Delicious Tex-Mex: Easy, Safe Gluten-Free Eating At Rosario’s

In a recent blog post, I wrote that I have reduced the number of high carbohydrate foods in my diet. I emphasized in that post that I do not

Rosario's on San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX

Rosario’s on San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX

plan to completely omit carbs altogether. Food factors into my quality of life and to do away with carbs completely would mean to reduce the joy I derive from eating delicious food; for example, I live in South Texas, where one can find the best, most satisfying, carb-laden delicious Mexican food in the world. Of course Mexican or Tex-Mex food naturally low in carbs is available, but I, for one, cannot and will not resist those traditional enchiladas or tacos just to skip a few carbs. I find other dietary areas from which to delete my carbs – from other foods in which they’re not so irresistible. My claim about the superiority of Tex-Mex food in the Southern region of Texas is fact, not at all hyperbolic. No one has to take my word for it, however; doubters are free to do the field research themselves. I suggest they begin their culinary investigation at Rosario’s in San Antonio.

 

The folks at Rosario’s make dining out so easy! The service is always impeccable, no matter how crowded. More important to me, however, is the ease with which I, a Celiac, can eat gluten-free at this restaurant. The menu has a little g f sign next to the dishes that are either gluten-free, or can be made gluten-free. Unlike many gluten-friendly restaurant menus, Rosario’s offers an expansive selection of gluten-free dishes. These dishes can be ordered with sauces and all the trimmings, unlike many restaurants that say their dishes can be made gluten-free, but to make them so mean to leave off everything but a few lettuce leaves and tomatoes. One chain of Tex-Mex restaurants (the name of which I won’t publicize) has so little gluten-free friendly items to offer that the hapless Celiac or gluten-intolerant patron who wanders in with gluten-is-fine friends can choose from a salad without any dressing, or a taco with only guacamole and nothing else. Not so at Rosario’s. Certain dishes, such as the chicken mole, are not available to people who can’t eat gluten, but the rest of the offerings are so abundant that we really cannot complain about skipping the mole sauce.

The wait staff, in addition to offering superb service, are knowledgeable about gluten as well as which dishes contain gluten and can be made without the gluten, which dishes cannot be made without gluten, and which dishes are naturally gluten-free. Even though the menu makes ordering gluten-free extremely simple, one still finds she has questions none-the-less (just to double and triple check – you gluten-intolerant people know how it is). The wait staff is always ready with an answer without having to run to the kitchen to double-check or to find out the answer to the question. I’ve eaten there successfully every time, with not so much as a hint of cross-contamination or accidental gluten-poisoning. I only wish I could also review the desserts, too; I get so full by the time I finish a meal at Rosario’s that I just can’t manage a sweet finish to the evening.

On a recent visit to Rosario’s, Phillip ordered Tacos a la Rosario’s, filled with chicken (but they can also be filled with beef or guacamole). These tacos are gluten-free. I forgot to ask about the sauce, since he was eating the tacos and I was not! At any rate, the sauce is served on the side. Phillip said the tacos were perfectly cooked and seasoned, and the accompanying sauce had just the right amount of bite.

Tacos a la Rosario's  Served with salsa de molcajete.

Tacos a la Rosario’s
Served with salsa de molcajete.

I ordered the Enchiladas Mexicanas on this particular visit to Rosarios. The enchiladas were flavorable; The cabbage lime slaw adds a nice crunchy texture to the dish.The guajillos and pasilla sauce that tops these cheese enchiladas has a rich flavor that corresponds with the rich, dark red color. I found it to be a little on the spicy side (enough to require a tissue for the nose), but definitely still edible and totally tasty.

Enchiladas Mexicanas Chiles guajillos and pasillas are the foundation of the delicious sauce that tops three queso fresco filled enchiladas. Served with avocado, cabbage lime slaw and grilled jalapeño pepper. Topped with fried potatoes, carrots, cilantro and drizzled with crema fresca.

Enchiladas Mexicanas 

Rosario’s, fortunately, has two locations: one in Southtown (which is fortunate for Celiac / gluten-intolerant tourists, for many of the restaurants located in downtown San Antonio are NOT gluten-friendly) and one more centrally located (near the airport). The attractive décor is modern, with bright colors and open spaces.

Rosario's 4

IMG_2236

I can’t speak to the Southtown location, but I must mention a tiny little flaw in an otherwise perfectly comfortable, pleasing setting: the acoustics. The design of the San Pedro Rosario’s seems to allow for much busy noise, but no easy conversation. People have to yell to be heard across the table, but once the food arrives, everyone’s too busy eating to talk anyway.

Rosario's 5

One other tiny criticism, while I’m noting imperfections: no Mexican Coke on the menu (c’mon – I’m already throwing my reduced carb diet under the proverbial bus when I’m eating Tex-Mex anyway, so a few more carbs in the form of a Mexican Coke won’t hurt). In fact, the restaurant carries ONLY Pepsi products! Please. Pepsi never can and never will equal in quality and flavor to Coca Cola as a beverage. Not even to Coke with corn syrup in it. Order wine or iced tea when you visit Rosario’s (for sadly, Topo Chico isn’t offered among available beverages, either).

Rosario’s is a nearly perfect Tex-Mex eating establishment. The number and variety of gluten-free menu options is amazing, the food is excellent in quality and abundant in quantity, the service is excellent, the ambiance pleasing, and the prices are beyond reasonable. Celiac or gluten-intolerant people who live in or visit San Antonio can confidently add Rosario’s to the list of safe and pleasing places to eat.

 

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