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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Snap Review: El Guero Mexican Grill

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM


For the bountiful supply of restaurants in the Warehouse District, the area has long sorely lacked a decent selection of lunch options. In both variety and price, it's a sad state of affairs. Lovely for nighttime dining, disappointing for those of us that work here during the day.

Which is why when El Guero Mexican Grill, the burrito/taco joint that now occupies the former Phoenix space, threw open its doors this morning for the first time, we were eager to get the first bite. It was like Burrito Freaking Christmas around here.

El Guero's offers the usual you've come to expect from a quick-service Mexican joint, both in meats (carnitas, chicken, barbacoa, veggie) and toppings (white and brown rice, pinto and black beans, salsas, lettuce, sour cream, etc.). The ubiquitous bowl option is on the menu, but El Guero also adds a crispy taco bowl as well. Nachos, tacos, and salads make up the rest of the offerings. Everything comes in under $8. A bag of chips comes with each order, but they're an afterthought for now.

How does it stack up?

First, we'll say we are simply thankful to have another option in the neighborhood. Lordy, thank you El Guero. Lots of other folks probably felt the same way given the lines at lunch this afternoon.

Second, we'll say... not bad. Those used to the stuffed-to-the-brim Chipotle behemoths will find El Guero's version smaller and less dense. (That may be an upside for you; for us it was disappointing, but we're gluttons.) The barbacoa was warm and delightful, but not as flavorful as we'd hoped. And the "hot" salsa was not at all hot. We could be wrong on that account, since barely a dollop was delivered.

But hell, it's El Guero's first day and we're talking about burritos here. Burritos. They're delicious. Not quite at Ohio City Burrito's level yet (OCB's hot salsa is king), but not far off. Nothing that won't stop us from coming back roughly once a week in the future. Or twice. Maybe three times. Like we said, gluttons.

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