Hello everyone! Being a part of the Orange community means being a part of its beloved history. When you visit a local mom and pop, you might be stepping into a 10 or 20 or even 100-year history with that establishment. Well, for Rodrigo’s Mexican Grill, they are celebrating 46 years of outstanding food, service, and margaritas! We visited them this week to hear their story, celebrate the news, and try some of the best dishes the menu has to offer. (NOTE TO YOURSELF: That photo up top with the 3 tacos and 3 margaritas is a real thing at Rodrigo’s and it’s only $12.99!!!!!)
Rodrigo’s is family owned and has been from the start. Roderick Anthony Fraser I had 7 children and all are shareholders of the company today, which has helped Rodrigo’s maintain its authentic and family-oriented style. When his son, Rick (Roderick Anthony Fraser II), spoke to us, he said, “I am probably the only person in the world who lived in front of every single one of my teachers in school,” which made us smile because that’s the kind of small town Orange feels like to us.
As we know, however, Rodrigo’s was not always called Rodrigo’s. Many of the locals still say, “We will never stop calling it Don Jose’s,” and we totally get that! Here’s the scoop on the name change. Roderick I got started in the restaurant business in 1965 when he bought 3 franchises of Marie Callendar’s. He then opened a Don Jose’s on Katella Avenue which is the same location that is now Rodrigo’s. When it recently came time to renew the contract on the use of the name Don Jose, the family thought, “We are doing something here with a name that we do not even own,” and that’s when they changed the Don Jose locations to Rodrigo’s, named after Roderick Anthony I, the Grand Pooba of the Fraser family. The food is the same, the staff is the same, the family is the same, all that has changed is the name!
Fun Fact: Did you know that the Fraser family’s first business was, and still is, Rod’s liquor in Old Towne Orange?
And let me tell you – their food is amazing! We got to try everything from the Nachos Grande to the Chimichanganitas (fried crispy mini burritos – so delicious) to the Spicy Jalapeño Margarita (a personal favorite of mine). We tried their Mexi Wings, for all of the wing lovers out there, and the Veggie Fajitas for our vegetarians! Whether you are vegan or gluten-free, Rodrigo’s can accommodate you by offering corn tortillas and veggie options (and the beans and rice are vegan too!). Lastly, we also got to try three of their signature desserts: a classic flan, fried ice cream (if you’ve never had this, you’re missing out), and Kahlua fudge mud pie – all of which were perfect!
And you will get to try all of this the next time you stop by because…on Wednesday, July 25, Rodrigo’s Mexican Grill is offering $3 enchilada and taco combo plates ALL DAY LONG! This dine-in only offer will be held to celebrate 46 years of Rodrigo’s Grill being open – so make sure to visit them on Wednesday!
We want to say thank you to Rodrigo’s, to the Fraser family, and to the community that supports our local restaurants! We had an amazing lunch at Rodrigo’s and we know that you, your friends, and your family will too! Have a great week everyone and we will see you at Rodrigo’s!