Posted 10th October 2011
Updated 13/10/2013 – El Guapo has now closed unfortunately. You can read more reviews of Mexican food in Bristol here.
We seem to have had something of an insurgence of Meixan style street food over the past year in Bristol with Burrito chain, Mission Burrito opening on Park Street, Independent My Burrito in the centre opposite the Hippodrome and since August this year El Guapo on Baldwin Street.
With claims of truly authentic Mexican food (the others, whilst incredibly tasty bare little resemblance to real Mexican food). The owners of El Guapo are friendly and likable characters with a clear passion for their food and this business venture. The café itself is incredibly cool, modern yet rustic with white walls, flashes of bright colour throughout and old wood tables. A relaxed vibe makes El Guapo a good location to meet friends for coffee or a spot of lunch (the fact that the ‘El Guapo Boys’ are fairly flirty and very good looking is an added bonus for female customers!)
Open from 8am daily for a slightly less authentic coffee and self serve breakfast. The coffee is excellent and well priced. The self serve breakfast is novel and the bacon sandwiches are good. It’s clear that they’ve spent time and money on getting top quality bacon in – really flavoursome and very tasty. The fairly normal sliced bread it comes in is a little disappointing but that’s just me being picky.
I’m assured by a friend who used to live in Mexico that food here is authentic and exactly the sort of food you would find in Mexico City. The menu consists of tacos – x2 mini homemade tortillas, with your choice of meat salad and salsa at £3.95 for one salad and £4.95 for two; and tortas, crusty bread filled with meal and salsas at £4.00 to £4.50 each. Sides and salads are each £1.50 each.
I had lunch for the first time in El Guapo last week. Pulled pork tacos with roast pineapple and pickled pink onions, one side which was a chunky plum tomato and red onion salsa then a medium / mild salsa on top. The food tasted good, everything here is homemade – even the tacos are made on premise in the mornings. The tacos are made from corn also, no wheat making them gluten and wheat free – perfect for anyone with a gluten intolerance.
The only bad point for me was the portion size – I must admit that I stared at my portion in dismay when I realised that was all I got for my £3.95. I enjoyed the lunch however was feeling peckish again within a couple of hours. After speaking with friends and colleagues they seem to have similar feedback – good food, just not enough of it for the price!
So, my prognosis: there’s still some work to be done, the café is great, the concept amazing but price points and portion size aren’t quite right just yet. Watch this space though I’m sure there are many more exciting things to come from El Guapo.