Gringo’s Burrito Grill has the advantage of being one of the only restaurants in Cairo that delivers Mexican food, albeit only in Maadi. What’s more, it has the edge of delivering good Mexican food, with a minimal amount of grease- unlike many of its American counterparts.
That would lead you to believe that Gringo’s has the potential to be a real force on the fast food scene, but due to some easily avoidable errors, they may possibly end up making a bad first impression on customers and be forever relegated to that dusty corner of the phone book entitled “Odd Pregnancy Cravings”.
As someone who likes to get his work well and truly done, I could not in good faith sample a dish or two then pass judgment. All in all, seven dishes were ordered and, 27 minutes later than the promised maximum delivery time of 30 minutes, consumed, with varying degrees of appreciation.
In terms of pricing, Gringo’s is very affordable. Paying 150 pounds for three sides and four main dishes is a better deal than you can get at most fast food places.
The lateness had definitely affected my mood but the courteousness of the deliveryman dissuaded me from making a big deal of it. Happily unearthing the spoils from their bags we launched into the starters. While the portions could definitely have been bigger, the black bean dip and the guacamole were both delicious, and the chips fresh and not soggy in the slightest. The guacamole took a stir or two to get perfect, but once properly mixed could not have been better, with the occasional whole piece of chopped avocado surfacing. The final starter, a bean and cheese burrito, was heavenly. The bread was warm, the cheese was tangy and all-in-all, it tasted like a pimped-out foul sandwich from the local cart, in Mexican style.
When we eagerly reached for the main dishes we realised Gringo’s was not as perfect as thus far thought. I had their namesake, the Gringo, with both chicken and steak and it was quite appetizing, the meat and chicken well-cooked and seasoned and the bread warm. My brother’s Nacho agreed with him as well. Both came with a delightful tomato salad of sorts that was refreshing just when we needed a respite from the occasionally spicy wraps.
Unfortunately, our two other dinner companions were having a very different experience. They had both ordered Classic Quesadillas, one with chicken and the other with steak. The quesadillas come two to an order but the apparent generosity is deceptive. In order to create a sandwich that was barely adequately filled we ended up combining the filling of the two chicken wraps into one. The steak quesadilla was a little better, yet still falling far short of nourishing or filling.
The verdict on the quesadillas was easy. Delicious? Yes. Good for more than two bites? No.
The folks over at Gringo’s definitely know their way around a chicken or a side of beef, no question. Their guacamole is obviously very fresh and their beans tasted great. Unfortunately, rather than making a showy entrance onto the scene with big portions of deliciousness, they opted to provide the bare minimum of protein to be able to legally call the dishes “Chicken” or “Steak” quesadillas.
I feel that Gringo’s still has the potential to make a big name for itself. Fast food is a booming industry in Egypt and Mexican food is a novel and welcome change from the regular old Mickey D. I recommend they work on a faster delivery service and a little more generosity with the portions. With these minor adjustments they should be able to garner a loyal following of customers who, I am sure, will then slowly drift away from the concept of a “quick burger” to the concept of a “quick burrito”.