From Tortas to Chicken-Fried Steak
The first time I went to Chicago Mo Rocca sat directly in front of me on the plane.
On my recent visit to Oklahoma City I was routed through Chicago, and once again trailed Mo Rocca. While still at La Guardia I spied his location via a flirtatious Rick Bayless retweet.
Soon enough, I, too, had a torta (choriqueso) for the road. Tortas Frontera is a great idea at O'Hare. It's too bad my plane was already boarding when I arrived for my return flight–even though the restaurant was right next the gate, it takes a chunk of time (15 minutes for the original sandwich) for the food to get made because there's usually a line and everything's prepped on demand. Actually, I ran over (I'm one of those freaks who pays to check my bag, so I don't need to rush the gate to snag precious storage bin space) in search of anything readymade and was able to score a poblano chile and Chihuahua cheese mollete boxed up rapido. They call them open-faced sandwiches. I've always thought of them as Mexican French bread pizzas.
Even McDonald's in Mexico has a version.
I have the suspicion that no one's clamoring for a slew of posts on Oklahoma City dining unless you greatly enjoy variations on meat and potatoes: steak and baked potato, chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes, and ribs and fries–there were even potatoes in the Okla-Mex fajitas. It's not one of those regions that may be third-tier but still has plenty of food lore, like say, Charlotte and environs, with North Carolinian barbecue culture as a backdrop. (Chowhound had almost nothing in the way of OKC advice and Serious Eats had no more than a mention or two. The craziest thing I read about online but didn't have a chance to check out was a weekend-only honey-dipped fried chicken truck in the "bad" part of town that a pair of local, Native American, dwarf, Christian rappers had written a song about.) But here are some photos untill those posts arrive, like them or not.
McMollete photo via Brand Eating where there is currently a must-see series on all of the Mc items at McDonald's around the world.