Food+Drink

Restaurant Review: Los Guachos Taqueria

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Los Guachos TaqueriaPhoto by Walker Evans.
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Los Guachos Taqueria scored big points earlier this year with a victory in the Battle of Burrito. At the time, it earned the local burrito win on the wings of the quality and quantity of its ingredients.

But the restaurant has a whole diverse menu outside the land of burrito, and it’s a menu worth exploring.

For example, Los Guachos’ signage boasts the best Taco Al Pastor ($1.50) in town. In Los Guachos’ version, tiny corn tortillas hold tidy slices of the al pastor –savory, flavor-infused slices of pork that are cooked gyro-style on a vertical spit. Each slice is ribboned with the mixture of lean meat and spices. Perched atop the foundation is a fresh little wedge of pineapple and a holistic sprinkling of bits of cilantro and onion. The sweet pineapple punches through the savory notes in every bite, making the dish a real culinary treat.

Of course, Tacos ($1.50 each) come in other flavors. The menu also features traditional “Mexican Style Tacos”. That means corn tortillas with fillings such as steak, chicken and chorizo, as well as variations such as tripe and beef tongue. For being so cheap, there’s low risk in trying lots of variations. Of the ones tried, the chicken was the least favorite (needs more umph), while chorizo came through with winning sausage flavor.

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There is also a Taco Salad ($6). It’s served in a giant green (spinach) shell that’s fried into the shape of a bowl, and that bowl functions to hold a packed-in mixture of fresh romaine, beans, cheese, pico de gallo sour cream and (mashed) avocado. There’s an upcharge ($2) to add meat, but it’s not really a taco salad without meat: so chose asada/steak and give it a little body.

One of the surprise favorites has been the Torta. Sold in different variations determined by the meat filling, it’s a big fat sub (as opposed to being a long, skinny sub) with a layer of beans and mozzarella cheese that work as a magnet for the meat. The brisket version ($7) features soft little chiclets of beef enmeshed in the cheese and beans. The foundation is topped with typical sandwich acoutrements: lettuce and tomato.

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Even for non-vegetarians, the Vegetarian Burrito ($7) is a winner. It’s filled with lots of grilled peppers, and grilled onions too: both soft and caramelized. Then there’s cheese and sour cream with cold tomatoes and lettuce to give a little temperature contrast.

The Vegetarian felt like a bigger win than the Don Patron Burrito ($8), even -and the Patron is quite large (as promised on the menu). The inside of Don Patron is packed with the promised mix of cheese, pinto beans, lettuce, pico de gallo and sour cream. The meat picked for that one was chicken, and the lean and tidy chunks of chicken were just not as flavorful as the soft loops of sautéed vegetables found in the vegetarian version.

Los Guachos has two locations: one in Gahanna (1376 Cherry Bottom Road) and one on the north side (5221 Godown Road). They’re open Sundays through Thursdays from 11am until 12 midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays, they serve from 11am until 1am.

For more information, visit www.los-guachos.com.

Photos by Walker Evans. Photos are taken at a different time than review, so discrepancies between photos and review may occur.

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