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What to order and stay away from at Guapo's?

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Our office is having its Christmas lunch/party at Guapo's in Bethesda. I've been working around the corner from that place for years now yet have never been tempted to walk in. But alas, I must and be a good company woman. So, first of all, how bad is it? Is it like the way it sounds (gloppy). And what should I order and stay away from? Any thoughts?

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  1. At least you are going in with an open mind and no preconceived notions as to what it will be like. Many folks on these boards would dismiss Guapo's out of hand simply because it is a chain.

    That said, begin by ordering the largest margarita on the menu in whatever iteration you fancy, drink and then repeat. The Camarones Tijuana and the ceviche are both excellent appetizers. Guapo's makes great guacamole as well and I have always enjoyed their tortilla soup.

    The Pollo Criollo, Carne Asada and Mariscada are solid choices for entrees. Should you wish to go the fajita route, I would choose either the costillas or the quail.

    Is this Frontera Grill quality Rick Bayless cuisine? No. This is a nice corner Tex-Mex place that does what it does admirably well. You may just be surprised.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CDouglas

      Thanks. These are all good ideas. And I can always blame this board after getting sloshed. I'm impressed that they have quail on the menu.

    2. Ouch. I don't at all consider myself a snob, and I'm more than happy to eat at a chain restaurant, a whole in the wall, or whatever. But Guapo's has churned out some bad food that has (unfortunately) ended up on my plate. Maybe I just have bad luck, but my Guapo's experiences (all at Tenleytown Guapo's) have been dismal, food-wise.

      But it is a good place for a margarita.

      1. Au contraire, my family has eaten innumberable times at the Guapos in Bethesda, at the Rio, and in Shirlington and have never been disappointed with the quality of the food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: skipper

          I agree, both the Bethesda and Rio locations have been consistent and satisfying the many times I have gone. I can't speak to the Shirlington branch but I have been to the Tenley location many years ago and don't remember it as being anything other than solid.

        2. I've been eating at Guapo's for years. Bethesda and Tenleytown are reliable. This is a small chain and far better than Rio Grande. In addition to some of the chicken dishes and very good margaritas, the fajitas are fine. Skip the cheese laden dishes - I can't think of any local places that do those well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jeb

            So skip the glop. Got it. But first, I think I'll down a couple of margaritas.

          2. Guapo is Spanish for handsome - maybe associating that with the restaurant rather than "gloppy" would improve the food at a subconscious level.