Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taqueria is now well and truly open for business and busy bringing a unique brand of Mexican fiesta style fast food to everyone's favourite restaurant strip. Get ready for authentic tacos, burritos and nachos and a fresh approach never seen in Adelaide, until now. You'll easily spot the brash and bright colours of Guzman y Gomez right in the heart of Gouger St, on the corner of Market St.
GYG's first restaurant in Newtown, Sydney, went crazy in 2006. Since then, they've become the fastest growing authentic and always fresh Mexican chain in the country, now with over 100 stores around Australia. All food is made to order and they never use freezers or microwaves. Each morning the chefs make the guacamole by opening avocados by hand and the result is impressive.
Guzman y Gomez - Gouger St. It's a cold Monday night OK?
The first thing you notice about the restaurant is the counter. With five registers packed in there, this place is built for fast service. Beyond the counter, the kitchen is an open and busy production and quality control line. The seating area behind that is open and informal. Bright colours, wall murals, and upbeat Latin music all set the scene for the fiesta that is about to unfold.
Arguably, GYG's most popular dish is the burrito. Served just like in the USA wrapped tightly in foil, the burritos feature a flour (or corn - your choice) tortilla that's soft and pliable yet holds the fillings firmly. The flavours are in the ingredients (the rice, beans, and meat) and the house blend salsa which means there are no sauce drips to worry about, but plenty of flavour. Burritos are available with a choice of fillings including spicy grilled chicken, smoky pulled pork and beef, grilled steak, pan seared barramundi, and sautéed vegetables with guacamole. These filling choices continue throughout the menu and you can choose your level of spice.
Fajitas are like a burrito but version 2.0, with capsicum, mushrooms, onion, corn and sour cream. Enchiladas are the house burritos baked in melted cheese then smothered in guacamole, salsa and sour cream... served with corn chips to take the taste and texture to the next level.
A serve of tacos will let you try three different meats if you wish and is ideal for those who prefer a smaller meal with more juiciness. Be warned, they're a bit 'saucier' than the burritos! You can order your tacos in a hard or soft shell and I tried the soft-shell tacos. Only the hard-shell tacos feature jack cheese but I reckon this allows the flavour of the meat to shine in the soft shell.
The garlic and lime barramundi is delicious, followed by the pulled pork, and then the beef. In all cases there's a piquant salsa shining through to lift the taste and it works especially well with the barra.
Nacho bowls, quesadillas (like a Mexican 'toastie') and salad bowls all feature the same top-quality ingredients with whatever meat or veggies you like.
A quick service restaurant doesn't often feature alcoholic beverages and doing so makes GYG unique. They serve Corona and Cerveza Pacifico Clara beers, and vodka or tequila margarita's. A range of waters and popular soft-drinks is available, along with coffee.
The final word is reserved for the healthiest option on the menu. Ask for a grilled chicken burrito bowl with brown rice, guacamole, no cheese and no corn chips. This bowl is high in protein, a source of fibre, low in fat, and gluten and dairy free. Sounds good I know, but I reserve the right to a GYG slow-cooked pulled pork burrito at any time.
Guzman y Gomez Gouger Street is open for lunch and dinner from 10 am until 11 pm every day and, right now, if you download their smartphone app, you can redeem one free burrito as a welcome gift! It's obviously an offer which won't last long. Go and try GYG, it's refreshingly authentic and there isn't a microwave in sight.