Guzman Y Gomez Mexican Taqueria at Emporium in Fortitude Valley. I work just across the way and had been itching to go upon the strong recommendation of fellow tweep @foodbling.
Like the swag of Mexichains popping up all over Brisbane, the formula is simple. You choose your vehicle (taco, burrito, bowl, nachos) and you choose your filling (vegetarian bean mix, shredded chicken or beef, beef or pork chunks and the more unusual option of barramundi). There are points of difference such as no green salad except of course, on the salads and, not a skerrick of sour cream to be seen anywhere. The Quesadillas are also different, looking suspiciously like soft tacos with the addition of cheese that have been given a go in the sandwich press.
So then, it's down to the taste, quality and portion size. It's all good. It's fast, fresh and filling. The black beans are particularly good as they are discernible beans rather than just a gloopy mess, which can often be the case. My Soft Tacos were double wrapped with two small white corn tortillas for each taco, cupping my choices of grilled Chicken Guerrero and shredded, spicy Pork Chipotle. Vegetarian options come with free Guacamole to ensure equity in pricing. At $8.50 for two, I'll be springing the extra $1.50 for a third next time. A mild Tomato Pico De Gallo Salsa is served on all items so you can amp up the heat with the serve yourself jalapenos and Tabasco sauces including the Habanero heart stopper. Takeaway is popular at lunch but there is also an attractive open air eating area, with bench seating and long, shared tables, where your meal is delivered. If the climate is right, it's a very nice way to spend your lunch break, sipping a Jarritos or a Mexican beer and smugly watching the queue form.
The trouble with GYG is, it's so damn popular! We avoided the queue by arriving just before the lunch time rush at 12. This brings me to my one gripe of the day. There were two registers working - on one there was someone with a phone to his ear, taking a massive lunch order (enough for at least 1700 Energex workers) whilst at the other register, the person in front was also doing a massive lunch order (enough for the whole of the BCC call centre). I could tell they were massive lunch orders because the people paying had all the money they had collected in separate little zip lock bags and wanted to pay for each meal separately. GYG - please put a better system in place. You are obviously the 'go to' restaurant for office workers at lunch. Couldn't you contain mega orders to one register and keep one free for the rest of that are starving in the queue?
@foodbling was my first follower on Twitter and hasn't sent me wrong yet. Guzman Y Gomez is the only place in this neck of the woods where you can get a decent feed at lunch for under $10 so I will return again and again (but before 12pm or after 2pm).
ps: There's a new branch opening in the Brisbane CBD in March 2012
Guzman Y Gomez Mexican Taqueria
Emporium Shopping Centre
1000 Ann St
Fortitude Valley Qld 4006
Guzman Y Gomez
Visited: Tuesday 7th February 2012 - Lunch Service