A few weeks ago I drove to Chicago on my own for a weekend of racing at the Chicagoland Inline Marathon. I attended this race countless times before but always traveled with other skaters. The 9-hour drive was decidedly not fun but I did enjoy the freedom to explore Chicago on my own between races. My wallet had the misfortune of visiting the AllSaints outlet store in Rosemont Fashion Outlets. My belly, on the other hand, had the pleasure of finally brunching at Rick Bayless’ XOCO. Every time I connect through O’Hare Airport, I always stop at Torta Frontera for a quick meal. Oh XOCO’s churros and bean-to-cup chocolate were everything I hoped for and more!
As always, I ordered too many things. My brunch consisted of eggs & chorizo empanada, sikil pak, Oaxacan chocolate biscocho, churros with dipping chocolate, and Aztec hot chocolate. It was a feast. The hot and crispy churros with their cinnamon sugar coating were great on their own but absolutely amazing after a dunk in the silky chocolate sauce. The pumpkin seed dip of sikil pak opened my taste buds to a new experience and I’ve been itching to try making it at home since. I am so glad to finally visit XOCO after four years of missed opportunities.
As you can imagine, I am a little infatuated with Bayless’ Mexican cuisine. I do not own any of his cookbooks yet but came across his newly posted recipe of slow cooker cochinita pibil. He translated the traditional achiote seasoned whole pit-cooked pig into an easy-to-cook dish suitable for weeknight dinners at home. Brilliant!