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

Toast the Royal Wedding with British-Gin Cocktails

As Britain’s Prince Harry and U.S.-actress Megan Markle tie the knot, raise a glass to the happy couple—and those close to you—with wedding-themed tipples

Bottoms-Up Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels Recipe

With this fast version of a sticky bun, baking at home can be no muss, no fuss—and delicious

Leslie Bock's Newest Bar Wants to Save the Future

"We're attempting to show humans as messy and complicated."

Rosé All Day: The Best Tastings (Some Free)

More than 100 different rosé wines available to try—many for free

Wine Clubs: The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Sip Better figures out your taste for wine and goes deep

Gavin Kaysen Takes Midwest Gold

A quick note on our 2018 James Beard Best Chef: Midwest

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Get fired up for grilling season with tender, flavorful chicken kebabs by meat guru Bruce Aidells and a marinade that also works well with other proteins

My Name Is Jason and I Used to Hate Brunch

Brunch has undergone a renaissance in the Twin Cities. Food critic Jason DeRusha picks his top spots for brunch this year.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags