Ole’s Guacamoles: new look, new menu, same exceptional service | Food
Despite persistent “Interesting Times” bad manners that don’t go away when we ask, a newly renovated landmark south of Johnson City is still going strong.
In addition to its usual clientele, Mexican restaurant Ole’s Guacamoles attracts a mix of curious and connoisseurs, both of whom want to sample authentic Mexican cuisine from the Baja coast. Besides the ubiquitous Tex-Mex, there are many different versions of Mexican cuisine. The Baja version can be found along the Baja Peninsula in western Mexico, and frequently sampled by us Anglos near the tourist mecca of Ensenada.
In what might be called their “Ensenada taste,” Ole’s Guacamoles emphasize the lighter side of Mexican cuisine, with homemade recipes using more chicken and seafood than beef and pork. , all prepared with local products and ingredients.
Ole’s Guacamoles occupies the southwest corner where Johnson City’s West Pine and South Roan streets meet. The building can be seen for blocks back and forth due to its bright yellow paint job. The Roan Street side of the building features a mural depicting avocado halves. Why not? Avocado is the main ingredient in anyone’s guacamole. Parking is available on both sides of the restaurant, easily accessible from West Pine or South Roan streets.
The renovation of Ole’s Guacamoles resulted in an easily accessible and very comfortable dining room. Only the cashier and take-out station remain in their original position, flanked by the restaurant entrance on one side and the expanded salsa bar on the other. The kitchen and bar are located around the perimeter of the restaurant’s dining room. My dining partner and I, opting for an early supper, were seated by our server Gio, an exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly young lady who looked after our menus and took our drink orders.
After a brief consultation with Ms. Gio to ensure that, yes, Ole’s Guacamoles served breakfast anytime of the day, I chose Ole’s Guacamoles’ Breakfast Burrito from the menu ($8.99). My dining partner chose from the dinner side of the menu, ordering one of their Chicken Lime Bowl entrees ($9.99).
How does it taste
My Breakfast Burrito was perfection itself. Take a dinner-size flour tortilla and scramble some eggs. Then load the eggs with spicy Mexican chorizo, beans, melted cheese and ranchera sauce.
Not finding the homemade ranchera sauce as spicy as I would like, I popped into the salsa bar. I came away with something runny in consistency, brown in appearance, that smelled acrid and looked like it was corroding my cutlery. By dipping only the tines of my fork into the dreaded mixture, I was able to extract a quantity of this concoction that proved to be just enough to spice up the breakfast burrito without Mrs. Gio calling the paramedics. With the salsa upgraded to a high performance level, my breakfast burrito was delicious belly full.
My dining partner found his Key Lime Chicken Bowl to be a real treat. Starting with a base of Ole’s Guacamoles’ De Colores salad, add a dollop of chicken white meat marinated in fresh lime juice. Then top the mixture with lettuce, rice, frijoles negras (or black beans, Anglos) and sliced fresh avocado. The above is added to the mixture of yellow corn kernels, chickpeas, chopped red onions, diced ripe tomatoes, black beans and cilantro from the De Colores salad. It is then served in a glazed pottery bowl with a coriander cream vinaigrette and two wedges of lime on the side.
My catering partner made sure to fold the contents of the bowl a few times to make sure it was well mixed to his satisfaction. And it was, both for my catering partner and for me.
The bottom line
The new look of Ole’s Guacamoles is sure to attract a flock of hungry customers and will certainly help grow their regular clientele even more than before. The new look inside and out is a winner, the food is the best in Baja, and the service, as evidenced by the knowledgeable and friendly Ms. Gio, is superb in every way.
Surely you’ve finished all those holiday leftovers by now.
Why not stop by and experience Ole’s guacamole for yourself?
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