SF: Frontera Fresco

January 8th, 2009
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Last year, Rick Bayless opened a “Wolfgang Puck”-style high end fast food outlet in the food court of the Macy’s Union Square here in San Francisco. When I heard about it, I was very excited. I had a great meal at Frontera Grill in Chicago a few years back and Bayless’ cookbooks and TV show are great. I really love the depth he gives to Mexican food, which is so often done poorly.
As I mentioned in my Bayless sighting post last year, it was at Frontera Grill that I first had Queso Fundido. I love it. It’s molten, fondue-like chihuahua cheese that can be used as a dip or a topping or eaten straight.
That’s what I was hoping for when I saw the Queso Fundido Huarache as one of the items available at Frontera Fresco.
This is what I got:
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The huarache is a flatbread topped with the melted cheese, a black bean paste and chicken chorizo (!). Also on the hurache were a mixture of lettuce and baby spinach and a crumbly feta cheese.
I wasn’t so impressed, which was a disappointment.
First, I have to say that I’m opposed to the idea of chicken chorizo more than I was offended by the taste. It was fine. It had the right seasoning, but it was chicken and tasted like it. Chicken sausages have their place, but this isn’t one of them. Also, the flatbread was also a little to starchy.
I think my expectations were higher than they should have been given that it was Bayless’ entry into a market that really knows Mexican food. I respect the menu for offering food that you aren’t going to find at Taco Bell or even Chipotle. There aren’t many fast food places where I can get huaraches – in New York. In San Francisco, on the other hand, there’s a lot more Mexican food, and it’s probably better than this.

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