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!

Read more:

Fronteras Mexican on Urbanspoon


[google-map-v3 width=”350″ height=”350″ zoom=”12″ maptype=”roadmap” mapalign=”center” directionhint=”false” language=”default” poweredby=”false” maptypecontrol=”true” pancontrol=”true” zoomcontrol=”true” scalecontrol=”true” streetviewcontrol=”true” scrollwheelcontrol=”false” draggable=”true” tiltfourtyfive=”false” addmarkermashupbubble=”false” addmarkermashupbubble=”false” addmarkerlist=”7779 Quivira Road, Lenexa, KS{}restaurant.png” bubbleautopan=”true” showbike=”false” showtraffic=”false” showpanoramio=”false”]

  5 Responses to “Fronteras Mexican Restaurant & Cantina: 7779 Quivira”

  1. Wow, I think you did Fronteras a huge disservice by making a judgement call on one meal you had there. They have over 100 items on their menu and being a Mexican myself, it is the real deal!

    I hope no one listens to your commentary on their food b/c the food is spectacular if you break out of just getting a taco. Their pollo del mar, which is chicken with jumbo shrimp, is delicious and one of the best mexican meals I’ve had at a restaurant.

    Don’t expect the most amazing decor b/c it is a dive and it is packed on Fridays. Standing room only until you get seated. I would suggest trying the place out on a Saturday for lunch or check out their Sunday brunch which is wonderful and original!

  2. thanks J&A for your input–I’ll definitely be back to Fronteras and try a wider sampling.

  3. I am not sure what happened to you there.I have went there several times.You commented on the fact that there were only black beans served…this is not true.They offer re-fried and black beans..if you just ask they can substitute if black beans are served on the specific entree. No one can cook EVERTHING to everyone’s liking..not even MOM. You are posting a review by just trying one item…this is unfair.They are a FAMILY BUSSINESS..AND THAT IS HARD TO FIND THESE DAYS! You can ruin someones reputation by not doing full research go right ahead and give your money to big corporations with generic food..or did I mean GENETIC? I will eat my cheesy,home cooked,family owned, Delicious food..Thank you

  4. Obviously Fronteras has a dedicated local following, which as far as I’m concerned is a good thing.

    Summer, I really do appreciate your input but I think you misunderstand me. Read this blog for 2 minutes and you’ll realize that I don’t want to give my money to faceless, corporate hash-slingers. I almost exclusively visit independent, locally owned establishments. Read the Fronteras review again and you’ll see that it is essentially positive except for the “pineapple incident.”

    You are also absolutely right that it is unfair to judge a restaurant by a single visit. But this is a blog. I’m not Charles Ferruzza. I don’t get paid, I’m not advertising myself or my website, and I most certainly will NOT ruin anyone’s reputation with this paltry scrap of the internet I call KC Lunch Spots.

    And the black bean thing was in reference to Las Palomas, not Fronteras. Read it again, I explicitly say that the refried beans @Fronteras are excellent.

  5. I had dinner at Fronteras last night. I thought the meal was fair at best. I had the pork in red sauce with a side of beans, rice, guacamole and pico. My biggest complaint was the overpowering flavor of the red sauce. Once I had a bite of that, everything else was muted. I couldn’t taste the pork, guacamole or pico. I also found the prices to be a bit high. A meal for a single diner was near $16 dollars with tax and tip. The good part of the meal was the service. The waitress was very friendly and they were very accommodating for a single diner. Overall, I won’t return, but I know many people enjoy their food and I wish them success.