Aug 28, 2012

Guedo's Cantina Grille!!

OK, I know this is a beer blog, and 95% of the content is directly related to beer. Every now and then however, I like to delve into something else, be it bourbon, ghost town hunting, or now, restaurants!

Now, this blog isn't always serious, so I don't think writing a serious restaurant review would be fitting for this blog, but rather a place that is fun, comfortable, but still good. Well, I know of just the place!

I love Mexican food, probably my favorite "ethnic" food, (with maybe the exception of Caribbean food), I especially love food from the coast of Mexico, around baja. So, Guedo's Cantina Grille in Chandler Arizona is one of my favorites places to go for just that sort of fix!

Guedo's has been a valley institution since it opened in 1985. Now, I know to my friends and family back in New England, a business that opened in 1985 isn't really that rare, but here in Arizona, almost 30 years in business is an eternity! Chandlers population today is around 235,000, when Guedo's opened its doors in downtown Chandler, the population was just over 60,000! Guedo's has seen its share of change, and growth in Chandler. However you get the impression when first walking in, that this place hasn't really changes much at all since it opened. Now, this isn't a place to go if you are the type to "white glove" every restaurant you go into. Its not dirty, or dumpy, but the building is old, and somewhat ill maintained, decor is, well, shall we say, authentic, and organic in nature, but fun. It is however, comfortable, friendly, and relaxing.  The building may not win any awards, but the food on the other hand, is outstanding! The menu is what you would expect from a "taco" shop. Full of wonderful quisadilla's, tostada's, burritos, tortas, and of coarse tacos. Typical sides of rice, beans, green chili or jalapenos are also available. All pretty basic, but all (what I have had anyway) very good.

Mmmm, fish tacos!
I must say, if you go here, you would be remiss if you did not get the fish tacos! I am always on the look out for a good fish taco, they are among my favorite things. Now, what I think a good fish taco is, is a very authentic, stripped down affair. A "real" fish taco should be on two corn tortillas, with shredded red cabbage, fish, and a little mayo (or some other sauce) and a wedge of lime. Nothing too fancy, and that is exactly what Guedo's delivers! A GREAT fish taco, and for only $3.50 a piece, a pretty good deal as well!

The "beach" patio!
Now, you can sit inside, where it is a little cramped, hot and noisy, but if you want a more fun, comfortable dining experience, go sit out by the "cantina" bar area, or on the beach! Yes, a beach!, Ok, so there is no water, just Chandler Blvd, but there is sand, and tables, Corona flags and everything you want while dining on the beach! Its so much fun! The bar is awesome, and has the look of something that has just been growing and evolving since its opened. Its as close as you can get to sitting at a beach bar in Cabo as you can get while still being land locked in Chandler!

The bar is awesome!
Not good
OK, since this is a beer blog, I'll mention the beer. Let me say this, as much as I love Mexican food, their beer, is, to say the least, not good. However, I talk a lot about "drinking in context", meaning for example, a margarita, no matter how well made, will always taste better siting on a beach in the Key's, then it will sitting at an Applebee's in Oklahoma. Likewise, a Mexican beer, goes GREAT when sitting at a beach bar (even if its a fake beach) and eating fish tacos. I had a Negro Modelo while I waited for my food. A serviceable, decent beer from south or the boarder. With my meal, I tried a Victoria, something I had never heard of. From the same brewery that those standard Mexican beers Negro Modelo, Pacifico and the ubiquitous Corona, called Grupo Modelo, from Mexico City come from. Victoria was, to say the least, disappointing. After the first sip, I was wishing I ordered the aforementioned Corona, or a Landshark (both great beach beers!). Listed as a Vienna Lager, this tasted to me like a sort of Mexican version of Budweiser. Not awful, just very underwhelming. Luckily, my dad was there to help me finish it. Lesson learned.

So, if you are looking for a dining experience that is off the beaten path, and isn't washed in boring cooperate decor, check this place out, and if you get a chance, chat with Guedo himself. He is always there, and seems to love chatting with customers. This is the kind of place every town needs, and everyone should go to. It's real, its fun, and most importantly, it is really good! So check out Guedo's, it will make you forget where you are, if even just for a while.

Just note, Guedo's is closed Sunday and Monday.

Guedo's is located at

71 E Chandler Blvd, Chandler, Arizona 85225

Phone # 480-899-7841


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