The Allergy Family recently made the journey from our home in the South East of England to visit family in Yorkshire. We travelled along the M1/A1, which is the main route up the middle of England. Usually, it is hard for us to eat in motorway service stations. We were very pleased to discover a new chain of restaurants, El Mexicana, which has several branches around the UK, including several service stations. It is possible to eat gluten free, vegan, and even gluten free and vegan there easily.
You start by choosing your base; both the salad and corn tortillas are gluten free. You then add your filling, with a choice of chicken, pulled pork, beef, and two vegetarian options. You add the extras that you want rice, refried beans, cheese, sour cream, etc. Finally, it is topped with a salsa of your choice.
The front tortilla in the photograph above is vegan and gluten free. The base is a corn tortilla. The filling is vegetable chilli with rice, pinto beans, onions, peppers and lettuce. It is topped with tomatillo salsa. It tasted amazing. Fresh and flavourful. I really can’t understand why there was a queue for McDonald’s when I could walk straight up to the counter here and get something much healthier that tasted so much better.
Unfortunately, their gluten control was a little variable. We visited two branches: Peterborough and Cambridge. The staff member at the Cambridge branch took great care. She put on fresh gloves to make our order and wrapped the tortillas in foil so that when they went in the griddle they didn’t touch the same metal surfaces as the wheat products. The staff member at Peterborough was clearly new to the job and wasn’t quite sure what she was doing generally. She didn’t know to put the tortillas in foil before heating them, for example. At both branches, the corn tortillas were stored in a separate sealed box away from the wheat products.
Thanks, El Mexicana, for making it a little easier for us to visit our family!