Saturday, 20 April 2013

Holy Guacamole Fresh Mex

14 Duke Street West
Kitchener, ON


In her opinion:
I love Mexican food and I am fortunate enough to live in Cambridge were we have two authentic Mexican restaurants. I will begin by saying that I enjoyed Holy Guacamole but they are not serving authentic Mexican food!

It is a busy, happening place. There's no doubt about that! I think this could be because they are serving a much needed cuisine in Kitchener-Waterloo...I believe I read recently that they are one of the last Mexican restaurants still standing. They serve fresh tasty food in the Mexican style...there I said it!!!

During our visit we ordered a "Spicy Chorizo Sausage Quesadilla" and three "Lime Marinated Chicken Tacos". We also ordered a mango  Jarrito and a Diet Coke. 

Lime Marinated Chicken Tacos
I got the tacos with cilantro lime rice, beans, refried beans, lettuce, mild salsa, guacamole, cheese, cilantro, cilantro-lime sauce and sour cream.  This was a great combo. Really really refreshing, tasty and filling.

I also tried Edgar's quesadilla...although I wouldn't call the chorizo authentic it was still very flavourful. 

Overall, I would say that Holy Guacamole Fresh Mex serves very fresh, delicious and good food...not authentic Mexican but good never the less.

In his opinion:
I'm constantly reminded that the need and demand for Mexican or "Mexicanish" food in  Kitchener/Waterloo is high but somehow all the authentic Mexican restaurants that have existed in the last few years have closed. Sure, some were very small and lacked exposure and business savvy, but some larger ones just disappeared into oblivion. Meanwhile, other not so "Mexican" restaurants remain for me it begs the question. Does KW actually desire real Mexican fair or are they happy with Mexicanesque clones?

Enter Holy Guacamole Fresh Mex!  This is a very busy spot located in the downtown core area of Kitchener. The main attraction for this restaurant is surely the focus on fresh ingredients (hence the "fresh" in the name). Everything is prepared fresh, using fresh ingredients, fresh meat and all the way to the in house chopped lettuce. 

This place has somewhat limited seating and is decorated with the expected symbols of Mexico (cactus, somberos and suns), even if its only in the pinata form. The staff are very nice, efficient and have the preparation of items down to a science. The flow seemed well thought of to keep up with the long waiting lines but I admit I wasn't there in any of the "rush hour" time frames.

The menus are written in chalk on boards behind the servers and display the expected but limited range of Mexican dishes. There is a little bit for everyone including the vegetarian crowds. Burritos, tacos, quesadillas and nachos with dip are the main choices and come with a very long list of toppings to add to them and make them your own.

During this dining experience I was able to try the "Lime Marinated Chicken Tacos" and the "Spicy Chorizo Sausage Quesadilla". The tacos were big, tasty and full of flavour, especially when the fresh guacamole is added. The choice of toppings and sauces will determine how Mexican or not they turn out to be. I enjoyed them myself and found them to be a good value for the money, perfect for KW lunch crowd.

The Spicy Chorizo sausage Quesadilla had the flavour impact of the spicy chorizo at every bite and worked quite well with the supplied sides of guacamole and sour cream. The portion was again generous and the flavours were good with deserved highlights given to tasty cilantro and the hot salsa. I also had a Mango Jarrito drink, a staple Mexican fizzy drink found in almost every Mexican restaurant these days.

The Good: Fresh ingredients, tasty food and great location are surely the attractions to this restaurant. The word Mexican in its name will probably help.
The Bad: It lacks "authentic" feel and tastes. Not necessarily a bad thing but that will depend on customer expectations.
The Verdict: Overall, the restaurant gives you a good food experience and the fresh ingredients and need for Mexican food will take it a long way. The Californian and Texan influences are just as predominant as the Mexican ones, giving it a good mix of influences and a very good twist or mix of perceived Mexican food. Calling this Mexican restaurant authentic is a far stretch but it sure delivers well on what is expected of it...good fresh Mex food!

I give it 3 out of 5 Olives as rating

Holy Guacamole Fresh Mex on Urbanspoon

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