notes from the mexican kitchen

13 Guacamoles That Don’t Involve Peas

Frontera has been bombarded with inquiries in the wake of peagate. What’s #peagate? Referencing a recipe adapted from New York City’s ABC Cocina restaurant, the New York Times tweeted out a link imploring cooks to add peas to guacamole, appending a supremely confident “trust us” to its message. Add green peas to your guacamole. Trust us. […]


Our Downtown Restaurants Will Close July 4, But Xoco Wicker Park Will Be Rocking


This week, we begin packing for Frontera’s annual staff trip to Mexico. While we’re gone, Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and Xoco will close on July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We’ll be back to serve you July 8. In the meantime, you should totally visit Xoco Bistro, 1471 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park, which […]

Mexican Weekend/

Go Ahead, Get Cheesy with These Shrimp Tacos

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What makes this recipe so popular?  Perhaps it’s the irresistible combination of fresh-made salsa mexicana and shrimp tucked into tortillas that are just beginning to crisp. Oh, and there’s melted cheese involved. And unexpected seasonings. But maybe it’s because the whole thing comes together so easily (I learned it from a cook on the beach […]

Kind Words/

The Reader’s Readers Pick Rick

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We’re on the Chicago Reader’s radar. The venerable alt-weekly just published its annual “Best of Chicago” issue and our very own Rick Bayless topped the readers’ poll for Best Chef. Check it out here. Thanks, readers! The whole “Best of Food and Drink” is worth a read, as it highlights some of the coolest, undiscovered, offbeat and/or important […]

Kind Words/ News!/

Topolo Earns Four More Stars From the Chicago Tribune


Chicago Tribune food critic Phil Vettel has bestowed some lavish praise on Topolo in years past.  Last year’s four-star review, the one where our fearless chef de cuisine Andres Padilla was credited for “triumphs of technique and scholarship that stimulate the mind as much as they do the palate,” simply blew us away. Imagine our […]