Shop E116, The Oracle
3 Oracle Boulevard
Broadbeach QLD 4218
+61 7 5504 7157
It seems like the Mexican craze that’s been sweeping Australia like a Mexican wave at the ‘G is here to stay if the constant mushrooming of Mexican/Mexican-inspired restaurants, bars, cafes and food trucks are anything to go by. Gold Coast is arguably a backwards town when it comes to eating out but when Sydney-based Mexican franchise Guzman Y Gomez comes to Broadbeach, you know that Mexican food has finally ‘make it.’ And about time too. Step aside, Taco Bill, you no longer have a monopoly over Mexican eateries in Australia.
We weren’t really meant to eat here on my last night in Goldie but given our overpriced substandard meal at Ming Palace earlier that evening that did nothing to quash our hunger pangs, we decided to stop by for some ‘snacks.’ Of course, by snacks we really meant three tacos and a serving of nachos to share, along with some beer, a frozen margarita and way-too-sweet pineapple-flavoured Jarritos (Mexican soft drink).
The place was dead quiet when we rocked up just before 10pm. Understandable, because it was a weeknight and Gold Coastitutes tend to have early ones but on the other hand, it was Australia Day Eve so I did expect to see more people there. Oh well, more room on the communal table for us, I thought to myself as I sipped on the margarita which was refreshing and delicious, though the alcohol content negligible. As much as I like to diss Taco Bill, they do make the most awesome frozen margaritas – and they put plenty of alcohol in them.
Gotta love the really funky bottle – the beer didn’t taste bad, either.
The concept here is pretty simple. There are burritos, there are tacos and there are a number of typical Tex-Mex fare such as nachos and whatnot. And the best news? Everything is gluten-free. Basically, you use your meal (burrito, taco, whatever), and then choose your filling. From chipotle pork to barramundi, there is a protein to suit everyone and yes, they do have a vegetarian option.
We shared some soft shell tacos (three for $10.50). Given that places such as Paco’s Tacos in Melbourne charge $6.50 for arguably substandard tacos that fall into a limp, soggy mess as soon as you touch them, I thought the price tag was extremely reasonable. I’m not normally a soft-shell taco person (I go hard all the way – wahaha, that sounds duuurty) but I was glad that each taco shell managed to retain their shape. While Marty enjoyed his spicy pork chipotle and his spicy chicken guerrero tacos, both of which he thought were very good, I attacked my beef guerrero taco with intense ferocity. Packed with slow-roasted marinated tender beef, black beans with a healthy lashing of pico de gallo, it was a taco that I would happily hand over $6.50 in Melbourne.
We were both still a bit hungry after that so I ordered a serving of GYG’s famous nachos ($10.50), with beef guerrero topping. The guys at GYG use a gluten-free corn tortilla so don’t expect tasty Doritos-style corn chips, but rather something that’s a little more bland on the tongue. Doesn’t matter though, the chips soaked up the flavours of the black beans, beef, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and guacamole brilliantly. It was a dish that could have stood on its own as a main and in fact, we couldn’t finish the whole thing so we took it home … and had it the very next day for breakfast. Strangely enough, the nachos tasted a LOT better after sitting in the fridge overnight before being heated in the oven for several minutes, as opposed to being served fresh from the store. Yum.
Given GYG’s success in New South Wales, and now Queensland (I think there is a store in Brisbane), I hope that it won’t be long until a Melbourne store opens up. Okay, so GYG will face a lot of competitors such as Mad Mex, Salsa’s, the wildly popular Mamasita and yes, good ol’ Taco Bill but if they can keep making tacos and nachos this good, then I have no doubt that YGY will cause Mexican waves all around Melbourne.