On our recent trip to Central Texas, Chris and I visited Bastrop Texas a little south and east of Austin. Our plan took us to Buescher State Park for some hiking and a visit with some family in the area. Along the way we decided to try a recommended Mexican restaurant in Bastrop the Guadalajara Grill. Here’s our take on the local’s favorite TexMex restaurant.
The Guadalajara Grill is located in a strip mall along Texas Highway 71. This easy to find restaurant was relatively full on a weekend night, so we had high expectations that our meal would be great. The menu at the Guadalajara Grill is extensive. Several pages of tacos, enchiladas, chili rellenos, combination plates, home style dishes like caldo de res and carne guisada. The large menu made our dining choices difficult. We asked our server for recommendations but felt somewhat patronized as the waiter offered tepid suggestions, rather than the best the restaurant had to offer.
For dinner Chris tried the enchiladas verde. At the Guadalajara Grill this dish was served with a twist. The verde sauce, which is normally served as a tomatillo sauce, is served here as a cilantro based sauce. The change of sauce lowers the temperature and also brings out a brighter flavor enhanced with citrus and hints of lemon. The sauce was smooth and balanced – a delightful mild accompaniment to the enchiladas.
I ate the chipotle tacos. These tacos were loaded with rich and complex flavors including the smoky chipotle sauce, grilled chicken, and fresh pico de gallo. The depth of flavors in these tacos was a great counterpoint to the freshness of the ingredients in the tacos. I especially enjoyed the spiciness of the tacos at just the right temperature – spicy but not overpowering. Cooling guacamole on the plate also provided just the right relief for those moments when there was a little bit too much spice.
One other curiosity on the menu was a fried avocado stuffed with chicken and rice. We couldn’t pass up trying this oddity in the name of science. The dish was prepared using a whole skinned avocado with a small hole cut in the bottom. A mixture of chicken and rice was stuffed into the the avocado, the the whole ensemble was battered and fried. The result was a golden brown orb that looked like an ostrich egg. The contrasting colors of the golden brown crust, the green avocado and chicken in tomato sauce when sliced open appeared warm and inviting. The flavors, however, were flat as the chicken and the breading on the outside of the avocado were not well seasoned.
Overall, our experience at the Guadalajara Grill was a good one. The restaurant offers reputable Mexican food at a decent price – this is a place Chris and I would definitely return to on another visit to Bastrop. A shorter more refined menu, crisper service, and more seasoned food would make the Guadalajara Grill a truly great TexMex stop. For today’s visit, the Taco Travelers give the Guadalajara Grill three tacos out of five.
Posted by: Robert