I didn't feel like cooking so Jono and I headed out to Newtown for dinner. We decided to have Mexican tonight and went to check out Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taqueria (GYG) on King St, an Australian-based Mexican fast food franchise that has locations all over Sydney. We've walked past the small corner diner several times when dining out and it always looked busy and popular with the younger crowd. At 7pm on a Friday night, the place was pretty packed, its seats on the communal tables both indoors and outdoors were nearly all taken, and there was a visible line from the main entrance all the way to the order counter. Jono and I spotted a few empty seats and rushed towards the bar stools by the opened windows that had a bar table with view of the passer-bys along King St (and looking directly onto the outside tables). "You go order and I'll stay here to secure our seats," said Jono. Good plan.
While waiting my turn to order, a few thoughts about the place went through my mind - how does a Mexican chain restaurant thrive in Australia when it's not really Aussie food? And should I be expecting substandard quality food like most other fast food joints such as Hungry Jacks? Well, I guess we'll find out soon enough. We were limited to only having burritos tonight because we were using an Entertainment Book voucher which entitles us 1-for-1 burrito - GYG does serve other well-known Mexican dishes such as tacos, quesadillas and nachos. I got myself a Steak Chipotle (Spicy) burrito (BBQ steak in GYG’s spicy Chipotle marinade with Pico de Gallo and Tomatillo salsa) and Jono the Spicy Chicken Guerrero burrito (grilled chicken in GYG’s Guerrero marinade with Pico de Gallo and Tomatillo salsa), and a Corona each (alcohol is served only on fully licensed dine in branches such as this one). Cost $10.50 for a regular burrito (which we got 2 for the price of one - score!) and $7 per bottle of beer. All burritos comes inclusive of rice, cheddar cheese, vegetarian black beans, salsa and filling rolled in a soft tortilla or served in a bowl (for a gluten free option). Add-ons include guacamole (extra $2) and whole wheat tortilla (extra 50 cents). GYG also does 'Mini B' burritos which I think it just half the regular size burrito for $6.50. Oh, and they serve Jarritos (Mexican soft drink) - I first had one of these when I was in San Francisco. High-sugared fizzy drink with rather shocking colours reminding me of the fizzy drinks I had when I was a kid :)
You can see the open plan kitchen from the order counter, the staff working away busily and speedily in their respective work stations, sizzling noises coming from the hot plates cooking the meats overlapping the Latin music playing in the background. I was given a number for our table and in a mere 5 minutes, our burritos turned up, all nicely wrapped in tin foil and clearly labelled (no mistake what's what) and served in a paper tray. The burritos were actually really good, not substandard at all. Jono and I tried some of each other's burritos and I like his one better (why is it that I always prefer Jono's dish to my own???) - the Spicy Chicken Guerrero had more kick and less cheese in it. Still, I enjoyed my burrito though the serving was too much and I could only finish two-thirds of it. We're definitely coming back as we have another voucher from the new Entertainment Book ;) I want to try their slow roasted pork burrito - sounds yum!
|At Guzman y Gomez in Newtown for dinner|
|The burritos come wrapped securely in foil and clearly labelled|
|Steak Chipotle (Spicy) burrito with rice, cheddar cheese,|
vegetarian black beans, salsa and filling ($10.50)
|Spicy Chicken Guerrero burrito ($10.50)|