An El Dorado for taco aficionados this side of the Schuylkill
Guacamole Mexican Grill
4612 Woodland Ave
Don’t Miss: Chicken Mole, Churros
Skip: Vegetarian Options, Pollo Asado
Texans and West Coasters rejoice: the west–of–the–Schuylkill quest for legit south–of–the–border food is, if not over, at least a lot less fruitless. December saw the opening Guacamole Mex–Grill, which has since been quietly serving up burritos, tacos, tortas and everything in between. But Guacamole’s food is far more extraordinary than its oddly generic name.
The restaurant’s neon green spin on Philly architecture is hard to miss, and has an ambiance to match, complete with bright walls and Spanish–language programming on its TVs. The owner, Rudy, is often at the register and is incredibly helpful and friendly.
Every item on Guacamole’s menu has a starch, a marinated meat and some other toppings. The go–to items on the menu, though, are the tacos ($2.50 each), and if you order a variety of different meats, you’ll get a nice sampling of seasonings — the carne asada and the pastor (which is pork fried with pineapple) stood out. An obvious plus: Guacamole’s tacos are made with high–quality homemade flour tortillas, so you’ll get a break from the bland store–bought ones.
Guacamole’s menu runs deeper than tacos though. Burritos (prices hover around $8) are solid, but aren’t the best forum for playing up the flavors of the pastor and carne asada. Guacamole’s real gem is actually off–menu; see if you can sweet–talk your way into an order of chicken mole nachos ($8). Mole — a dark brown sauce made with chocolate and peppers — is usually hard to come by, and great mole sauce is even harder, but Guacamole nails it.
The Guacamole experience is casual but enjoyable. Plates are presented with minimal pizzazz, and you can sip Mexican sodas like Jarritos and Sidral Mundet out of glass bottles. To restate, Guacamole isn’t a first–date kind of place (unless your date is taco–crazed), but it definitely could be a 20th–date place. Toss in some sunlight (of which there’s been an alarming abundance recently), head to Clark Park and you’ve got yourself an afternoon.
Oh, and you absolutely must get the churros ($1.50) with a side of melted Mexican chocolate. They are positively superb.