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Gilberto’s offers a unique Mexican experience

“Gilberto’s,” a unique new Mexican taco shop, has been making its presence known here in Rochester, MN. Having opened in October of 2023, it offers a wide range of authentic Mexican dishes besides tacos, including burritos, enchiladas and more. After the excitement of the grand opening months, how is the restaurant holding up at this point?

Located at 5550 North U.S. Highway 52, it is situated nearby other popular destinations such as McDonald’s, Culvers, Circle K, formerly Holiday, which might give it an edge in finding customers. It occupies the old Fazoli’s building. 

The first thing I noticed when stepping inside was the atmosphere, which invites its guests in while keeping decoration minimal. Rather than striking out with many decorations intricately laid about, Gilberto’s takes a “less is more” approach. One thing that I noticed is that while the tables had their logo printed on them, the booths featured what appeared to be a hand painted version of the logo.

The food Gilberto’s serves is not to be understated. With an expansive menu that would surpass even popular fast food chains such as McDonalds, Burger King, or Culvers, I was almost overwhelmed by the amount of options they had available, including a kids menu, desserts, and even vegetarian options. I settled upon a seemingly unorthodox choice, a bacon burrito, while one of my friends ordered three chorizo soft tacos. I also ordered a plain churro for all of us to share. The cost of all of this was $26.49 including tax. 

We got our food fairly quickly after we sat down at one of the tables. When we got our food, the burrito was still fresh and warm enough that I could see the steam rising from it when I broke it in half to examine it more closely. The bacon burrito contained bacon, eggs, and potatoes inside which all looked to be cooked to a proper temperature. When I took a bite out of the burrito, it had a taste that I found fairly consistent with other breakfast or bacon burritos. The size of the bacon burrito was notable as I have encountered very few burritos that would match the size Gilberto’s serves.

When we ordered the churro, we asked for a plain churro, yet the churro we got also had glaze on it and chocolate sauce on the bottom. According to one of my friends, the churro we ordered was slightly shorter than the average churro, but the glazing and chocolate sauce would make it worth the meager cost of $4.00 excluding tax.

While at first I might have thought that the cost of our food was expensive, I was surprised by the size of the portions; they were large and plentiful. Another factor was the time it took for our food to be made. Everything came out within a few minutes of ordering.

Gilberto’s is also a place that upholds great standards for cleanliness. The building doesn’t show any signs of uncleanliness. The tables are cleansed of all filth such that it shows a clear reflection. There wasn’t any sign of any bugs, insects, rodents, or any other pests.

Another important feature of Gilberto’s is that it offers a 24/7 service. Most businesses in Rochester aren’t 24/7 and among them very few are Mexican restaurants. 

One thing of importance is that the employees at Gilberto’s are primarily Spanish speaking. Fortunately, we didn’t have any trouble ordering our food because they also speak English. This makes it easier for those who enjoy Mexican food but don’t know Spanish to dine there.

Overall, while Gilberto’s may be another one of the many restaurants here in Rochester, MN, it offers an expansive menu that dwarfs many other Mexican restaurants, food options for those who are vegetarian, and a 24/7 service that allows any to satisfy their cravings for Mexican food at any time of the day. The quick service, cleanliness, and quality of the food leads me to rank this an 8-out-of-10 experience.

Click here for Gilberto’s menu.

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