El Guacamole

17 08 2011

Mexican food is becoming downright trendy here in the City of Lights.

hours and phone

And I, for one, am thrilled.  Quelling that Mexican craving no longer requires lengthy and expensive ingredient hunts followed by all-day cooking sessions.

Menu

Nope, nowadays all I have to do to get my fix is head to one of a growing number of taquerias.  Parisian Mexican stalwart Anahuacalli, widely regarded as one of the best in the city, has now entered the fray with their own taqueria in the hip Canal St. Martin neighborhood, called El Guacamole.  At three and a half euros per taco, prices are a touch more expensive than Candelaria, but on par with Itacate (whose tortas, it must be said, are something of a disappointment).

Pollo pibil, puerco salsa verde

However, they’re generously filled, traditionally garnished (buenos dias, marinated red onions), and served on good – but not handmade – corn tortillas.  Having stumbled across their website on Monday night, I found myself at El Guacamole for a late lunch on Tuesday.  It was sunny out, for once, and I decided to hop on a Velib’ and head down the canal after work, just to check the place out.  But I could hardly check it out without eating, could I?

I’m pleased to report that the puerco cooked in salsa verde was very good.  The pollo pibil had kind of a funny taste to my palate – maybe too much annatto? – but I loved the onions on top and the tender, long-cooked texture.  The “salsa piquante” brought to the table along with the tacos was not in the least picante, but the gentlemen running the place were very friendly.  I’ll be back, for sure.  I mean, I have to give the other menu items a try before passing judgment.

El Guacamole

They’ve only been open a week, but another thing I’m sure of is that the long, narrow restaurant with the bright green facade will have long lines at mealtimes, especially while the weather is nice enough to take your tacos to go for a canalside picnic.  Two more pieces of good news about El Guacamole: it’s mere steps from Du Pain et Des Idées, and the next time I want a taco before a show at the Alhambra, I don’t have to walk all the way across République to get to Candelaria (which, by the way, still has my heart, but I’m always glad to have options).

On this day on 2010: Le Bambou (more ethnic-eating-in-August adventures)

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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22 responses

17 08 2011
travelingmad

Sounds promising. I will have to check this place out when I get back to Paris. We went to one Mexican place (I forget the name) that have live music and dancing. We enjoyed the music and atmosphere a little more than the food.
I’ll give this place a try. Thanks for sharing!

18 08 2011
Hannah

I just don’t even know what creations like that taste like. Sadface.

18 08 2011
k_sam

Thanks for the heads up! It’s funny they would open so close to El Nopal though. I wonder if it was a strategic choice, or just a good retail opportunity?

18 08 2011
Jessica

Ooh! A new Mexican place to check out! I’ve passed by this place a number of times and always wondered if it was really authentic.

18 08 2011
Amanda

after reading all the praise about Candelaria and trying their “tacos” i have decided not to trust any review anymore on Mexican food in Paris. i guess, being half Mexican and being able to cook, any of my own tacos are much better than what you can get there (maybe i should open a place, but would you guys be able to tell the difference?). Before any of you bloggers or food critics give an good opinion on Mexican food in Paris, maybe you don’t have to go to Mexico (and by that i don’t mean tourist hotel food), just go to the Sunday brunch of Mestizo in London, you’ll get a taste of what Mexican tacos should really taste like.

18 08 2011
Alejo

Amanda – Wow, what an amazingly condescending, self-centric, self-congratulating, and misplaced post. From the information provided, it doesn’t appear that you have been to the taqueria discussed in this post, so I’m unclear on the purpose of your response (other than to stick your nose in the air).

Additionally, you seem to be unaware that taste perception varies by the individual, and different people find different tastes pleasing. That is exactly why these forums exist: for individuals to state their opinions. But you talk as if your opinion is fact, and anyone that is not “half-Mexican” does not have a valid opinion. Next time, rather than making blanket statements about the quality of Mexican food in Paris, actually try the food being discussed, then state how your personal experience differed from that of the blogger. It would be far more useful and much less inflammatory.

19 08 2011
Ptipois

“but would you guys be able to tell the difference?”

I don’t know. Why don’t you open that place of yours and enlighten us poor tasteless Parisians, unable to tell good from bad ? Come on girl, be brave and find out by yourself if your cooking is wasted on us.

18 08 2011
croquecamille

travelingmad – I’m here to help! :)

Hannah – We’ll just have to plan for some taco devouring sessions the next time I see you!

k-sam – I’d guess the space just happened to be open. For my money, I think I prefer El Guacamole over El Nopal.

