Here’s the thing that took us aback about the press release we got on the opening of a Tortas Frontera in O’Hare’s international terminal (aka Terminal 5):
The opening marks the first new restaurant to open in Terminal 5 since it started operations in 1993.
That’s right— the exact same restaurants have been in Terminal 5 for 20 years. Try to think of anywhere in the city where the food offerings haven’t changed at all in the past two decades. There’s been more culinary upheaval on Oakley in the Heart of Italy or on Peterson in Sauganash. An entire generation of restaurants putting Chicago on the map has happened, and the face of our city O’Hare presented the world was a plastic-wrapped turkey sandwich with a styrofoam tomato on it.
But at last that’s changing, as we mentioned a while back, with the new food and shopping offerings coming from big mall operator Westfield. And the first and perhaps best part of it is open now with one of Rick Bayless’s universally acclaimed Mexican sandwich shops, which now are in three of four O’Hare terminals (only Terminal 2 lacks one). It’s the first full sitdown location for the chain, and the first of a host of new food offerings to come between now and fall including restaurants from Lettuce Entertain You and others.