their specialty or best dish.

                  Where I live we do have a fine "Latin" restaurant but if you ask the chef he says that his cooking is very Peruvian. I like that restaurant a lot but I suspect it is more similar to Topo than Frontera.

                  1. re: nextguy
                    chicgail Dec 1, 2010 09:08 AM

                    Topo's menu, like Frontera's is regional Mexican, not Peruvian. Mexican cooking varies, depending on where you are, as it does in the US.

                    Topo's menu items tend to be more complex and/or use more expensive or exotic ingredients, but there are crossover items on both menus. Both serve food as you would expect to have in upscale and middle class Mexican homes and fine restaurants or extraordinary street food in various regions of the country.

                    We're talking about things like "pan-roasted, heritage breed Gunthorp rock hen in luscious sauce of ancho chile and butternut. Two Nichols Farm potatoes (butterball, Carolina ruby sweet), charred honey crisp apples, ancho-pickled butternut and Tracey's pea shoots" at Topo and "black rice braise of fresh Florida shrimp, Washington mussels and squid with dark pasilla chile and squid ink. Roasted chayote and butternut, queso anejo" at Frontera.

                    Enjoy. And do report back your experience.

                    1. re: chicgail
                      Combination Dec 1, 2010 04:19 PM

                      "pan-roasted, heritage breed Gunthorp rock hen in luscious sauce of ancho chile and butternut. Two Nichols Farm potatoes (butterball, Carolina ruby sweet), charred honey crisp apples, ancho-pickled butternut and Tracey's pea shoots" at Topo

                      That's exactly what I had - but I gotta tell ya, that sauce is nothing like the way they describe it. Honestly, it was a lot closer to Kraft bbq sauce than anything else. Still a very good dish, but had I known...

          2. c
            Combination Nov 30, 2010 06:51 AM

            I ate lunch at Topolobampo a few weeks ago.

            It is excellent food, but my one regret is not asking for more of the guacamole/chips they served. 99% of the time, I don't even like the stuff, but I was so impressed with this one.

            Honestly, that was the best part of the meal (I don't mean that in a bad way). The Mexican hot chocolate was damn fine as well.

            445 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610

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