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Rick Bayless Opening A Frontera Fresco At Northwestern

By Anthony Todd in Food on Sep 11, 2012 3:00PM

2012_9_11_fronterafresco.jpg Those lucky Northwestern kids: their school knows how to treat them right. The university announced yesterday that an outlet of Frontera Fresco, Chef Rick Bayless's quick service chain, would open in Norris University Center. It's the first time Bayless has opened a restaurant on a college campus.

Replacing a Sbarro—an improvement by any metric—Frontera Fresco will serve a full menu of Bayless's Mexican specialties, including tacos, tamales, tortas, soups and salads. Everything in the restaurant will be sourced from within 100 miles—no Sodexo trucks will be pulling up to the back of this fast food joint.

So far, the expansion of Bayless's empire into fast food has been met with universal acclaim. Every foodie we know makes a point of stopping at Tortas Frontera every time they go to O'Hare, the new Loop location is bustling, and we get a hankering for the food at Frontera Fresco on Macy's second floor at least once a month. The level of quality remains high, and the commitment to local food, despite the expense, proves that Bayless is sticking with the values that made him such a success.

Frontera's director of marketing, Stacy Dixon, explained the way the restaurant's sourcing works.

“The produce, the cheeses - even down to the meats that are going to be on the menu at Norris - will be from farmers who are supported by the Frontera Farmer Foundation, which gives grant money directly to small farms to build greenhouses and buy supplies that in turn go into making the produce that is plated at the restaurants. It’s a great circle that works well for everybody.”

The restaurant will be opening this fall.