We’ve been lucky enough to go to Mexico and what an amazing place to eat, the food is nothing like the cheese and sour cream drenched fare on offer here. So we were glad to hear about Guzman y Gomez, a chain of healthy fast food(ish) authentic Mexican restaurants, particularly since one has opened in The Oracle. Overall, we were pretty impressed.
We arrived early for dinner (I swear I’m always hungry) and it was pretty quiet. It was a Monday though, and surprisingly cold on the Gold Coast for early December. They’ve done a great job of the shop fit and design concept – yellow and black, modern with traditional Mexican touches. Exposed brick wall, tiled feature walls, funky vibe and upbeat Latin music. Also we noticed straight away the sides bar – with help yourself Tabasco (jalapeno, chipotle or habanero), pickled jalapenos, chopped coriander and red onion. Sime often calls me sauce queen so I love a good side / sauce bar, they do it so well in the States. Plus, one thing a lot of other Mexican food served here in Oz is missing is coriander (or as they call it in Mexico / USA – cilantro), so it was nice to see it available.
We found the menu signage a little hard to interpret with quite a few choices, so grabbed a menu off the counter which made it much easier – choose your base (burrito, quesadilla, rice bowl, taco) then filling, then sides. I decided on two quesadillas – the steak chipotle (spicy) and barramundi (mild). For the record, quesadillas are corn tortillas filled and grilled with cheese and served with tomatillo salsa. We were both looking forward to tomatillo salsa, it’s usually made from green tomatoes and chilli blended together and available as a side in a lot of eateries in Mexico. Of course because of my no dairy commitment I had mine without cheese… sigh, but added a side of guacamole.
My quesadillas were pretty tasty, but I added the jalapenos and coriander for extra bite. The steak was good quality, cooked medium, although I wouldn’t call it spicy (although my tolerance for spicy food is higher than most). The barramundi was char grilled with a spicy crust and yummy. Unfortunately no green tomato salsa, but the red tomato salsa was just as fresh and tasty and a tasty contrast to the meat.
Sime ordered three quesadillas – the beef guerrero (mild), chicken guerrero (mild), and steak chipotle (spicy). He had his with cheese – we might need to talk about the no dairy thing applying to him too (!). He enjoyed all three but said the highlight was the beef guerrero as it was slow cooked beef with that lovely texture I describe as shredded (poorly describe, obviously).
The guacamole side was good – fresh avocado with a blend of chunks of avo, tomato and onion. It was nice to try the different Tabasco sauce varieties – our favourite is still jalapeno, the chipotle version is yummy but almost too smoky. Plus great to add your own jalapenos and coriander.
We were both still a bit peckish so ordered a beef guerrero burrito. For me this was the highlight of the meal. Slow cooked beef, black beans, rice, cheese (I forgot to say no cheese – oops! I swear I forgot…!) and salsa. Delicious! I’ll be heading back for one of these. The slow cooked beef has a great taste and texture, and the flavour blends well with the other fillings. Next time I’d like to try the slow cooked pork burrito. You can also order this as a rice bowl for those who prefer gluten free, as the tortilla used for the burrito is flour.
So overall we really enjoyed our meal at Guzman y Gomez. Yes it’s fast food but it’s pretty healthy and fresh with some of those great Mexican flavours we love. The food is served in funky little newspaper style wrappers, the staff were friendly and efficient, and the place has a great upbeat vibe. Also it’s licenced so you can order local or Mexican beer or frozen Margaritas. They even have Mexican soft drinks available for purchase. Also it’s a company with a social conscience – it supports Mission Mexico Children’s Refuge. We’ll definitely be back – hopefully next time it’ll be warmer so we feel like a frozen Margarita. Salud!
Shop E116, The Oracle Broadbeach, 07 3188 1702