Two days after Christmas, we headed North, following behind my mother on some pretty confusing and sometimes slippery, unplowed country roads (she has a special way of getting from Palestine to Elgin, where she drives through fewer towns to save time on the trip). To make the trip more exciting, the sky and the ground were the same color of white, a phenomenon I'm not sure my Floridian husband had ever seen before.
The next day, DH and I took advantage of having my mother and Ula there to babysit and took our first time off from parenting in a very long time.
We drove into Chicago and had lunch at Rick Bayless' restaurant, Frontera . We had watched the t.v. show "Mexico, One Plate at a Time" with Rick Bayless on PBS.
We arrived towards the end of the lunch rush, which turned out to be to our advantage. When we came in, we had been told it would be a two hour wait for a table, but it actually turned out to be only 20 minutes.
The food was excellent! I had the duck breast in mole sauce that I had seen on a Food Network show called The Best Thing I Ever Ate With a Sauce (yes, I watch a lot of cooking shows).
DH had a shrimp dish that he said made him weep a little, it was so good. He said that for the past 15 years he had tried to find this dish in the United States, but it had never been as good as when he had it in Mexico, until now.
Then for dessert, there was a dish with two kinds of flan.
The food was all wonderful, but besides that, I was impressed with Frontera for another reason. These people are masters of portion control. We had hot chocolate, two appetizers, and generous main courses, and still had room for dessert, which is something that rarely happens. Not only that, but after dessert, we felt full and happy, but not so stuffed that we couldn't comfortably take a nice long walk.
Inside the giant Macy's Store (formerly Marshal Field's):
Excuse the fuzziness of this next picture, but we were able to stand outside the window and watch ABC, channel 7, doing the evening news.