Alright before you get on my case about how grainy these pictures are,
just know that every time I tried to snap a shot of my lunch the waitress walked over with that look your mom gives when you're about to make a bad decision.
That being said, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that Gilbert's El Indio was a mixed bag for me.
When I pulled up to the restaurant I honestly thought it was a fast food joint. And I honestly hoped there would be a drive-thru window.
It isn't, and there wasn't. So I walked inside.
I am not sure how to describe the scene inside Gilbert's. It's kind of like Tijuana with pictures everywhere. But seeing as how I was in Santa Monica, I thought what the heck, let's do this!
My waitress came over dropped off some chips, salsa, carrots, & a menu.
The chips were hot, and I could tell the were fresh. Also they were kind of thick, almost like pita chips. Pretty good. The salsa was a little hot for my taste, and a bit generic.
I ordered the taco & enchilada combo plate.
It is my go-to at a new mexican joint.
When my food arrived I was expecting generic mexican food.
And while it didn't blow me away, I was pleasantly surprised.
If you have ever been to Carmen's in Azusa, Mexicali in Bakersfield, or any family owned mexican restaurant in So Cal you have had this kind of food. Lots of gooey cheese, homemade beans, that delish mexican style rice, & tacos made with that house hot sauce (not the table salsa) that makes it the best thing you've tasted all week .
This is the kind of mexican food someone's grandmother taught them to make. This is the kind of mexican food chain restaurants will never be able to capture quite right. This is the kind of mexican food that one-off restaurants do perfectly that you keep coming back long after you realize its just the same 5 ingredients repeated over in different forms of goodness, but done so well that you're hooked. This is the kind of mexican food that feels like you're home when you have never been there before.
Oh and did I mention they serve drinks in super cute little mason jars?
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