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[Photograph: Joe Roy]

Maybe it's just me, but the Open-Face Breakfast Torta ($5.00) from Rick Bayless' Xoco reminds me more of pizza than a sandwich. Hear me out. A half bolillo roll spread with ranchero salsa subs in for crust and sauce. It's slid into a wood-fired oven, where it remains until everything is crisp and bubbling. Rather than being topped with mozzarella and basil, queso fresco and cilantro are judiciously sprinkled on in just the right amounts. But what really does it for me is that the raw onion and sliced serrano pepper garnish means that the whole thing comes to the table smelling just like a Midwest-style supreme pizza.

On second thought, the black beans and poached egg might make for a more labored analogy than I'm willing to attempt before my morning coffee... Why don't we just agree that any excuse to eat pizza for breakfast is one worth taking?

Xoco

449 N Clark Street Chicago, IL 60654 (map)
312-334-3688
rickbayless.com

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