Jim Siergey: Frontera Grill

August 24th, 2019

I love Mexican food.

Enchiladas, tostadas, tacos, queso fundido, carne asada, pollo de mole, chiles rellenos, bring ‘em all on. I’m a hambre hombre.

A small group of us were discussing this particular cuisine one day and Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill was mentioned. It brought back my memory of the one time I had been there.

FYI, Rick Bayless is an American chef and restaurateur who specializes in Mexican fare.  He has a couple of high end Mexican restaurants in downtown Chicago, and elsewhere, I imagine.

Another FYI, if you dial in one of his televised cooking shows and close your eyes while he speaks, he sounds just like Barney Fife. But, that may just be me.

Anyway, several years ago, another couple along with my wife and I decided to spend the big bucks and dine at the Frontera Grill. We arrived, were seated, and ordered drinks and appetizers.

As we sipped and snacked, who should come walking down the aisle but Rick Bayless himself! We quickly and discreetly dabbed our faces with our napkins and straightened ourselves up to look presentable for El Maestro.

andygriffithVisions of Andy…

It turned out that he knew the people sitting at the booth right across the aisle from ours.  As he stood and spoke with them, visions of the Andy Griffith Show danced (to a Latin beat) through my head.He stayed and visited these people for quite a while.

As he visited, he began to bend over more and more in order to be on the same level as his friends, as they were seated and he stood. But, it being a narrow aisle, his butt began to intrude into our table space. In fact, it intruded right into my friend Chris’ face.

It didn’t touch him but its presence was quite conspicuous.

After a few more minutes of his buttocks bobbing and weaving in Chris’ countenance, Rick finally straightened up and left.

There was nothing more for me to say to Chris except that now there was one dish on the menu that he didn’t have to order since he already experienced it.

“What’s that?” Chris cautiously queried.

“Rick Bayless’ chiles re-anus!” I unashamedly responded.



Editor’s note: Jim’s last post for The Third City was Stardust Golden

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