Mexican food?

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There's an article posted in Media today, and the article said PA people have to avoid Asian and Mexican restaurants.

I've never had any trouble with Mexican food, but I did read that peanuts are common in the South Mexican restaurants. Has anyone (midwest USA specifically) had any trouble with Mexican restaurants? I've always stuck to Mexican fast food (pancheros, chipotle's, taco bell) but I'd never dreamed that peanuts would be a problem in a Mexican restaurant aside from the desserts...

On Feb 26, 2006

Apparently peanut butter is commonly used in mole sauce and sometimes in enchiladas.

On Feb 26, 2006

I eat in Mexican restaurants but I stick to the sauces, etc. and I usually only eat at the same tried-and-true restaurants. I order a chicken tostada or cheese quesadilla....I don't even eat the beans.

Before ordering at a Mexican restaurant in Fallbrook, California I checked with the chef and was warned that they made some sort of pesto or mole sauce by chopping up whole peanuts in a blender right there in the kitchen. Scary stuff.

On Feb 26, 2006

I've found that I have to specifically ask in each Mexican restaurant I go into. I'm talking about family owned Mexican restaurants. I've found that chain places are usually safe near me (Taco Bell, On the Border, La Salsa, Rubios)

Some (family owned) are safe, some aren't. You have to specifically ask how their enchilada sauce and mole sauce is made. Some mole sauces use peanuts, some almonds, some walnuts...mole sauce 99% of the time has a nut or peanut in it. Same with adobo sauce. Enchilada sauce in non-traditional mexican restaurants can have peanut butter in them...they are trying to make a mole. I was in Boise, ID a few years ago and asked about the enchilada sauce and was disgusted to find it had peanut butter in it!

Anyhoot - you also have to be wary of oils as well - sometimes they use peanut oil b/c it makes things crispier. Myself, I'm not comfortable with peanut oil (refined or unrefined) and finding out if it affects me or not.


------------------ 30-year old survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

On Feb 26, 2006

The El Torito chain is very popular in California. We used to have them in Mass. several years ago. We ate at the one in Santa Monica and DD was fine. They assured me they did not use any peanut/nut products/oils.

However, I didn't like it. For the cheese on my taco, they used feta. YUCK!I like feta, but not on my taco!

On Feb 26, 2006

We have found mexican restaurants that cook with peanut oil. Peanuts and other nuts are often used in mole sauce and enchilada sauce. Found nuts in the salad. Watch out for pine nuts, too.


------------------ Mom to 6 1/2 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

On Feb 26, 2006

Our local Mexican joint is definitely off limits. They make their own nacho chips, fried in peanut oil. They use ground nuts for mole sauce, etc. No way.

On the other hand, Baja Fresh (which my DH and I hate buy the kids love) was totally safe the last time I checked. It's a pale imitation of real Mexican food though.


On Feb 26, 2006

Yes, peanut oil is a concern.

And this may not be a midwest concern, and it's not even a concnern everywhere in Texas, but you should ask about peanut flour. It's a concern regionally in Texas and I've found we run into it at smaller family owned restaurants elsewhere in Texas. Sometimes it's used to make tortillas, and sometimes it's simply used to thicken a sauce.

But we do eat a lot of Mexican food. And we can ask about these ingredients in Spanish if need be.

On Feb 26, 2006

We were initially very surprised by this as well, since with DD's allergies up until fairly recently, Mexican was just about IT as far as restaurants go.

We also avoid sauces and always have, but clearly we weren't going to "upscale" places with a toddler. [img][/img] So anyway, we found as she got older that with nicer places Mole was frequently a problem. We don't eat anywhere that serves Mole. Other than that we've literally [i]never[/i] run into PN/TN.

Our favorite place is actually cafeteria style, so they make the food right in front of you... the salad dressing (egg) is the only thing we fear there. It is literally our [i]only[/i] restaurant at this point. DD eats a bowl of frijoles negros and we get salads with no dressing. We all eat tortilla chips and freshly made pico de gallo.

Very tasty.

On Feb 26, 2006

Well, now I'm worried. Has anyone checked the Mole sauce at Pancheros? They introduced it recently (I moved away but they're planning on opening a place nearby, I planned on being the first in line at the opening). I just sent an email asking about it.

I ate there a LOT after it was introduced, and I told my parents, pancheros is a cross-contamination nightmare (peppers in the cheese, lettuce in the beans, meat flying everywhere) and if they ever introduced a peanut product I'd be screwed. But I'm not TNA, so maybe that's why I didn't have a problem...I hope they write back soon, they have the *best* homemade tortillas.

On Mar 3, 2006


------------------ 30-year old survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy