Back in January I made mention of a new Mexican restaurant opening in Rosemount over near Suzie’s Kitchen. Soon after it opened I stopped and took a look at the menu posted on their window and turned away disappointed by the mundane items. However, after much urging from several commenters both on the site and via e-mail, I decided to make it a point to get over there to try it out. With us heading to UMore to visit their open house we decided to hit up Las Tortillas on the way.
We arrived right at 5 PM. There were two other people dining at tables and one or two at the bar chatting with the chef. We were seated all the way in the dark rear corner of the restaurant while there were plenty of bright and sunny spaces near the front. Our server was training another staff member as she had a ghost on her hip at all times. She left us with some chips and salsa, took our drink orders and let us look over the menu for a while.
The menu is mainly standard fare for a Mexican place and includes street tacos, burritos, tortas, and the like. However there are some other additions which I find abhorrent on a Mexican restaurant’s menu such as beer battered walleye and tequila shrimp pasta. We stuck to the usual and I placed an order for their Pulled Pork Torta listed on the menu as “Pulled pork, pico de gallo, queso fresco, lettuce & bean spread on a toasted roll” with fruit (it said $1.95 on their menu but they still charged me the $1.75 listed on their online menu) for $7.25 which was up from the $6.75 listed online. The Wife ordered beef pastor street tacos which is listed as, “Three house-made yellow corn tortillas, hard or soft with lime, salsa verde & spicy roja salsa” for $6.25 up $1.00 from the $5.25 online. In addition she placed an order, all while holding her nose over the name, for the “Gringo Taco Setup” which included lettuce, pico de gallo, cheddar and Fresco cheese for $1.50 more. We threw in three beef tacos for The Rooster which set us back an additional $4.50. Two soft drinks ($2.25/ea) and their “Spicy Pepper Relish” for .50 more rounded out our order.
While you’re never supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth, the freebie chips and salsa were below average at best. While The Wife appreciated that the chips weren’t greasy or over-salted, the salsa itself left much to be desired. If they weren’t Redgold’s Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies pureed, I’d be in absolute shock. The salsa tasted canned, was runny, and even the wife remarked that it was missing something. That something was taste–other than the taste of cheaply canned tomatoes. We ordered a second round of it just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Sure enough, same runny consistency and lack of flavor. I hoped it wasn’t a sign of things to come…
Our entrees eventually arrived, incredible as it was being that our server was far more interested in training the new employee than ensuring we were satisfied with our service. The Rooster’s tacos were nothing special. Ground beef, soft tortillas which you can buy in stacks of 50 for $1.85 next door at Cub in the Mexican foods aisle, and some shredded lettuce with shredded cheddar. That’s it. For $4.50. The beef had no discernible flavor and he ate very little of it leaving plenty to take home and feed to the dog.
The Wife’s Street Tacos were surprisingly devoid of anything. While they were supposed to come with salsa verde and a spicy roja salsa, what they came out with was a tiny pile of green mush with some red stuff on top. If it was more than a tablespoon all together I’d be surprised. Her “Gringo” (can we please, please, please stop calling items on Mexican restaurant menus “Gringo”? It’s derogatory and ridiculous. Grow up.) toppings were the same shredded lettuce and cheddar that The Rooster had with some fresco cheese shavings and pico-de-gallo which was the most basic definition possible. I’d be willing to bet it had nothing more than tomatoes and onions as I couldn’t taste anything else but who knows, maybe The Wife got some into her mouth before I could take a stab at the pile. The meat itself was ok but certainly nothing special. The Wife noted it had some “kick” but I certainly couldn’t taste it. Sadly it sat on the same cheap tortillas The Rooster received and they were soft, chewy, and soaking wet. If they weren’t microwaved I’d be very surprised.
My Pulled Pork Torta was huge, the vegetables were fresh and bright, and the added pepper relish provided an acceptable kick. Unfortunately those are the only good things I can say. The meat was bland and lacking any and all crunch–might as well have cooked it in the crock pot for the last 10 hours and been plopped right on the crumbling bread. The beans overpowered the meat, something which should never happen, and there was no decent cheese flavor or any avocado. It’s clear that Las Tortillas needs to visit a couple of the local taquerias and learn from them before serving another mediocre sandwich while calling it a torta. They can start at Tacolmeca once it reopens next to Primetime or the gas station restaurant right on the border of Northfield and Dundas on MN-3. As it is, it’s pretty clear they were taking torta making lessons from Taqueria Hidalgo and you know how much I loved that place.
However, the food and general lack of service were not the biggest disappointments. The biggest shock came when we received a bill for $28.12. With a commenter noting that a meal for 2.5 back in June set them back only $20, I was expecting something more reasonable than a price I could pay for much tastier food served with a smile at any number of other local places starting with Taqueria La Hacienda.
Overall Las Tortillas was a total pass for us and while others have found plenty of great qualities about the place, I’d much rather spend $30 at just about anywhere else in town instead. In fact, there is only one other Mexican place I would rank below this one and when you’re in competition with Tereasa’s Mexican Restaurant in Lakeville, you know you’re a total failure. The Wife, as if peering into the future, muttered to no one in particular, “Maybe a diner will move in.” One can only hope.
Have you ever eaten at Las Tortillas in Rosemount? If so what did you think? Are you offended by restaurants using “gringo” on their menus? What do you think about their menu and prices? Whatever you have to say about Las Tortillas Mexican Restaurant go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Las Tortillas Mexican Restaurant
15051 Crestone Ave
Rosemount, MN 55068
Monday: 4 PM to 9 PM
Tuesday – Thursday: 11 AM to 9 PM
Friday – Saturday: 11 AM to 10 PM
Sunday: 11 AM to 8 PM
See all the pictures from Las Tortillas in Rosemount on Flickr here.