I read about Rick Bayless’ brand new Mexican streetfood(ish) place Xoco yesterday in the Trib and the Decider and my first thought was to wait a few weeks for the lines to die down. But then work got all busy and I didn’t get out of the building to get some lunch until 2:30 and I took the chance that the lunch rush would be over.
I was correct. At 3:00 pm there was practically no wait at all — there were just a few people ahead of me in line (two places ahead of me in line was restaurant PRer Ellen Malloy and Rick Bayless came running over to take a picture of her with his iPhone).
Rick Bayless was very much a presence in the open kitchen of Xoco — snapping photos, clanging around with pots and pans, and doing an interview with a Spanish-language television host (above). I try not to get starstruck, but yeah, he’s a handsome man.
For lunch I got a churo, a limonada, and the Torta Cubana. I had meant to save the churo for dessert, but my sandwich took a little while to come (I’ll let it slide—it’s the first week) and so I ate the churo to tide me over. The churo was delightful—sweet, cinnamony, warm, and just the right ratio of crispy and doughy. The limonada was similarly delightful — thick with lime flavors and fairly tart.
The Cubana sandwich was good, but not the best Cuban sandwich I’ve ever had. Notably, there was no pickle, which I would consider a component that really makes a Cuban sandwich. Not to rag on it too much — it was a good sandwich and the bacon on it was incredible. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have gotten a Cuban sandwich at a Mexican joint. I’ll definitely be back to try some of the other offerings.
Xoco is only open for lunch and dinner right now, and they’re not offering takeout (which is a wise choice, given the time it took for my eat-in order). The breakfast offerings already on the menu look incredible and I can’t wait for them to open earlier.