When I tell people I eat gluten free, they always ask what do you eat? Many envision a taste-free, dull and bland diet, with tons of restrictions and limitations. While the diet can be restrictive, it is not bland. I am not limited to rice and plain white chicken, I tell them, I can eat everything you eat – pasta, sandwiches, pancakes, cake – it’s just made with different ingredients.
Mexican cuisine is a great option for a rich and boldly flavored gluten free meal. Corn tortillas, vegetables, herbs, rice, beans, meats and salsa are all naturally gluten free. Rosa Mexicano offers traditional Mexican food, with an upscale twist. The menu offers a considerable amount of gluten free options.
Served with tortilla chips, two types of salsa and warm corn tortillas. I’ve never had corn tortillas with guac, but they really enhance the flavors of the guacamole and I will make this a habit of mine from now on. Not only that, they aren’t as filling as the tortilla chips. The smoothness and richness of the dish makes it hard to believe there is no creamy filler (like sour cream).
For our meal we tried both the carnitas tacos and the roasted vegetable tacos. The roasted lamb was delicious and tender. Served with marinated cucumbers, pistachio-habanero puree and mint salsa verde. The tacos were spicy! I love the flavor but boy, did it have a nice kick to it.
The vegetable tacos had a welcomed sweetness after all that spiciness from the carnitas. Roasted vegetables (butternut squash), mission figs, crispy chile kale and a macadamia nut Poc Chuc, made for a delicious combination of flavors.
All tacos are served with a jalapeno escabeche, picked jalapenos with onion, garlic, carrots and herbs, which I enjoyed with the vegetable tacos. Although sweet and tasty, I am glad we decided to share because one vegetable taco was enough for me. If it hadn’t been for the carintas, these would have been to sweet for me. I don’t think I will order them again; I am not a fan of sweet entrees (yes I know this is hard to belive because I have such a sweet tooth!).
My final thoughts on Rosa Mexicano: Authentic flavors and dishes, none of the tex-mex stuff that is all too often served and mistaken for real Mexican Food. It is a little pricey ($14 for guacamole!) but has a nice atmosphere and outdoor seating in the summer time. The guacamole at Papagayo is just as good, if not better, and it comes with carrots and celery sticks for an extra $1, in all only coasting $9. Papagayo also offers traditional Mexican food at slightly lower prices, but has a more limited gluten free menu.