Sunday, February 21, 2016

Breakfast Sandwich #51 - Xoco aka Gas Up The Car You're Gonna Need to Take A Drive

Sandwich: Chorizo-Egg Torta
Location: Xoco (Chicago, Ill.)
Date: February 20, 2016
Cost: $8.00

I had a trip to Chicago planned and naturally started my pre-research for breakfast options. I looked at two lists online and both included Xoco which happened to be close to my hotel. Xoco sounded familiar and it took me a minute to remember that Serious Eats had made a list of Must-Eat Breakfast Sandwiches Across America which I had referenced in March of 2015. That made the choice easy as there were several enticing options. Chicago Eater also posted a list of 15 breakfast sandwiches that includes Xoco but I didn't see it until today.

Xoco is a Rick Bayless restaurant and is next door to his Frontera Grill which I went to about 12 years ago and might be the first place I tasted mezcal. None of this is important although Rick Bayless is probably one of only a handful of famous chefs I can name. After Julia Childs and Aunt Jemima I start to run out of ideas. I had no idea until this writing that 7 different women filled the role of Aunt Jemima and one, Rosie Hall, had her grave declared a national landmark. Other not-important-information is that Rick Bayless is the brother of Skip Bayless.
If you need some lousy photos of a menu, I'm your guy.

Everything about these looked enticing and I was leaning towards getting a blood orange margarita until I saw that Xoco has "bean to cup" hot chocolate. I know that sounds like some pretentious hipster garbage but I ordered one and it turns out its the best damn cup of hot chocolate I ever had.

Oh my goodness. What a fine, fine looking sandwich. 
The Sandwich - Chorizo-Egg Torta. I while back I reviewed a chorizo based breakfast sandwich which at the time struck me as odd, mostly because it was not at a Mexican style restaurant. Chorizo makes more sense at this place and I already knew I was ordering this at least a week before I got there. I'm just going to cut to the chase and say there was nothing wrong with this sandwich and I couldn't find a single thing I would have changed about it. The bread was toasted and a little crunchy on the outside, but chewy and soft beneath the crust. The chorizo was fantastic, not too cinnamonny or greasy or fatty. Fluffy eggs, perfectly ripe avocado, a nice compliment of cheese, and tomatillo salsa to drizzle on every bite. Perfect. After I was done I used my fork to clean up the little bits that had fallen in the basket, then I licked the wax paper it had been on, then I ate the wax paper. I had spilled a tiny bit on the table so I ate the table and when the kid sitting next to me started looking at me funny I told him he was throwing his youth away on a stupid order of French Toast. Dumb kid. He didn't even have a hot chocolate.

I should note that I had several bites of the Zucchini-Egg-Poblano Torta and that also was fantastic. It had a little tarragon or thyme flavor to it. Something tasty was happening there but I was too caught up in my own sandwich to focus on that.

The Result - 5 primo hot chocolates out of 5 primo hot chocolates. Some people don't believe in true love and I don't know what you can say to those people. They have to find out on their own. I considered giving this sandwich a 4.99 simply because it's 146 miles from my house - but that's not fair to the sandwich. We strive to provide fair and accurate research here. 


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