Edit ModuleShow Tags

Elizabeth’s Pick: Rojo Mexican Grill


Published:

I’m interrupting the Dara & Co. State Fair Extravaganza to bring you this exciting announcement: Chi-Chi’s is back.

But wait—this is actually a good thing. Bear with me a second.

The same guys who brought us Sauce pizza and wine bar earlier this summer just opened Rojo Mexican Grill a few doors down at the Shops of West End in SLP. Turns out that co-owner Michael McDermott’s father founded Chi-Chi’s in the 1970s. Thus began a celebration of food. Er, of watered down salsa, rubbery mozzarella, and corn-flake-encrusted ice cream. At least that’s how I remember the “Mexican” cuisine of my youth.

According to McDermott’s business partner Jason Merritt, however, nothing from Chi Chi’s menu was resurrected for Rojo. There’s still salsa, but man is it good. Chunky and fresh and clean. Be sure to ask for the verde, the creamiest, most addicting rendition of the spicy-tart-herby green blend I’ve ever had. I nearly picked up the little bowl and swigged it like soup. Next: a corn-on-the-cob appetizer that would’ve been perfect swathed in butter and ancho chili powder, but Rojo then schmears those poor cobs with aioli and rolls them in Cotija cheese. Did I say I wasn’t going to talk about State Fair food? I lied.

After I scraped 1000 excess calories off my corn, I ate every kernel. And moved on to the tacos that have haunted my dreams ever since: charred snapper, chipotle mayonnaise, and sweet cabbage slaw on corn tortillas (though you may opt for the house-made flour version). Gah. So fresh and savory and sweet and crunchy and soft. I couldn’t put my finger on why the super-light slaw tasted so nutty and complex until I peered closer and saw a smattering of caraway seeds. Turns out that I am cuckoo for caraway, and they totally make the meal. Unless you count the fried ice cream, which took me right back to Chi Chi’s. In a good way.

Rojo Mexican Grill
1602 West End Blvd.
, St. Louis Park
952-657-5385

  

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Deep Dish Sausage and Mushroom Pie Recipe

Get a helping hand in the kitchen with ready-made dough and whip up your own nearly double-decker pizza

3 Things to Eat This Week: Sept. 20–24

Sip a "frozen rose" on the Lexington's new rooftop patio, crunch into a celery root pavé at Corner Table, and sink your teeth into the porchetta sandwich in Fulton's taproom.

Apple Pancakes with Maple-Apple Sauce Recipe

It’s apple harvest time, so step up your breakfast with apples in the pancake mix plus a sweet apple maple sauce to top it all off

I Drank All of Target's New $5 Wines. Should You?

$5 California Roots is competing with 2 (or 3) Buck Chuck—some good, some not.

Middle Eastern Yogurt-Crusted Roast Chicken with Cucumber Salad Recipe

Need an idea for chicken? Roast a deliciously flavorful and juicy bird with a spiced yogurt marinade

Delicata in St. Paul and Mercy in Downtown Minneapolis are worth your time and money

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Celebrate Grandparents Day this September 10th

Celebrate Grandparent's Day and create new memories with family.

Spicy Korean-Style Pork Kebabs Recipe

Celebrate summer with flavorful make-ahead kebabs—it's not all over yet!

5 Party Foods with Berries

Fire up the grill and create a few final, lasting memories of Summer 2017.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags