Just past Toast on Main St. is a Tex Mex place called Guajillos Mexican Grill. Since I’m always excited to see a restaurant I haven’t tried in downtown Durham, I was looking forward to trying it out.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I ordered a few hard tacos (beef, shredded chicken, and pinto beans). The first and only thing I thought was “Old El Paso Taco Dinner Kit,” sans salty flavor pouch. The ground beef was straight up ground beef, the chicken was unseasoned shredded chicken, and I’m convinced the pinto beans were canned beans that hadn’t even been rinsed. The salsa was basically chunky ketchup, everything came with white American cheese, and there wasn’t even any hot sauce, let alone a salsa bar. Goes to show that Torero’s with a visible kitchen is still Torero’s.
On the upside, the service (which consists of getting a number and taking it to a booth) was quick, the people were really nice, and the meal was cheap ($4.50 for 3 tacos). However, I don’t really have anything positive or interesting to say about Guajillos. Durham has a deserved and growing reputation as a destination for food lovers, and it takes a lot of guts to be a restaurateur, but whereas some people are really put off by bad service, I don’t have much patience for flavorless food. I know that places like this have their audience – who’s never been to Torero’s? – but it’s not for me. If you’re that close to Toast, just go to Toast, and if you actually want some Mexican food go to Chubby’s or Taqueria La Vaquita or Super Taqueria or Tonali.
Guajillos Mexican Grill (map)
Monday – Friday: 11 am – 4 pm