This restaurant has closed
Zapatista used to have gluten free items clearly marked on their menu and a supposed dedicated fryer but it seems they've done away with that along with any allergy safety training for their staff. After server told me I could "order any taco or fajitas with corn tortillas" to make it gluten free I ordered the steak tacos and again requested no gluten. Nonetheless, my taco came out with a pile of breaded and fried onions on top of it. I would be wary of any of the dishes (esp sides like rice, beans) and do not believe this restaurant caters to celiacs or gluten free clients.
I love this restaurant! I got the cheese enchiladas and had chips and guacamole. There was only one option for dessert which is plantains fried in vanilla infused tequila and topped with ice cream. The dessert is very delicious and a huge portion. Staff is very knowledgeable and I enjoyed the experience.
Have eaten there twice now and have not been disappointed either time. Both times we did the vegetarian enchiladas with cheese on top (not because I am vegetarian, but because they are so GOOD!). Enchiladas are made gluten free by subbing the corn tortillas for the flour ones - it is the only gluten concern. Chips are excellent with a spicy salsa. The first time we went there was a Groupon and we enjoyed the Chorizo Fundido as well. Drinks are a bit expensive but of a good size, and both times we had great service. You can make a reservation (call 1 hour ahead) or walk in, and they had both reserved seating and on-demand seating in the bar area. This restaurant is a little on the loud side when it is busy and they often have live bands or DJs on Saturday night.
Impressed with the service received. Staff was responsive when I requested additional information and they were open about ingredients and processes used to prepare food items. Lower price point for GF as well.
What the others said. I have eaten here a few times and never felt great after. The chips are a no-no, made that mistake before. Didn't know the rice was not okay... I figured it was that or the margarita I always order. Funny thing is the Naperville location is absolutely wonderful and I never felt sick after eating there. My guess is its a cross contamination issue at this location. They really need to figure these issues out- it's a Mexican restaurant for god's sake. Most of the menu should be naturally gluten free.
While Zapatista has a gluten free menu the waitstaff is not knowledgable so dine with caution. I ordered the enchalidas which were makred gluten free. I also advised the server of my allergy emphasizing that I get very ill with gluten contamination. He assured me my meal would be gluten free. It arrived with enchalidas and the mexican rice. It wasn't until I became ill after eating that I discovered the mexican rice is not gluten free. To determine this you must look at the menu under sides and to be fair to Zapatista it is not marked as gluten free. However, there is no notation on the individual dishes that come with these sides to avoid them or substitute. While, I take blame for not being more vigilent in my examination of the menu, I am frustrated that the waitstaff was not more knowledgable about what dishes were in fact gluten free. The food was good but not worth the next few days where I will be suffering intense pain.
Rachel had great points. I just encountered the same situation. Chips, fries and rice are all on the gluten free menu, but are NOT safe. Server just confirmed it. He said they are still in the process of changing the menu. I wouldn't have thought to ask about these items if it was not for Rachel's review. I'm just happy I read it to avoid getting sick!! Geesh!
Celiacs and gluten-intolerant beware: I was glutened here. Fortunately, I don't get sick when I get glutened but I'm sure it's still done damage for me in my intestines. A server had misinformed me that the chips were fried in their own oil and that they were safe. After eating some, I asked the waiter if they were safe and he said they were not. Then I spoke to the manager who confirmed that they were, indeed, cross-contaminated (fried in shared oil). She said that the server didn't speak really good English and didn't understand my question. Then when I ordered from their "gluten-free" menu, I was warned that one of the entrees on there was not gluten-free. I was also warned that the sides of french fries AND rice were not safe, either. I asked them why they hadn't corrected their menu yet. The manager said that they would do that "soon." I filled out a complaint form and warned them that they may not be so lucky with someone else who has a gluten problem in the future. Lesson learned: just because a restaurant has a "gluten-free" menu, don't assume they are anymore informed about the gluten-free diet than any other restaurant. Always be skeptical and don't take anything for granted. So, you may want to avoid this restaurant that has a "gluten-free" menu and is listed in many gluten-free sites as a safe place to eat.