Aug 212008

Cuisine: Mexican
Restaurant Features: Bar, Patio Dining, On-Site Parking

Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN
Address: 2922 Upper 55th Street  Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076 (651) 554-1111

Links: Baja-Sol Website  Google Map
Atmosphere: Fun, bright and colorful, Baja Sol Cantina is a good-sized restaurant located at the end of a strip mall.  There are several tables and booths to accommodate parties of various sizes.

There is a large Bar Area located at the front of the restaurant (you can kind of see it in the way back of the photo below), complete with several large-screen TVs.

There is also a nice patio area, a great place to enjoy one of the 18 specialty margaritas or other cold beverage.


Menu: Appetizers at Baja Sol Cantina include Sweet Corn Cakes, Chicken or Steak Quesadillas, Baja Wings, Baja Nachos, Avocado Empanadas, Del Rio Empanadas (grilled chicken, black bean and corn), Chicken or Beef Taquitos, and Chips with Guacamole or Queso.  There are also two Sampler Platters that each have 4-5 different appetizers. Soups offered are the Baja Chili and Cheesey Chicken Enchilada Soup.
There are also a number of salads, like the Tequila Honey Lime Shrimp, Painted Desert, Baja Tostada, Fajita Tostada Salad, Chicken Caesar, and Margarita Chopped Salad.

Taco plates come with three tacos, rice, and black or pinto beans.  Choose from the Primo Style Tacos (meat*, lettuce, cheese, sour cream), Baja Style Tacos (meat* with onions and cilantro), Fajita Tacos (meat, peppers, onions), and Fish Tacos (lightly fried fish, cabbage, onion and cilantro).

Burritos are also served with choice of meat*, rice and black or pinto beans and include the Grande Burrito, Smothered Burrito  (green chile sauce), Enchilada Burrito, Fajita Burrito, BBQ Burrito (Chipotle BBS sauce) or the Chicken Caesar Burrito.
Sierra Sandwiches are wraps that are served hot, and include Steak or Chicken Fajita, Chipotle BBQ Carnitas, Portabella Mushroom, and Grilled Veggies.
Entrees include Fajitas (Steak, Chicken, Shrimp, or Grilled Veggies), Peach Mango Tilapia, Margarita Chicken (marinated in Tequila Honey Lime dressing), Chicken Durango, Carne Asada, Inside Out Pork Tamale, Inside Out Chicken Tinga Tamale, Tequila Honey Lime Shrimp, Baja Burger, and Enchiladas (cheese & choice of meat and sauce- Red or Green).

**Meat choices include Grilled Chicken, Grilled Steak, Carnitas, Ground Beef, Shrimp, Pork Green Chile, Grilled Veggies and Chicken Tinga.

Desserts offered are the Mango Tango Mousse, White Chocolate Banana Quesadilla, Apple Flautas, Turtle Sundae and Sopapilla Sundae.
Baja Sol Cantina also has a $5.99 lunch menu that is offered from 11am-2pm daily, and also a $3.99 children's menu.

Price guide: Appetizers $6-15  Tacos $8 Salads $9-13 Sandwiches $8 Burritos $8-10 Entrees $9-15 Desserts $5-6
What I ordered: One of the very first things I noticed when I walked in the restaurant was this fabulous self-serve Salsa Bar with several specialty salsas including Peach-Mango, Caliente, Verde, Diablo, Corn, Fire Roasted, Pico de Gallo, Fresh Cilantro, Onions, and Pickled Jalapeños.


The chips were hot and freshly fried.  Thin, crispy and lightly salted.
I started with the Baja margarita and a generous helping of each of the Fresh Salsas.  I love margaritas and can be very critical about them, but the Baja Margarita is one of the best I've ever had! They use fresh lime juice, which is the key to perfectly tart margarita.  I enjoyed all of the salsas, but my favorite was the peach-mango.  I was particularly impressed with how fresh all of the ingredients were.


For an appetizer my companion and I tried the sweet corn cakes.  These were patties made of traditional Mexican corn meal mush, but with a exciting and fresh modern twist.  The patties are lightly fried and contain whole kernels of sweet corn, and served over salsa verde and then topped with fresh pico de gallo, cilantro, avocado, and sour cream.  These were very different, but very good! The texture of them was crispy on the outside, and softer on the inside.  The flavors and textures all complimented each other rather well.

We also tried the Baja Wings with Caribbean Jerk sauce.  The wings were big and fried crispy, the sauce was spicy and sweet. 


For the main course we tried the Smothered Burrito with Carnitas.  You can't really tell from this photo, but the burrito was as long as my arm! The pork carnitas was tender and very flavorful and I enjoyed the green chile sauce, it gae it a nice kick.  I liked the beans but the rice seemed slightly on the dry side, but that may just be a characteristic of the rice itself.


We also tried the Chicken Durango, which was three marinated chicken breasts that were extremely tender and flavorful.  The chicken was topped with salsa and melted cheese and served with grilled peppers, onions, and yellow squash.  I thought the grilled veggies made the perfect side to the chicken.


We were beyond stuffed after dinner, but had to try dessert! The white chocolate banana quesadilla is unlike anything I have ever had before and I loved every bite that I was able to eat! There were thinly-sliced bananas with shaved white chocolate folded inside a flour tortilla that had been grilled  to a golden brown.  If that wasn't heavenly enough, it had caramel drizzled on top and a scoop of cinnamon ice cream on the side! The warm bananas were soft and sweet from the melted white chocolate and the tortilla was nice and crispy.


We also tried the Mango Mousse, which I have a hard time describing because it was very different. It was light, but not too creamy or sweet.  It had a strawberry sauce and mango de gallo on top.  It was okay, but didn't hold a candle to the banana quesadilla!


Service: We were greeted as soon as we entered the Baja Sol Cantina, and had great service throughout our visit.  Our server was friendly and had a couple of good suggestions for us. 
Overall Impression: Everything was great! The salsa bar is the coolest feature I have encountered in a restaurant for awhile now, I could eat there everyday for that reason alone! The food was really tasty and it was apparent that all of the ingredients were really fresh.  Prices were very reasonable for the amount of food you get. 

  9 Responses to “Baja Sol Cantina- Inver Grove Heights, MN”

  1. Dan, the blogger reviewed it 2 years before your post. A lot of things can change with a restaurant in 2 years.

  2. Did you know that they have a new location in Maple Grove, in the old Salsaritas location near Costco?

  3. This site loses all credibility after giving a favorable review to this place. This was easily the worst Mexican food I have ever ate, the Chicken was fatty and definitely on it’s third or fourth time being cooked, the presentation of everything was worse than fast food, the portions are small, and the prices are high. Nobody should EVER eat at this ‘restaurant’.

  4. I thought the food at their fast food outlets is better. Plus I was surprised at all the plastic dinnerware. I still felt like I was in a fast food joint. I expected things to be a bit more upscale that they were. And the strawberry marguerita wasn’t all that good. I wouldn’t go back.

  5. I use to like their food, but in the last 4 months they have changed their menu. Almost everything is 2/3 or 1/2 the size as before. It’s almost become corporate food. It still is good, but the service was below par and the atmosphere was not like my prior experiences.

  6. Nice restaurant. It looks like a bar in the first picture but I know it’s a restaurant. It has also patio outside and like the different styles of your place that any one can fit to that. I also like the food it adds up to my appetite. I like the chips,the main dish and the desserts.

  7. Their salsa is the best!

  8. I absolutely love their fire roasted salsa.

  9. The banana quesadilla sounds really good!
    Thanks for the suggestion, I would like to try this place for sure.

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