Frontera Grill


  • 2 hour 20 minute wait on a Tuesday night!!
  • it serves two bean dishes, but neither is vegetarian


  • amazing margaritas!
  • the best blackened portobello mushrooms ever
  • fun colorful decor


  • the rice was kind of sweet. it was weird.
  • guacamole did not live up to the unrealistic expectations I had for it

My brother-in-law was in Chicago for work this week, so H & I went down to meet him. We picked Frontera Grill because it is supposed to be phenomenal. H went to a drug rep dinner here and has raved about it since then. We knew the wait would be bad, but we figured we’d just hang out in the bar with some drinks and chat. Margaritas were good and once we managed to snag a spot at the bar, we ordered some guacamole and chips. Guacamole is one of my most favorite foods and I love ordering it at fancy Mexican restaurants. I really expected this to be the best guacamole that I’ve ever eaten. It was not. It was good though and we were pretty hungry, so it went fast.

We finally got a table and ordered immediately (we picked out what we wanted at the bar). There was a 9:30 train back to the ‘burbs and we were cutting it very close. The waiter said he would hurry to order, but his estimated 15 minutes didn’t happen and H had to leave because he was on stroke call. He agreed to pick me up in Crystal Lake, which is the last stop for the 10:30 train and I’d bring his food with me. Shortly after he left, our food came. I proceeded to stuff my face with portobello mushroom tacos and more guacamole. The tortillas were good and the the mushrooms were delicious. The only thing that was off was the rice.

There were two vegetarian options. I got the Tacos al Carbon: wood-grilled mushrooms sliced and served with roasted pepper rajas, two salsas, frijoles charros (sub rice), guacamole and homemade tortillas. The other was Pozole Verde Vegetariano: robust braise of pozole corn, pumpkinseeds, tomatillos, and local fall vegetables. Classic crunchy garnishes (Napa cabbage, radish, onion, cilantro), Mexican oregano, plantain tostada, lime. The menu changes every few weeks, which is good for vegetarians if there is only one or two options.

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