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May 20, 2008

Frontera Grill

by gastronomicbypass

Location – 445 N. Clark (Clark and Hubbard)

http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/grill.html

http://www.fronterakitchens.com/restaurants/restaurants.html

In one word – Stirring

Food – As you probably know, Frontera Grill is run by the renowned chef Rick Bayless.  This guy is the expert when it comes to creating gourmet Mexican food.  Frontera is the middle priced option in Bayless’s restaurant mix.  After scouring the menu for a while (over pretty fab guac), I finally settled on pork tacos.  Yes, I wanted to pick something a little more sexy, perhaps something with mole, but my stomach led me to the tacos.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Everything on my plate was wonderfully seasoned.  The food really felt sophisticated.  Surprisingly, I was stuffed after lunch, so I didn’t take advantage of dessert…this time.

Drink – You drink the margarita here.  I was content with the standard Gold Margarita.  At first, I thought it tasted weak.  Then an eating partner instructed me to stir it and all of sudden, it was perfect.  My only beef is that if I order a drink, it should be ready to drink when I get it.  Needing an extra stir is minor, but if you have a reputation to hold, take care of the details.

Service – Despite the stirring episode, the service overall was good.  We came at lunch, when the restaurant is unexpectedly busy.  I always felt well attended to and our server was able to give us good recommendations and confirmed I was doing something good in ordering the pork tacos.

Scene – It’s lively here.  There’s music playing and colorful art all over the walls.  Compared to its more upscale neighbor Topolobambo, Frontera is more business casual.  Jeans and a tee would be under dressing, but a suit is overdressing.

Cost – You’ll probably dole out $30 – 40 here for dinner.

If you like, try…De Cero, Zapatista

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