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jensey

Baja Fresh Steak And Chicken Not Gluten Free

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I've been eating at Baja fresh for years. When I thought I had Celiac disease I stopped eating out altogether. A couple years back after looking at Baja fresh his website I was pleased to find out I could eat there except for the obvious cross contamination issues or obvious menu choices (flour tortillas, breaded fish ).

Anyway I don't need to give detailed account of how I found out. Turns out the Spanish rice is fried in the deep fryer (cross contamination), and the chicken and steak are marinated in a brine that has soy sauce. This is a good reminder to not become complacent and ask servers regularly about whether menu items are gluten free of not, even if you frequent the restaurant often. I

I THOUGHT I told the servers several times I couldn't have gluten, I also thought when I mentioned I couldn't have the rice my server would have let me know about the steak and chicken. None of that was the case, I have to work on getting confirmation everytime.

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They used to have an on- line allergen menu but I can't find it now. A few years ago, most stuff was gluten-free but our Baja Fresh closed so I never pursued it. Kind of weird - trying to figure out how you fry rice in a tortilla fryer. I would think all the rice would float about. Not sure what frying would do for the rice?

But, in a place like this, I doubt the people cooking really know what is in the sauces and things that they get. Even if they make everything themselves, I bet most of these minimum wage cooks don't know soy sauce can contain wheat or anything about cc.

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In November we stayed at a hotel that had a Baja Fresh near it.  I looked it up and was able to find something that said their meat was not safe.  They must have changed their recipe since you first started dining there, really sucks :(  But I do agree, low wage line cooks and workers are not going to have your back, unfortunately.  Your chances are better with a good chef, but even then there are some misconceptions and such.

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I recently contacted Baja Fresh and they confirmed the recipes changed about 2 years ago, and that the rice is deep fried in the same fryer used for breaded items. I am guessing the changes occurred not long after the new CEO came in. I looked online several times on and off over the past year or so to find out if it was gluten free, and clearly I was only reading old posts. Also I failed to do the most important standard step we all learn to do after our diagnosis...inform servers every time you are out to eat that you cannot have any gluten. Complacency got the better of me, well and I loved the taste of their steak fajitas ;). There are still options there which is great.

In my correspondence with Baja Fresh I asked if they would post a gluten free menu or information regarding what items may contain gluten on their website. The response was courteous but not definitive. Only time will tell if that will happen. So, again, for now do your due diligence and ask, ask, ask, and when in doubt go without. Happy, healthy eating to all.

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I recently ate a Baja Fresh 2 days in a row and little did I know, I ate a plateful of gluten.  I have been eating there for years with little problem, but I knew something was up, my throat thickened, was irritated, breathing was heavier, and my stomach turned to mush.

 

I emailed Baja Fresh, and found out that their allergen list or whatever you call it had changed recently.

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I didn't get to finish my post.

 

I confirmed with Baja Fresh.  Chicken and Beef/steak are now both marinated with soy sauce, and they use the gluten contaminated deep fryer to cook their rice.

 

So please be careful. 

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