Stuck At ORD And Hungry? Read On…

Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (ORD) is infamous for delays and travel mishaps, and as one of the nation’s major connection hubs there’s a good chance you’ll eventually find yourself stuck there if you travel regularly (especially if you fly United or American). You’re tired and frustrated, the batteries on all your devices are about to die due to the lack of available power outlets, and on top of all that now your stomach is starting to growl!

What do you do?

Walk right past the 4-story Brachiosaurus skeleton and make your way over to Tortas Frontera, that’s what!

Tortas Frontera - Terminal 1, B Concourse

Tortas Frontera – Terminal 1, B Concourse

If you’re wondering where the name comes from, Frontera Grill is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago, owned and run by celebrity chef Rick Bayless. “Tortas” are pressed Mexican sandwiches, served hot (like a panini). Tortas + Frontera = Tortas Frontera (and they make a mean torta!)

My personal favorite is the Pepito - beer-braised beef short ribs, pickled jalapeños, Chihuahua cheese, black beans, cilantro crema, and arugula. It’s outrageously good! All the tortas are made to order, so be prepared to wait 10 minutes (or more if there’s a line – and there usually is). It’s absolutely worth it though.

Pepito with chips and a Mango-Lime Agua Fresca

Pepito with chips and a Mango-Lime Agua Fresca

I also really like the Cubana, which is made with smoked pork loin, Nueske’s bacon, black beans, Chihuahua cheese, cilantro crema, chipotle mustard, and avocado.

One last point I should make: In addition to being a bit of a wait, these sandwiches aren’t cheap either. Expect your meal to cost about twice what it would at the McDonald’s next door (the tortas are $9-$12 each). They are truly fantastic though, and well worth the extra cost.

What are your favorite places to eat at ORD (or any other airport for that matter)?
Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless on Urbanspoon


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  8 comments for “Stuck At ORD And Hungry? Read On…

  1. Shane
    May 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    There’s a tortas Frontera in the AA side as well.

    My favorites include:
    Anthonys in SEA
    Pappadeaux in DFW & IAH – DFW loc has a buffet at lunch for $10.95 with free wifi
    One Flew South at ATL – the best airport food you’ll ever find
    Legal Seafood at BOS
    A gyro at Skybridge at ORD
    Pastrami sandwich at Berghoffs at ORD

  2. LufthansaFlyer / StarAllianceHub
    May 26, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I always try to stop at Wicker Park Sushi in Terminal 2. Much better option than UA First Class Lounge or United Club.

  3. LufthansaFlyer / StarAllianceHub
    May 26, 2013 at 2:32 am

    And my absolute favorite non-lounge dining experience in Munich is the Airbrau located outside the terminal. Well worth having to go through passport control and security if continuing on from Munich.

  4. Diane D
    May 26, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Ku-Va Cuban Restaurant at Miami International Airport.

    Taco Bron at Tucson International Airport ~ their chorizo and egg burritos with all the veggies will get your day started off right.

  5. May 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I like Burrito Beach. And then there’s always Dunkin Donuts… :)

  6. May 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I will have to keep this in mind the next time I have a long layover at ORD. Just goes to show that some airports are worth the layover!

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