Frontera Grill | Chicago, Il

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 | click here to comment

{This is an excerpt from a larger post. To read my entire post on Chicago, click here.}

First, let me start with the menu. It's massive. There is every conceivable Mexican dish you could think of. As I waded my way through the menu trying to find gluten-free options, the server took our drink order. I read on Yelp that the margaritas were outstanding, so I ordered one. Sadly, it came to me in a highball glass, with salt on only half of the rim, and was watered down and sweet. I was not impressed, and hoped that this was not a harbinger of things to come for the meal. 

The server was helpful in finding out which dishses on the menu could be prepared gluten-free and I settled on a beef tamal for an appetizer, and a shared platter of tacos which had a combination of pork, beef and chicken. 

The beef tamal came out and I was so famished I tucked into it immediately and was just as quickly repulsed by the taste. Whatever that meat was, it certainly wasn't beef. The flavor was completely off and had a strange smokiness to it that made me want to wipe my tongue with my napkin. After one bite I coudldn't stand to have any more. Mr. misterbelly took a bite and deduced that the meat was definitely not beef and could have been goat. Whatever it was, I didn't want it. 

The tacos came out shortly thereafter and they were a marked improvement over that travesty of a tamal. However, the beef was not pleasant. At all. It had a "beefy" taste that usually signifies to me that the beef is not quality or is on the verge of being spoiled. Neither of us were fans and we left it on the platter. The pork was good, with a subtle sweetness from the pineapple, but I wasn't wowed by any means. The best part of of the platter was the chicken strangely enough. It was succulent, full of flavor and went perfectly with the salsas. My favorite part of the entire platter were the corn tortillas. They were like soft pillows of delciousness. 

After spending $100 on lunch, I felt wronged and was not thrilled to kick off my culinary adventure of Chicago with such a poor start. 

Photo Credit: The Tasty Memoir


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