While in Chicago, I wanted to find an Authentic Mexican restaurant for my better half who is part hispanic. He is always telling me what amazing Carne Asada he makes, yet I have never had him make it for me. Sure, sure I say. In my research I found many recommendations for Chef Rick Bayless’ restaurant Frontera Grill. This restaurant does not take reservations so we were taking a big chance in showing up at 7:30 pm and starving. Sure enough the wait was 2 hours! WHAT?! Luckily, again we walked over to the bar and a couple was getting up! SCORE!!
Immediately, the house-made jalapenos, cauliflower and carrots at $3.75 capture my attention! I MUST try these! Excellent choice! They had flavor and the perfect amount of heat without being overpowering. Rated 8/10
We move on to the Frontera Guacamole with cilantro, lime and green chile tomato at $9.75. This was flavorful with the right amount of citrus and ripe avocados. Rated 8/10
I have to admit, I am a sucker for Ceviche. My date believes that they all pretty much taste the same but I disagree. The possibilities of citrus, seafood and combinations are endless! We ordered the Yucatecan Ceviche with steamed blue mexican shrimp, calamari, lime, orange, habanero, avocado, jicama, cucumber and cilantro at $13.50. I could have eaten 5 glasses of this citrusy tangy goodness. Rated 9/10
Their house-made salsa’s were worth a mention as well! One more of a chipotle flavor and the other a spicier and more flavorful tomatillo. Lastly, we ordered the Carne Asada “Brava” at $29. Serrano marinated grass fed flank steak, salsa huevona (hans crushed grill roasted tomatoes and jalapeno), grilled knob onions and sweet corn tamales with verne and fresh cheese.
I cannot even describe the disappointment on my boyfriend’s face. Now, please do not misunderstand. The Carne Asada was good but it did not pack the powerful punch of flavors that it should. Rated 7/10
All in all, I would recommend this restaurant but not if you are looking for a truly authentic experience. The food was great and we had no complaints but I believe expectations were set too high.