Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Frontera Grill: TV Chef runs Mexican restaurant in Chicago

With some free pre-ICA conference time and pre-conference paper finished (but not Powerpoints), I went off for dinner at Frontera Grill. Chicago wouldn't seem the most obvious American city for Mexican food, but this restaurant was set up by Rick Bayliss. Rick Bayliss is a TV Chef whose program, Mexico: One Plate at a Time, has run for six seasons on PBS.

The food was fabulous. No over-cheesy nachos here. Importantly, what I was impressed by was that Rick tends his own restaurant. A bit greyer than he appears on the books for sale at the front, he was nonetheless watching over the booking desk, and came over to the bar table next to me and fast-tracked a couple over to a table at the main dining area.

This guy isn't having affairs or advising the President on school lunches. When not on the TV, he actually runs his own restaurant. Doubt if I'd see Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay having time to do that.

Be warned tough: it was a 90 minute wait for a table by 6.30pm on a Tuesday, and they don't take advance bookings. You may well be having a pre-dinner margharita.

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