Jessica – So far, so good!

Amanda – Not all Mexican in Paris is to my taste, either, but I think that in general, the scene is improving.

19 08 2011
k_sam

Good to know – will have to check it out sometime soon!

18 08 2011
researchingparis

Sounds like I’m going to have to invite myself along for taco taste test #2. I’m always up to support the growing Mexican food trend in Paris – certainly better than the nothing at all we started with three years ago… Looking forward to it :)

19 08 2011
The Mistress of Spices

Wow, it’s raining tacos! I can’t wait to check this newest contender out (I still prefer Rice and Beans over Candelaria, though I really like Candelaria too despite the crowds). Did El Guacamole have any veggie tacos or veggie options in general?

19 08 2011
Anna Johnston

Oh yum. I adore Mexican food, it just tastes oh so good. What a treat, finding this little restaurant. Drool. So hungry right now.

19 08 2011
croquecamille

Alejo – Very well said.

researchingparis – You’re totally invited! Maybe we should go next week sometime?

Mistress of Spices – They had at least three veggie options when I was there: quesadilla, nopalitos, and champiñones. Funny, I went to rice and Beans and loved it, then later that week Candelaria opened, and I’ve hardly given Rice and Beans a second thought since. But to each her own.

Anna – Pictures of tacos always make me hungry, too! :)

19 08 2011
rosemary

L’adresse de EL GUACAMOLE doit forcément être bien visible quelque part … Mais où ??

21 08 2011
croquecamille

rosemary – Il y a un lien vers le site web du El Guacamole, où c’est affiché que le resto se situe à 37, rue Yves Toudic, dans le 10e. Il y a aussi des indices dans le texte (c’est tout proche du Alhambra et Du Pain et des Idées, à côte du Canal St. Martin) et les photos (on peut voir rue de Lancry dans le dernier). ;)

22 08 2011
Amanda

@Alejo

You obviously totally missed my point: I have been to Candelaria and a few other “Mexican” places based on the recommendation of a few blogs and have been bitterly disappointed, hence my irritation and not wanting to try a new one and i was trying to explain why I thought i can judge what good Mexican food is (which you read as “condescending and self-centered” but i was merely pointing out to my credentials to add weight to my objective (i think) opinion). I was even helpful and offered a place for comparison (ok it’s in London but chance has it that some readers of this blog occasionnally go to London).
I go to many places on recommendation of bloggers and have rarely been disappointed, except for Mexican food (which makes me think that most bloggers don’t know much about Mexican food to be so easily pleased). i only give my opinion on the food i feel i know well. Authenticity is a problem with foreign food generally and having a lot of Italian expatriates around me I sympathise every time they go to a supposedly fantastic Italian restaurant only to come back disappointed, not because they are condescending, but only because they expected the real taste.

23 08 2011
croquecamille

Amanda – Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but cutting down mine without having visited the place in question is counterproductive. As well, statements such as “most bloggers don’t know much about Mexican food” do come off as inflammatory, whether or not that was your intent.

26 08 2011
Lindsey

Wow you don’t miss a restaurant opening! I MUST try this. I like Candelaria but I have nothing to compare it to – still haven’t been to El Nopal – so I’m thinking this is going to the top of my list for the next week. Heard about it from someone else too in the last week but had no idea it was the brain child of Anahuacalli!

26 08 2011
restaurant mexicain

The place sounds great ! In Paris, there are many mexican restaurant. It’s difficult to find a great address. I will check this one next time. Thank you.
Have you try Anahuacalli, this restaurant is kind of cool !

27 08 2011
croquecamille

Lindsey – It’s definitely worth a visit.

restaurant mexicain – I have yet to try Anahuacalli, though I hear nothing but good things…

2 09 2011
Amanda

@croque-camille: the reason I left this comment here, without as you say trying this restaurant is that comments for Candelaria are closed otherwise I would have posted it there of course. As for the remark about bloggers, Candelaria has been mostly a big buzz with bloggers and I love blogger reviews in general and have discovered great places through them. The problem is not the bloggers, rather the lack of quality of Mexican food available in Paris. As we say in French, au royaume des aveugles, les borgnes sont les rois.

4 09 2011
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[...] the variety and options of Mexican street food (burritos, tacos, tortas) in Paris are on the upswing (the tacos at Candelaria are truly delicious, no matter what country you would find them), it is [...]




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