- Quick food
- Cheap and cheerful
- Questionable knowledge about coeliac
- Friendly staff
This week I had to go into Civic to do some shopping for birthday presents. Milly and I arrived around 11.30am, both hungry and looking for something quick and easy to eat.
During my pregnancy, I went through a stage where all I wanted was beef nachos and I got take away from Guzman Y Gomez every week for six weeks before moving onto the next craving. So I knew that the Guzman Y Gomez in the city was safe for me to eat at, tasty and ready for reviewing.
Guzman Y Gomez is a Mexican taqueria – a restaurant specialising in tacos. They’re a national tex-mex chain store which popped up in Canberra around two years ago and we now have three stores. I’ve eaten at the Civic and Belconnen store without any issues (they also have a store in Woden).
The Civic store is quite attention grabbing – they were playing Latin American music and the décor is all black and yellow with wooden tables. One inside wall is exposed red brick and another is decorated with a large Misiòn Mexico graphic. Misiòn Mexico is an Australian run charity which supports children from abusive and poverty stricken backgrounds, and Guzman Y Gomez have supported the charity since 2007.
At the counter, Guzman Y Gomez stops being a trendy, attention grabbing restaurant and become a fast food chain. The menu is on screens above the front counter which is long and manned by a couple of staff who take your order with friendly efficiency.
The menu itself is a good size and gluten free items are identified with a tiny ‘GF’. It’s worth noting though that the online nutritional information includes a disclaimer stating cross contamination may occur during preparation. However, I couldn’t see any of this information in store.
The staff member at the till was friendly. I ordered the mild beef nachos with sour cream and a bottle of water, and I’d bought a packed lunch for Milly from home. This came to $16.00. When I ordered, I said what I wanted and explained that I was coeliac, couldn’t eat gluten and couldn’t have my food cross contaminated. While I don’t think the staff member knew what coeliac was, she was very attentive. She said there shouldn’t be a problem with keeping everything separate and double checked that I could eat the dairy (cheese and sour cream).
The staff member gave me a table number and we found a table. There’s a little bit of outside seating on the street but it was a bit cold, so we sat inside at one of the long low tables. There was one high chair which I grabbed for Milly and within three minutes the staff member bought over my lunch.
The nachos were pretty satisfying. There was a lot of them and they were salty and delicious. I think that when you eat nachos you should get as much as possible of everything onto the nachos for the full effect – it’s messy but enjoyable!
The house-made corn chips are the perfect vehicle for the beefy, cheesy, beany topping! They’re slightly salty and maintain structural integrity very well. Even the chips at the bottom of the bowl were crunchy despite being a tiny bit soggy, and they held their shape without drooping.
The slow cooked beef was tender and salty. There was a good size helping and you could just taste a slight tomato-y flavour. The black beans were creamy and helped to cut through some of the saltiness of the beef and chips. The cheese was strong and tasty, it melted nicely but there wasn’t enough of it.
Piled on top of the nachos was a fresh salsa and guacamole. The salsa had tomatoes and red onion in it, and while I’m not particularly keen on raw red onion, it was fresh and complimented the tomato. The guacamole was plentiful and creamy, and popping with tiny bursts of fresh tomato. Both of these were a welcome relief against the saltiness of the meat and corn chips.
While I enjoyed the nachos when I ate them, I had forgotten about the rather unfortunate side effect – burping! Whatever I eat at Guzman Y Gomez always repeats on me all day afterwards, and although this may be too much information, they are not as delicious afterwards. You have been warned.
Also of note is the kilojoule (kJ) count for the meal. I don’t usually care too much for nutritional value when I’m eating out because I have a pretty healthy diet at home. While I was researching this post though, I did have a look at the nutritional value for the mild beef nachos. Each portion contains 4700kj and the average daily intake for an adult is around 8700kj depending on your age, gender, height, weight and physical activity levels. This was a bit of a shock to see that it was over half my average daily intake.
Despite nacho burps and the number of kilojoules, Guzman Y Gomez was pretty good. Like most fast food, it’s not great for you kj-wise but if you’re not counting calories, Guzman Y Gomez make fast, tasty food on the go. As with any restaurant though, I’d always inform the staff about my dietary requirements.