A friend of mine on Facebook posts about the Baja Fish Company very often. He’s a big fan. So, when i found out that they offer gluten-free options, I was excited to give them a try.
“Gluten-Free options” are always interesting. Some restaurants have an entire menu for gluten-free, others have just barely any options. Most the time, I end up with a list of ingredients, some sort of chart, or other lists. When I mentioned to my waitress last night that I needed a “gluten-free menu,” she told me that most the menu can be made gluten-free. The exceptions on the menu are the fried items because of other battered and breaded items, and things with cream sauces. Those are made with roux, as I kind of figured anyway.
For once, ordering was completely uncomplicated. I ordered their special, the fish taco plate, two fish tacos, rice and beans for $6.00. She remembered I needed gluten-free and asked if I wanted blackened or grilled. She didn’t even offer the battered which was a relief because I know I’d been heard.
That was it. It didn’t take me 20 minutes and looking over 3 different sheets of paper (like some restaurants where I have to look at grids, ingredients, etc). Dinner was ordered and we could just chat.
Dinner arrived and I admit it looked so wonderful I forgot to take a picture before diving in! The corn tortillas were soft and moist, no crumbling. The fish was cooked and seasoned well. (I got one grilled and one blackened. I liked the blackened slightly better because they contained more flavor.) The tacos were attractive, stuffed full, and lightly drizzled with a lovely light dressing, and the addition of their fresh salsa made them excellent. Rice with roasted corn and whole beans with a bit of shredded cheese were delicious sides. The portion size was perfect.
One of the most important things to me, besides finding great gluten-free food without hassle, is knowing I’m safe. Whenever I plan on recommending a restaurant to other GF/Celiac friends and plan on writing a review, I always ask about kitchen practices. At some point, I had the opportunity to talk with the owner, Mike, about how they handle the gluten-free preparation.
Mike informed me they have a lot of customers with allergy and gluten free needs, so he tries to educate the staff as best as he can. When it is asked a meal be prepared gluten-free, they prepare it in a separate skillet and not on the grill to avoid cross-contamination. He realizes that everyone’s sensitivity level varies and wants to make sure the most sensitive are safe. He also makes sure they buy corn tortillas that are strictly corn with no flour added or used.
He reiterated which sauces that cannot be ordered, especially the (divine sounding) cream sauces and said they are happy to make substitutions for people when needed. They have a Baja Seafood boil, which I asked if that’s safe and he said, “yes.” Can’t wait to try that one sometime!
Baja Fish Co. is a great place to take friends who might be on a gluten-free diet. It’s often difficult to find a restaurant to enjoy together. If you’re in the Northern Co area, it’s worth the drive for good, safe food for celiac; and just darn great seafood tacos for anyone.
I know I’d love the chance to try the cream sauces, (a poblano cream sauce and a chipoltle cream sauce) perhaps if enough people mention they’d love to try them, they can find a different medium for their roux. I’m tempted to take a cup or two of my Jules GlutenFree Flour down to see if they’d be willing to try to adapt the recipe.
Overall, fantastic meal, great price for the special, and the piece of mind knowing I’m safe to eat there and they are taking precautions to keep their customers safe. It was a bit slow last night, so if you are looking for a great place to eat out and you live in Loveland, Ft. Collins, Windsor, Greeley, Longmont, etc., check it out. If you are traveling to the area this season, it’s a great place to tell your hosts you’d like to try.
They are located in Downtown Loveland, right off 4th street.
Baja Fish Company
119 E. 4th Street
Loveland, Co 80537