We used to go here quite a bit for the gluten free options for our daughter. Not sure if they changed management or if they just stopped training people, but they no longer have adequate controls in place to be considered celiac friendly or even gluten free. No bueno.
Honestly, I'm done with this chain. I went to another place about 30 miles south and my first experience I had a severe reaction (for me) with cross contamination. I went again, gave it a second chance, and I was fine. But this location let me down. The first employee down the line changed their gloves. The second did not and acted like he had no real understanding on what to do. I should have spoken up. Honestly, I feel like a putz for not saying something. But I am kinda new to my diagnosis and I thought maybe I could slide by this time. NOT. I dont think I'll be back. Training is just too inconsistent across the chain.
The food is amazing and if you let them know you have a gluten allergy, they take all the right precautions!
From their allergen list: We have worked diligently to remove wheat gluten from all our sauces, dressings, and proteins. Natural glutens remain only in our flour and wheat tortillas and in two desserts--tres leches and key lime pie. This means that we offer "oceans of gluten-free options" in our menu. All of these items are gluten-free: all enchiladas, all tacos, all salads (without the flour or wheat tortilla), all nachos, and our chicken tortilla so up...which uses corn strips.
Great place to eat. Good food and no stomach problems. 😍
One of my absolute favorites! They make the corn tortillas fresh in the mornings so they go on the grill before any of the flour ones. If you let them know they will happily change their gloves. Everything is gluten free but the desserts and the flour tortillas. My favorite is the sweet pork, the salad is great and so are the enchiladas. We go all the time and have never had a problem!
I can't even give this place one star! I hate giving bad reviews but I must be honest......1.) This place is not Celiac safe like they say. Fresh flour tortillas spin round on a hot plate right at the start of the buffet line. Serving spoons touch the tortillas then go right back in the bin of food. 2.)The green chili has sugar in it, the habanero salsa has sugar, the meat has sugar do not only is it hard being diabetic to properly manage the insulin dosage but it tastes terrible. Spicy mexican food is what I was after and instead it was like a jalapeno with frosting! Yuck! This place is trying to be like Chipotle but doesn't come close.
The food is great and the employees care and do a great job.
Pretty vast GF options, make the fresh made corn tortillas in the morning before they make the flour tortillas. Had the salad with grilled chicken several times and no reaction.
They same guy did my order all through the line. He washed his hands and changed his gloves and used foil on my order.
Loved The raspberry chicken was awesome glad we found this place
— No gluten-free information on the menu
You could see cross contamination in everything. Thankfully I didn’t have my kids with me, they would have gotten extremely sick. I am not quite as sensitive and will survive
— Not very
— No gluten-free information on the menu
I was nervous because the reviews for this location weren’t great, but I also saw that no one had submitted a review in over a year—and a lot can change in a year. When I went, I mentioned an allergy to gluten (in case they didn’t know what celiac meant). And the one employee immediately changed his gloves without being asked, and I saw the other employee washing his hands. The first employee also said, “Gluten Free!” to the other, and he seemed pretty knowledgeable about what was gluten free. I got the steak salad with everything but the tortilla. Basically everything on the menu is gluten free except the tortillas and the desserts (except I think the flan is gluten free). Even the tortilla strips that go on top of the salad are gluten free, as in no cross contamination in a fryer. Everything was delicious, and I’m so glad. I’d heard that basically everything at Cafe Rio has gluten, and I was so sad—but in the gluten free community, everyone says Costa Vida is the way to go. I’ll definitely be back.
— Separate gluten-free menu