Official theme song

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Bayless empire

The new restaurant by the man referred to as the hottest (as in most popular, not sexiest, though maybe he is that too) chef, Rick Bayless, opened yesterday.

Xoco - located right next door to Frontera and Topolobampo is a counter service restaurant with food inspired by street carts in Mexico. You basically got sandwiches, salads, and after 3 pm, soups.

Apologies are in order for the crappy photo, but this is the Pepito.

The menu says: Braised Tallgrass shortribs, caramelized onion, artisan Jack cheese, black beans, pickled jalapenos.

I went in expecting it to be okay, but nothing revelatory - and I'd say it was somewhere in the middle of the two. The point of the restaurant is simpler faire with high quality ingredients and for that it succeeds.

Also consumed were guacamole (excellent but without some of the pizzazz you see in Frontera itself), a Milanesa sandwich (fried chicken with a crazy amount of delicious jack cheese), and hot chocolate - there is a whole menu of chocolates which are made in house. Dinner was $32 - not cheap, but also not as expensive as the sit down places. If you're drinking alcohol one can easily hit $50 on dinner for two.

We arrived on a whim at 4 pm and had no wait. Chef Bayless was present overseeing the kitchen and even working on plating some food. The waits are going to be crazy in the coming weeks - it's worth a visit I think, but I would say you should stay away in the typical busy hours.

No comments: