Edit ModuleShow Tags

Elizabeth’s Pick: Rojo Mexican Grill


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


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

Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Fresh, homemade bread is faster and easier than you think with dough that mixes in five minutes and needs no time to rise

Hello Pizza Turns 5, Ann Kim Short-listed for James Beard Award

Hello Pizza might have middle-child syndrome next to Ann Kim's other pizza shops—but this is what makes it worth revisiting

2018 James Beard Award Finalists

Minnesota chefs stay prominent in the James Beard shortlist

Brews for Good

Guinness is donating $1 to charity for each adult that dons a ‘stache and shares on social media now through March 31, 2018

3 Reasons to Brunch This Weekend

Elegant N/A drinks, outstanding oeufs, and the best of ’80s hair rock this weekend

Blueberry-Walnut Squares Recipe

Enjoy a double-dose of antioxidants with walnuts and blueberries in this treat

Oscar Party Appetizers

Elevate your table with a trio of jazzed up party bites for a win in the best supporting snacks category

Exploring Washington Wines

Sample and discover delicious wines from our country’s second-largest wine-producing area at the Food & Wine Experience March 3 and 4

27 Best Twin Cities Restaurants For Wine

From big-name wine experts to surprising hidden gems, here's where you can always get a glass of great wine
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags