Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

Rojo Mexican Grill May 24, 2011

I finally made it out to the new West End area in Saint Louis Park, where I tried out Rojo Mexican Grill. while they don’t have a specific gluten-free menu, they were able to accommodate. (update: they now have icons next to the GF items, and there are many options!) it’s so nice to have more Mexican restaurants to eat at (with chips we can eat), now that Baja Sol cantinas (the sit-down restaurant versions) have closed.

the chips are made in a dedicated fryer even, which is a treat (I was misinformed on my first visit when I was told that they were made in a shared fryer). I was warned on my second visit that if it gets really busy, there’s a chance they could end up contaminating the chip fryer with other things, so I’d make sure each time that that didn’t happen on the day you go. the salsa is decent, and the guacamole is good (note that although it’s not listed, it comes with cheese on top, so if you have dairy allergies, request it without the cheese garnish).

as for entrees, they were able to accommodate several things. I had the tacos on soft corn tortillas, and they were amazing. they reminded me of the short rib street tacos at the Herb Box at the Lifetime Fitness in Eden Prairie. they both seem to be an elevated new (to me, at least) sort of taco, and I’m loving it! I didn’t inquire beyond those items, but they seemed very willing to adapt their menu to be gluten-free. and I would be surprised if they couldn’t do the fajitas on the soft corn tortillas. and I’m sure at least some of the salads could easily be made gluten-free. I’m not sure about the ribs or burgers though.. you’d have to ask.

as for sides, I don’t enjoy eating beans, but their beans were so amazing that I could’ve devoured an entire bowl of them!! never in my life have I enjoyed beans so much. I very highly recommend them!! the coleslaw is also gluten-free. I’m not a caraway seed fan though, so I didn’t enjoy that as much. (both the beans and the coleslaw are dairy-free as well). the dirty rice was gluten-free, though not dairy-free. I’m not sure about the soups.

and then for the best part of any Mexican restaurant… the drinks! I had the red wine sangria, which was one of the best I’ve had. instead of a simple sugar syrup, like most sangrias (I think), they use soda water. it tasted like a wine soda, and it was delicious and huge! they weren’t sure if the margarita mixes were gluten-free (not surprisingly), but next time I may try out a mojito  too.

the West End area is a great area filled with restaurants, a movie theater, and some fun shopping. if you haven’t been there yet, go check it out! Rojo is one of the restaurants with gluten-free options, but from what I hear, most of the restaurants in that area can accommodate. I’ll have to try more of them and keep you posted! (it will be difficult to go there and NOT eat at Rojo though! it’s one of my new favorites!)


5 Responses to “Rojo Mexican Grill”

  1. weston Says:

    Hello Rebecca, Thank you for your kind words and I just want to clarify a couple of things about my restaurant. We are as accommodating to gluten free diets as we can, since your post we have updated the menu, adding a gluten free icon on items not containing gluten products, Also we have always and always will fry our chips in a chip only fryer, so only corn tortillas have ever gone into that fryer. Hope to see you again,

    • rebeccagf Says:

      thank you for your comment~ I updated the blog entry, based on both your comments and my more recent visit where I learned the things you mentioned as well. I love your food!

  2. Julia Says:

    I am concerned about Rojo. We did not have a good experience there (7/16).

    We were seated near the kitchen and it was a slow time so we were able to see what was going on there. After excitedly looking over the menu with the GF icons, I had some questions for the staff about preparation. They proceeded to tell me that they do NOT have a dedicated frier for chips and we watched them warming corn and flour soft tortillas on the same grill, they confirmed this when I asked about it. The conversation revealed a distinct lack of understanding about cross contamination issues and I spoke in depth with the manager on duty who pretty much gave me a glazed “deer in headlights” look and was obviously not absorbing the information I was giving him and the concerns I expressed. I was rather unhappy about the fact that they were saying things were gluten free and had no concern about the cross contamination. I was so unhappy about this lack of concern that I even wrote the management an email detailing what happened and I never received a response. Seeing this response on this blog from someone saying it is “his restaurant” makes me a little angry. Apparently they only like to respond to folks that are praising them and have no interest in responding to people that have concerns about something they are advertising to bring people in that could affect them medically.

    I just wanted to warn those with celiac and other gluten sensitivities that they should be very careful if they choose to eat at Rojo.

    • rebeccagf Says:

      I got conflicting stories the 2 times I went as well, but the manager the last time was adamant that the chips have always been in a dedicated fryer, but as mentioned, he also said to just make sure that they didn’t need to use it as a back-up for other things on a busy night. I ate the chips that day then and had no issues. as always, do what you think is best though.

  3. Thea Says:

    Just got off the phone with the manager at Rojo — he said the beans have dairy in them (not just on top) and bacon fat (aka lard). Just an FYI

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