Monday, May 14, 2018
I have a confession, I read cookbooks for fun. I love to cook, I like to eat, I am adventuresome and with one exception will try nearly any cuisine. When I travel I like to try something different.
On a recent trip to Chicago (I am traveling so much this spring that I can't keep track of where I am somedays) I found myself checked into the hotel at 1:00 in the afternoon, with nothing planned until evening, and having not had lunch I grabbed the camera and went out to see what was nearby. A couple of blocks away I saw the signs for Fronterea - I have read a couple of Rick Bayless's books. He is a scholar of classical and regional Mexican cooking. I think I have been there before - and I have been to another of his Chicago eateries. It was time for lunch, so I popped in. A tip, lunch at a big name restaurant is usually at least 30% less expensive than dinner (sometimes half the price.) On the way in, I noticed two Mercedes SUVs parked out front and wondered if "the chef" was in. Their name may be on the menu, but they are seldom in the house.
Shortly after the lamb enchiladas arrived (very good I am glad I took the waiter's advice to go with the lamb instead of my usual chicken) Rick walked by, went behind the service bar and fixed himself what appeared to be an iced-coffee. I was at least a little giddy, but all of a sudden I become shy. I have few qualms about speaking to an audience of a 1,000 people, but something like this and I freeze up and miss the chance for a selfie with a famous chef.
When you are traveling do you go for a celebrity chef, or reliable national chain for lunch?