Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gluten Free Review of El Pelon Taqueria: The Best Mexican Food in Boston

I don't just mean gluten-free Mexican food, too. I mean of all time. Ever. Famed statistician Nate Silver analyzed Yelp reviews of burrito joints across the U.S., and using some sort of metric that I will never understand (though I got an A in Statistics 115 back at BU!), calculated that El Pelon has the fourth best burrito in the country. Yup, sounds about right.

I've been eating at El Pelon (two locations: one in Brighton near Boston College and one in Boston proper near BU) since college, long before I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I was so sad that I would never be able to eat it again. To my surprise, much of what I love at El Pelon is gluten free! The only thing I can't eat are the burritos (cruel, considering the statistic above). However, the rest of the food is phenomenal and I don't feel like I'm missing a damn thing.

First off, the chips and guacamole (which is amazeballs) are gluten free. The limited menu means that they don't fry anything else in the fryer (except for some select other items that are also gluten free, and I'll get to that in a minute). The plantains are gluten free and perfect. They're not crispy, but they're the soft squishy fried ones that I believe are green, because they are not that sweet. They're served with a smoky red salsa, perfect for dipping.

My other favorite appetizer is the taquitos -- corn tortillas rolled up with shredded beef inside, served with a pico de gallo and the same intoxicating guacamole. These are a real treat -- perfectly fried and crisp.

But the piece de resistance is the fish tacos. Cornmeal-crusted whitefish in a corn tortilla, topped with limed onions and pickled cabbage with a squirt of arbor chile mayo and cucumbers. Absolute heaven, and by far the best fish taco I've ever had. The fish is fried, but as previously mentioned, there is no contamination in the fryer. Everything that's fried is corn-based!
Here is a picture of Brian's birthday meal this past weekend at El Pelon. The best part? All of this was less than $30.


  1. I loved El Pelon, but it seemed like it was always burning down. Have you tried Dorado in Coolidge Corner? It is super delicious and they have GF options too.

  2. It had the misfortune of being located in the same plaza as a restaurant that didn't know how to not burn down the building. But we go to the one by BC that has been blissfully fire free!

    I have not been to Dorado, but I've heard great things about the one in NYC. I'll be sure to check it out, any recommendations on what to get?

    1. The zucchini red pepper taco was my favorite, but everything I tried there was good!