We already congratulated hometown Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless, and now we have some more wonderful news to report. His latest cafÃ©, XOCO, will open its doors on September 8th! The small cafÃ© seats 40, will open early in the day (7am), and provide Chicago with a fix of Bayless’s delectable cuisine, spotlighting the beloved street food and snacks from Mexico.
Open Tuesday through Saturday, the menu offers up a hearty array of Tortas, Mexican sandwiches, fresh from the oven or griddle. They’ll also be serving caldos, a full meal in a soup dish. Rounding out the XOCO experience will be hot and fresh churros and empanadas and Mexican hot chocolate, ground fresh right in the store.
Looking at the menu, I see some standout items I’m looking forward to tasting. The Conchinita Pibil Torta sounds wonderful, a wood-roasted suckling pig with achiote, black beans, pickled onion and habanero. In the Tortas from the griddle section, the Jamon, a mix of La Quercia Prosciutto Americano, organic cheddar, black beans, avocado, and optional fried egg, sounds rich and succulent. And the pork belly vermicelli caldo rates high on my list as well, a mix of crispy-tender pork belly, noodles, mushroom, zucchini, avocado, and salsa negra.
So come September 8th, head over to Clark and Illinois Street intersection to try a little slice of Mexican street food heaven, courtesy of Chicago’s own Top Chef Master.