UPDATE! Don Guacamoles has since closed. Can you believe it? They were always so freaking busy!
Best corn tortillas; worst service.
1333 Robson Street Vancouver, BC
Don Guacamoles’ food is excellent – but it takes more than just great food to have me raving. At Don Guacamoles people are lining up outside, it’s busy all the time, and my friends are telling me it’s the next best thing to actually being in Mexico. I don’t think Don Guacamoles is worth waiting in line for and unfortunately they don’t take reservations. Nor is it “as good as actually being in Mexico”….who says stuff like that about Canadian-Mexican food anyway? The food at Don Guacamoles is good – but I don’t know what the big deal is. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Don’s is how small the place is compared with how busy it is – Don Guacamoles has only been open a month and there is a constant lineup out front (think Stepho’s) it also appears as though the staff are not up to the challenge of the constant patronage, there doesn’t seem to be a host/hostess (which is desperately needed) and whose job is it to bring you your bill anyway? Having several different servers through the meal just leads to confusion and mixups. Boo to the service at Don Guacamoles.
Enough about the mediocre service. Next topic! The prices at Don’s seem fair – there is quite a range from $2.50 for individual tacos to $25 for a steak. We made the mistake first off of breaking the bank on some damn tasty margaritas ($9 each) and of course a couple bottles of Dos Equis. We then ordered what we thought were appetizers – flautas ($11) and tortilla soup ($6). I say we thought they were appetizers because they were listed under the starters area of the menu – but they were full meal sized dishes and they came out at the same time as our main courses. Anyway, the flautas (aka taquitos) were tasty good mouthfuls of crisp-fried wheat tortillas filled with yummy chicken. However, the tortillas soup was a disappointing broth heavy with soggy chips, one measly slice of avocado and lacking a single morsel of chicken, corn, or bean.
For our mains we ordered the ribeye ($25), the enchiladas ($12), and the tacos (beef, pork, and chorizo). The ribeye was good – it was served with beans, tortillas, guacamole, rice, peppers, and cheese covered nopales (cactus). I do believe this was the most expensive meal on the menu – it’s a good dish and filling too! The meat is good – but watch out! The green peppers atop are too damn hot to actually ingest! The cactus seems to be more of a novelty as it tastes mostly like watery nothing – the cheese adds a bit of goodness, but it is still insipid. Overall, I found the steak to be quite good – but a little overpriced. Perhaps try going for one of the other steak dishes on the menu. There’s a skirt steak, a striploin, and a flat iron available.
The enchiladas – we tried both the red and the green – were accompanied by rice, cheese, and refried beans. The enchiladas (corn tortillas rolled around chicken and covered in tomato or verde sauce) were really darn good – but they were barely warm by the time we dug into them.
The tacos were wonderful, they’re teeny so get at least four. There are plenty of filling choices: beef, pork, sausage, lamb, and tongue. They’re full of meat, onions, cilantro and come with two little tortillas made from a corn so grand that makes my mouth water.
We couldn’t finish everything since the “appetizers” were so freakin’ big. And I wouldn’t finish the soup because it was grossly disappointing.
Though the service at Don’s was slow and sloppy it was still a far better experience than Pepitas. And if I didn’t have to wait in line I would also go back to Don Guacamole’s over my beloved Poncho’s – simply because the food quality and authentic freshness at Don’s is so good. But I would choose Lolita’s or Me and Julio’s over Don’s in a flash. Lolita’s and Me and Julio’s are classier and yet more experimental with their food and drink. Don Guacamoles: get the takeout.
Parking: Good luck – it’s on Robson.
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Menudo – A creepy Puerto Rican boy band that spawned the fame of Ricky Martin. Menudo is also a spicy tripe soup that can be found on the Don Guacamoles menu.