Our new house is in a new community… so there is construction going on constantly. Which is actually not as awful as I had expected it to be. Even when the house next door to our was under construction it wasn’t really noisy. There seem to be small teams of trades that come, do their part and then move on to the next house. My only problem comes from the teams that play the spunky music like you hear in the Mexican restaurants. Apparently I’ve got some Pavlovian response going on and the second I hear Mexican music I start craving nachos and salsa. I can’t help it… I can’t shut up about it either. I may be making Mom and Brian slightly crazy with my constant talk about nachos. We’ve had taco bowls for dinner twice this week! I really hope that team moves out of earshot soon. I don’t seem to have any uncontrollable cravings from country or rock music, so I should be fine soon.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on if we’re considering my detox or my crazed cravings…. Tijuana Flats just opened in Town Center. Even though I’m on this 30-day Arbonne Detox I couldn’t miss the grand opening. I checked the menu online first to make sure I wouldn’t be faced with salsa and chips as my only options… because I wouldn’t be able to resist. They actually had a really easy to read/understand Allergy Information page. (Why can’t they all be like this?!) It’s a nice chart that clearly list gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, nuts and fish…. and best of all… says sensible things like “dairy free if ordered without cheese.” So often these charts leave you to wonder…. is there dairy/gluten in there somewhere that I’m not imagining? Would it be safe if I just didn’t get cheese on it? Is it worth the risk???
I figured I’d be safe with one of the Bowls and could even stay within most of the Detox restrictions. I’d have to forgo the chips this time… but 20 more days and everybody better stand aside!
Mom and I tried to go at lunchtime, but that was just silly. The parking lot was packed and cars and golf carts were circling the lot like…. well…. hungry sharks. To celebrate their Grand Opening, Tijuana Flats was offering free burritos…. there was no way I was going to get a parking spot at noon. Duh!
We replotted the schedule and did our grocery shopping first… on empty tummies…. Can you even imagine what I threw in the cart?!
Fortunately I was finally able to sneak into a parking space around 1:00. Mom and I darted across the parking lot, dodging golf carts all the way and were promptly blasted back by the music and chatter from inside. I feel old just for saying this…. but damn, turn the music down! The greeter at the door supplied us with menus and when I asked about a gluten free menu she said they didn’t have a ‘menu’ but they did have the allergy info and offered to grab it from the counter for me. I already had it on my phone, so I passed, but she did add that the people at the order counter could help me too.
After glancing at the menu, Mom and I decided to stick to our game plan… Burrito Bowls. I told the ladies at the counter that we were gluten free and they all nodded confidently, and started rattling off a long list of things that would be safe. They even mentioned items that are gluten free, but would be at risk for cross contamination from the fryers. (Bonus Points!) We ordered our Bowls to-go since we still had the groceries in the car and I sent Mom out to turn the A/C back on while I waited.
It was crowded and noisy (just turn the music down a little?) but all the staff was just so darn nice. They must have been feeding them pixi-sticks and Mt Dew in the back room or something, because after that crowd I don’t know how everyone was still being friendly. The restaurant had a giant mermaid picture on one wall and I thought about snapping a picture, but it was crowded and I didn’t think I could crop out all the people… so I guess I’ll just have to go back again soon…. for the blog. There is a nice patio area outside where I’d probably choose to sit next time… just to avoid the noise. When your order is ready a server comes out and YELLS your name…. repeatedly, because apparently no one pays attention, or maybe they just can’t hear either.
The Burrito Bowls were huge and absolutely delicious. We both ordered chicken, and had them hold the cheese and sour cream (this time). Everything was bright and fresh. I can’t wait until I’m done with this detox and I can try the tacos! The burritos were HUGE and look fantastic, but they’re made with a flour tortilla, so those won’t be safe for me even after the Detox Program is through. I’m just happy to have a safe and yummy Mexican place so close to home now!
I just noticed when I went to get the link…. I can order online… OMG!!!! Just think of the snacking possibilities!
Tijuana Flats – Nocatee
41 Settlement Drive
Ponte Vedra, FL 32081