Gordo Burrito: Messy Tex-Mex in Zamalek
5 Abou El Feda St.
Tanya El Kashef
Whenever new restaurants in Cairo open, we always find ourselves in a catch-22 sutuation. Do we visit a new restaurant immediately and be the first to review it? Or do we give it a chance to get on its feet and find its rhythm? Aren’t venues on their best behaviour at the start? Isn’t the image polished and perfected during the first few days of working? What about a few months later? Are standards upheld? In the case of Tex-Mex restaurant, Gordo Burrito, in Zamalek, no; the standards do not seem to have been upheld.
It’s easy to see what all the fuss was about at the time of their launch; funky art painted on the walls, cool wooden sugar skulls at the ordering counter, and colourful buffalo skulls on another wall – the space is small, but it is undeniably fun. But this is basically where the good aspects end.
We found keeping three staff members behind the counter a little unnecessary. One takes the order, one prepares the food and the last sits at the cashier – although the first one seemed to take over all jobs at one point. Making the order wasn’t too smooth, either what were saying couldn’t be heard or their concentration was elsewhere. Several items weren’t available, such as their shredded chicken or salsa verde – though the latter was replaced with green Tobasco sauce after some deliberation between them.
We sat down on one of the two low tables and received our food fairly quickly. The tacos arrived first and were served in something like toast rack. Since they were dripping quite profusely, we needed to ask for a plate. The tacos themselves were adequate, with grilled chicken (29LE), sour cream (3.5LE), guacamole (6.5LE), taco sauce and lettuce; the flavours were there but the balance between them was not.
Though the chicken itself was tasty, it was extremely scarce and the taste of the whole taco was, subsequently, well off the mark. The tortilla itself was also not very good; it was overly flaky in parts and quite hard in others.
The burrito with ground beef (29LE) did not fare much better. Filled with beef, rice, sour cream, cheese (4.5LE) and chipotle salsa – as well as lettuce that we didn’t ask for – the result was more or less a rice filled burrito with barely any meat at all.
The cheese quesadillas (26LE) were the best of the three dishes, but melted cheese in a tortilla is hardly a challenge after all. Served without sour cream or any sort of topping, we had to order it separately for an extra 3.50LE.
Overall, the meal was very messy; the tacos came without a plate, when we needed cutlery to ease the messiness, only plastic forks were available, and with no bathroom, there was no way to clean our hands after finishing.
With over-the-top prices that do not match the quality of food, and service that was not up to par, we wonder if Gordo Burrito sadly concentrated all their efforts on their looks instead of their actual cuisine.