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Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless is known for his modern interpretations of traditional Mexican cuisine. His flagship restaurant, Frontera Grill and Michelin-starred Topolobampo have been highly praised since they opened in Chicago (in the late 1980s). In 2011, Bayless opened the first location of one of my favorite airport eateries, Tortas Frontera. There are now three locations at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Terminals 1, 3, and 5. On Friday night, we grabbed some delicious tortas before our flight.
For years (even before I lived in Chicago), I used to look forward to traveling to or through O’Hare so that I could grab one of these delicious sandwiches. Orders are placed by cashier or kiosk. I used the kiosk in Terminal 3 to place my order.
The kitchen is open and you can watch your sandwich or customized guacamole made fresh.
Many of the ingredients are locally sourced. A board tells diners where their food is coming from (with many items coming from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa).
I like being able to see my food prepared and watched as the cooks quickly cranked out meals.
This trip, I had the Crispy Chicken Milanesa. It had breaded chicken, Napa Cabbage, pickled jalapeños, Cotija cheese, avocado-tomatillo salsa, and cilantro crema. Tasty as always.
There is also a bar at the far end for margaritas, beer, and more.
Anthony’s Take: Tortas Frontera offers some of the best quick meals at O’Hare and arguably any airport in the US. I’ll definitely be back for more.
Anthony’s Credit Card Pick: When I’m dining out, I want to maximize my points earned. My card of choice for restaurants and food delivery is the American Express® Gold Card. With it, I earn four Membership Rewards® Points for each dollar spent at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the US. It also includes up to $120 annual credit (up to $10 per month given in statement credits) for Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and Shake Shack. Plus, up to another $120 annually (up to $10 per month) in Uber Cash that I can use for Uber Eats. When I’m hungry, this is the card I choose. (Terms apply and enrollment required for select benefits.) Learn more.
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