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bayless lunch and a bite before the airport

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A 2 part Q,
what is the best rick bayless place for lunch, and maybe to spot him there?

and any good lunch place near the sutton place hotel, for before our flight leaves ?

thanks all

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  1. >> what is the best rick bayless place for lunch, and maybe to spot him there?

    All three of his restaurants are in the same location; Topolobampo occupies one room at Frontera Grill, and XOCO is around the corner. So if you want to find him (such as to autograph a book), you could easily go to any of them and ask if he's around.

    I like Topolobampo for lunch; at dinner it's the most expensive of the three, but at lunchtime the prices are similar to Frontera Grill. Also it's easier to get a reservation; dinner reservations book up several months in advance, whereas lunch only books up a couple of weeks in advance. Frontera Grill is my second favorite; I don't like the fact that they only accept a handful of reservations, but if you don't have a reservation, you can still eat there (and if you want to avoid a long wait, eat early by arriving before they open the doors). XOCO is more of a "street food" type place with sandwiches (tortas) and such; I find the food more creative at the other two.

    >> and any good lunch place near the sutton place hotel, for before our flight leaves ?

    Cafe Spiaggia for Italian, Gibson's for steaks, Hugo's Frog Bar for seafood, Le Colonial for Vietnamese.

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    Frontera Grill
    445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

    Cafe Spiaggia
    980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

    Topolobampo
    445 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610

    Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House
    1024 North Rush, Chicago, IL 60611

    Le Colonial
    937 Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611

    Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
    1028 North Rush, Chicago, IL 60611

    XOCO
    449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

    5 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      We 've easily gotten seated at Frontera for lunch by arriving a few minutes before opening and the food is superb - that said, Xoco is a blast and my coworker and I eat there a few times a week - so tasty and fun.

      -----
      XOCO
      449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

      1. re: Siun

        Also if you are flying out of O'Hare - there is now a Bayless restaurant in Terminal 1 - http://www.rickbayless.com/news/view?...

        Not the same Decor and atmosphere as Frontera or Topo but the food is good-

        1. re: weinstein5

          I've eaten at the Bayless "outposts" and they're really not the same thing as Frontera Grill (as a quick glance at the menus will show). It's a good option if you want to eat at the airport, but it's not a substitute for eating at Frontera Grill or Topolobampo.

          One other point - if you sit at the bar at Frontera Grill, you can order off either menu, Frontera Grill's or Topolobampo's. So it's the "best of both worlds", so to speak. It won't shorten the time it takes to get seated, though, so arrive early if you want to avoid the wait.

          -----
          Frontera Grill
          445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

          Topolobampo
          445 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610

          1. re: weinstein5

            The food is "good" for airport food. And it is highly unlikely that you would spot Rick Bayless there.

            1. re: chicgail

              Agree 100% with your comments - but spending many hours in O'Hare it is nice to have something that is edible and actually tastes good -