live life, celebrate food, share both with those you love

Friday, 8 February 2013

Mexi-Wars! Guzman y Gomez vs Mad Mex

You must know by now that I have a deep love for Mexican food! Need proof? Check out these posts: Andale, andale, arriba, arriba!, Mexiday! The basic ingredients, Mexiday! Orange and chipotle chicken tacos

Mexican cuisine has been so poorly misrepresented in Australia there should, in my opinion, be legal consequences against some ‘Mexican’ chain restaurants when they are clearly Tex-Mex, NOT Mexican! Ok, so maybe legal consequences is taking it a little far, but let me clarify that I have nothing against Tex-Mex. I lived is the Great Lone State, on and off for a few years and a little piece of my heart will always yearn for Texas. But basically, Tex-Mex is smothered in melted cheese and almost always served with a side of refried beans… YUM!

However, In my travels to Mexico and California, I’ve found that whilst refried beans do appear on many menus, the Mexican cuisine is much fresher and tastier. Fried prawn tacos, slow cooked pulled pork enchiladas, spicy bbq steak… sorry, I’m drooling on my keyboard!

Well, finally we have some great options coming to town, and two of my favourite food court options are Guzman y Gomez and Mad Mex – both great options but for different reasons. I’ve heard both have been compared to another American chain called Chipotle, one of my all time favourite cheap eats! But I must say, both GyG and MM fall slightly short of these lofty heights. If only I could combine the two… 

They both have very similar menu options: Burritos, Nachos, Quesdillas, Tacos, etc. The main differences being:

Some like it hot! GyG Quesdilla
GyG – The meat options here are definitely tastier and come in spicy or non-spicy versions. Spicy pork for me please! And whilst you can make a few changes, like swapping white rice for brown, the menu options come as stated. So if it says it has pico de gallo, that’s what you get. I’m sure you could make further alterations, but I doubt it’s encouraged. The other thing I love about GyG is the free condiment bar where you can choose from 3 types of Tabasco (regular, green or chipotle) and fresh coriander, red onion and pickled jalapeƱos. This is what brings me back to GyG!

Little snack today, Kids Nachos from Mad Mex
Mad Mex – this is much more like the Chipotle franchise because you can customise your meal the way you like it. You first choose your meat filling – barbacoa for me please! – then there’s 4 salsas, sour cream, queso, beans, cheese, lettuce, guac, etc. I love coming to Mad Mex for their salsas! Different meats need different salsas and sometimes I want to burn my taste buds off and sometimes I don’t.

So… which will you choose? ;)

Friday, 1 February 2013

My shiny new toy!

Isn't she pretty! Yes, I know I technically asked a question, but it's way more of a statement, so I will stand by my gramatically incorrect exclamation point, instead of a question mark!

Mr B and I recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary... we can't believe how much time has flown past! We always try to give each other a little something on this important day, but both of us pulled out the big guns, this year... really BIG guns! There was a simply divine visit to Vue De Monde, I'll be sure to blog about that once I've finished digesting the 17 courses :) I gave Mr B a fabulous BBQ just in time for summer... but it's a built in, so hopefully it'll be installed before next summer - didn't think that through, did I?

I thought I might get an iPad. Those who know me well would probably think it an appropriate present. Instead, I was presented with a simply gorgeous ring... ok, I picked it, but he surprised me by taking me shopping!

And then the piece de resistance... my very own, shiny, brand new KITCHEN AID ARTISAN MIXER!!!!!!!!! (enough exclamation points? I'm not sure if you understand the excitement!)

I have coveted one of these work horses for years. I almost purchased one the year we lived in San Francisco, but I knew I wouldn't be able to bring it back home - stupid voltage conversion. I simply couldn't bring myself to buy one here in Oz, as the price was always ridiculous! When the US dollar was at its peak, these mixers cost $900, sometimes more, insanity!

We finally saw one at a much more reasonable price and although I was adamant that I already had a mixer (Breville) and didn't need this, Mr B put his foot down and insisted. Isn't he a dreamboat? ;)

My next dilemma... which color? There were 13 on offer! The safe part of me wanted the Gun Metal Grey, the only mixer in a beautiful matt finish. It's dark and broody... ha, it's me, to a tee! But this is Kitchen Aid and I just had to get a color. So after a frantic phone call to my sister - who lives in Dallas, Texas - I decided on Yellow Pepper... and I heart her!
Can you guess what I'm making? Bet you can't!