Frontera Grill, Chicago IL

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While in Chicago, Joel and I wanted to try out one of the city’s great restaurants — so we headed to the Top Chef favorite, Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill. We were especially happy about Bayless’s way of cooking: true Mexican, made from sustainable, seasonal ingredients. In fact, we even tried some dishes with herbs from the Bayless Garden.

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Although the menu did actual have his winning Top Chef Masters Beef Tongue Tacos, we started with Queso Fundido de Hongos. Served in a cast iron skillet, melted cheese was paired with beer-braised mushrooms, bacon, different house made salsas, all made to stuff into delightfully sweet and tasty hand rolled corn tortillas. It was a delightful dish to start the meal off right.

For our entrees, Joel chose the special — Alaskan King Salmon with a chili rub, chipotles and a smokey sauce. It was paired with perfectly cooked yellow Spanish rice.

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As for my entree, I decided that Frontera Grill was a good place to order pork and chose the Cazuela de Carnitas en Salsa Verde. It was amazing to say the least. Melt in your mouth savory pork was slow cooked in an earthenware dish with fresh white runner beans and topped with a delicious roasted tomatillo sauce. It was all that I could have asked for in a pork dish — tender meat, big flavors, and perfect textures.

Although it was lunch, we were not passing up desert. When we saw the menu contained a flan duo of Mexican Vanilla and “Bayless Garden Lavender” — both satisfyingly sweet and refreshing. A great meal was had at Frontera Grill and I would recommend the restaurant to anyone!

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