Today Amy & I grabbed lunch at XOCO, which is chef Rick Bayless' "quick serve Mexican" place in Chicago that opened last year to much fanfare.


It's located right next to his other two restaurants, Topolobampo and Frontera Grill (which we ate at a few years ago).

Steve enjoys the lime drink!

Choriqueso torta

XOCO serves what Bayless calls "Mexican street food and snacks"… stuff like tortas, churros, and the like.

Amy likes it!

Gunthorp Chicken torta

It's a small place, and since it has opened, the wait times to eat have always been long. We stood in line for approximately 30 minutes before getting a place to sit.

Main line area at XOCO

Amy tried the Gunthorp Chicken torta (wood-roasted red chile chicken, pickled white onion, black beans, avocado, tomatillo salsa) while I had the Choriqueso torta (homemade chorizo sausage, roasted poblano, artisan jack cheese, tomatillo salsa). Very excellent stuff! We also shared some guacamole and chips and capped things off with a limeade and a hot chocolate.

Overall, the food was excellent and we would definitely eat there again if given the opportunity. And unlike Bayless' other places, it doesn't cost an arm-and-a-leg to do so. Each torta we had was about $8, so this is a nice affordable option for Mexican.

See, that's Rick Bayless!

While we were eating in the back of the restaurant, who would walk by towards a rear door than Rick Bayless himself! How cool is that? No, we didn't get a chance to say "hi" or anything, as he did look preoccupied with other staff members, but it was still fun to see him. As we left, I snapped a photo of him through the front window… but you can only pretty much see his shoulder in the image. Hey, I was using a phone camera… what do you expect?

Overall, thumbs up for XOCO!