Dining out while managing food allergies is always a challenging one. In fact, the most common question I’m now getting is “Which restaurants do you go to?” Whether the one asking has food restrictions or not, the curiosity is definitely there.
While we don’t eat out as much anymore (We used to eat out every Sundays.) because of the children’s allergies, the food adventurer in me is still strong.
Since I’m the one without any food restrictions in the family, it also became my “job” to find places where the our family can safely dine. That’s why when I was contacted to visit Chevy’s Fresh Mex Restaurant in Linden, NJ, I got really excited.
For starters, before this visit, I was not familiar with Chevy’s except for the Free Kids Meal coupons my sons bring home every time they make it as Student of the Week or Student of the Month. The invitation encouraged me to finally make that trip.
When my husband and I entered Chevy’s Fresh Mex, our first impression was that the meals are on the higher side. While the ambiance seemed relaxed and family friendly, the decor was really well though of and beautiful. Something that is normally associated with tourist areas.
After looking at the menu, I was surprised to see that the place is quite affordable.
Each table also gets this complimentary salsa and dip starter. Both made from scratch in the restaurant, these simple treat is unforgettable. The chips are paper thin and crispy. Not greasy at all. The salsa which contains charred “chiles” is not only unique but really tasty as well.
Check out the sampler appetizer. At $14, this is can easily be a main course for someone like me (or two) who wants a bit of everything. While it all tasted really good, the Chicken Flautas with Pineapple was my instant favorite.
For the main course, I got something from the Summer Menu special. The Brisket Enchiladas which comes with rice, choice of beans and a scoop of tamalito was such a feast. The complex flavors worked well together. Oh, did I mention that the portion is very generous? If you’ll visit Chevy’s any time soon, don’t hesitate to order this as it is only available at a limited time.
As for the husband’s entree, he ordered the famous Mixed Grill Fajitas. This alone can definitely feed a family and I’m not joking! The carnitas stood out in this batch. It’s tender, juicy and well seasoned. No need for extra condiments. The beef was cooked to perfection but lacked something. It really needed to be part of a wrap. Both my husband and I were disappointed with the shrimps and chicken. Yes, the two proteins were expertly cooked, (juicy, soft and melt in your mouth), the seasonings were quite off. The chicken was bland while the shrimps were very salty.
Over all, my husband and I were delighted with the appetizers and sides — rice, beans, guacamole and Tamalitos (yellow corn based pudding like side). Even though we had tons of leftovers, I can’t resist but order an extra. It’s really addictive!
Now for the important question.
Is Chevy’s allergy friendly?
While there’s no specific gluten free or allergy menu, the manager gladly reported that the restaurant is already FREE of Tree nuts, peanuts and soy.
If you have other food restrictions or allergies, they are very much accommodating. Just let the server/ manager know right away so that they can customize the dish according to your needs. They even have specific sides that are vegetarian.
A note to my dairy free friends. This is a cheese paradise. Even though they are willing to accommodate, the rampant use of cheese on the dishes is something to be considered.
Have you been to Chevy’s? What do you think?