Walking down Clark Street the other day, we noticed that La Cocina de Frida was empty and closed, which came as a shock since it was a pretty popular destination in Andersonville, especially in summer with its great backyard patio and kick-ass margaritas. It turns out owner Marlene Benitez shuttered the restaurant on Sept. 30 because the rent just became too costly.
"What happened is that I get charged for the patio and the small dining area year round and I saw myself stashing some cash in the summer and forking it over in the winter," Benitez said. "That patio is 85 to 90 people, and once the cold months hit, it's down to 32 people."
But Andersonville's loss may now be either Pilsen's or Hyde Park's gain as Benitez said she's looking to re-open Frida in one of those neighborhoods, likely in the spring. Meanwhile, Benitez's other location at 3755 N. Southport is open, going strong and introduced brunch this past weekend.
While the menu hasn't yet been posted online, Benitez said most things are under $6.99 and includes dishes like chilaquiles, chicken mole torta, scrambled eggs with cactus and molletes (toasted half French loaf smeared with black bean puree, topped with bubbly chihuahua cheese, pico de gall, sour cream and slice of avocado). They also have Bloody Marias and breakfast margaritas (tequila, triple sec and OJ with blueberries and pieces of orange.)
· La Cocina de Frida [website]