The Sweet Grab-And-Go Feature At Rick Bayless' New NYC Restaurant

Renowned multiple award-winning chef Rick Bayless has a sweet spot for Mexican cuisine. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Bayless is known for recreating the flavors, textures, and colors of Mexican cuisine, per NPR. A third-generation professional chef (via ThePostGame), Bayless has opened numerous successful restaurants specializing in the cuisine and amassed numerous prestigious awards, including seven from the James Beard Foundation, according to his website. The "Top Chef Masters" winner also hosted the well-loved PBS cooking show "Mexico One Plate at a Time," which has garnered multiple Emmy nominations, and still fans clamoring for more.

Bayless' Mexican culinary cred cannot be ignored. Bilingual, Bayless spent years traveling through Mexico, studying its regional cuisines before opening Frontera, his first restaurant specializing in Mexican cuisine. It's now a Chicago foodie destination. The Mexican government itself named Bayless to the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor for non-nationals whose work has benefited Mexico. 

On January 19, Bayless's latest restaurant Tortazo opens in New York City's Times Square. The website promises "a place of discovery — of bold flavors and new culinary experiences — but also a place where you will be embraced by the genuine warmth of Mexican hospitality." A quick skim of the tortas, chilaquiles, and tacos on the menu, has us ready to take a trip to New York. On top of these savory dishes, Bayless' latest venture further sweetens the deal with the opportunity to enjoy churros con chocolate just as folks do on the streets of Mexico City

The literal takeaway: churros con chocolate

Churros are a sweet doughnut-like pastry whose origins are hard to trace to one specific area of the world, according to Elmeson-Santafe. Eventually, though these sweet treats made such an impact on Spanish culture that churros are now usually associated therewith. When churros were brought over to Mexico through colonization, churro makers began serving the pastries coated in cinnamon sugar and with a rich dipping sauce — often chocolate. 

According to The New York Times, the menu for Bayless' new Times Square restaurant, Tortazo, will include churros con chocolate as well as churros con caramel. Both can be ordered to stay or as takeaways. In support of the latter, and seemingly in the interest of delivering a sweet and authentic nod to Mexican street food culture, the Times Square Tortazo location will operate a takeout window for churros and dipping sauces, which can be accessed from the street/sidewalk, just like in Mexico. This sweet grab-and-go feature is, of course, just one of the stanzas in Bayless' latest love poem to Mexican cuisine and culture.