Feb 012008

In the review below I display an apparently astonishing ignorance of Mexican cuisine when I complain about tacos al pastor having pineapple in it. Well, it turns out that tacos al pastor is supposed to have pineapple. I just didn’t realize/notice/remember when I’ve had it in the past. So I’ve left the post intact as testimony to my unreliability as a food reviewer. Enjoy!

In my continuing effort to leave no suburban strip mall cuisine unexplored, I paid an unanticipated visit to Fronteras, a tasteful little lunch spot in a thoroughly unremarkable part of Lenexa. As opposed to the truly remarkable parts.

God there is a hell of a lot of Mexican food in Johnson County, I don;t know what’s going on. Fronteras is across the street from another Mexican place, and down the street from yet another. Are they really all that different? One of them has to be good right?

Well Fronteras started out in very promising fashion. I was seated hurriedly, the place was moderately busy, orders were taken quickly and efficiently. They have a lunch menu which I kind of like. Basically you get one thing (taco, enchilada, tamale, etc) with rice and beans for like 6 bucks. Doesn’t seem like a lot but it is the perfect portion size for lunch. I don;t understand people who need to eat an entire plate of cheesy, beany, meaty-ness before heading back to a brisque afternoon in the cubicle. Get a grip, people.

I went for the taco al pastor which is basically a seasoned pork, either roasted or braised slowly. The plate arrived very quickly, which was a good thing, since my neck hurt from watching two unknown soccer teams playing on the TV in the corner. Note: It’s usually a good sign when mexican restaurants have soccer games going on two televisions. It means there might be real live Mexican people working there. It doesn;t matter if you like the sport or not. I don;t want to walk into a Thai restaurant and hear “eye of the tiger” over the stero system.

Anyhow i was excited for my taco, but it was so damn hot I couldn;t eat it for like 10 minutes. I swear, it was unreal, but fine with me since I can;t stand cold food. Finally I was able to take a bite, and…well…what is that flavor I detect?


yes there is friggin’ pineapple in the pork at this place. Now, I can understand that complementary nature of certain fruits and the deliciousness of pork-ity in all its forms. I can understand the impulse or even the need to experiment, and come up with a special recipe that will distinguish you from the glut of Mexican-ity in JoCo. But please do not put pineapple in my tacos al pastor! I’m sure there are people who like this, they find it unusual, intriguing, or even classy. Those people are wrong.

No it wasn’t disgusting, just wrong. I ate it all, ate my refried beans (excellent by the way!) and rice (boil in bag?). So, more Mexican disappointment in the JoCo hinterlands. I know that there are good places in the metro, I’ve tried them and just haven’t blogged about it yet. But not everyone can get to the boulevard or wherever when they want. I keep thinking that with so many Mexican restaurants, there should be a few that stand out. La Paloma is one, but there are a few things that bug me about it. No refried beans is a big one, the offer only black beans. Mi Ranchito is OK, but i prefer a more authentic cuisine and there’s hardly a corn tortilla to be found in the place. And their use of cheese is really beyond the pale. So I’ll keep trucking and keep complaining. happy (or unhappy) eating!

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Fronteras Mexican on Urbanspoon


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