Monday, March 8, 2010
Ganzo's Mexican Food and Cantina
There are about 'cien' Mexican restaurantes, cantinas, grills, etc. in the Quad-Cities, which makes sense because there is a fairly large hispanic population here. For my mom's birthday, I chose her favorite place for take-out, Ganzo's (3923 N Marquette). Apparently my dad and her used to have late night cravings for it when they were first married. They still crave it, but usually around 4 p.m.
The restaurant originally opened in 1962, and, though it has changed locations, is still owned by the Puente family. The current location is directly across from the abandoned K's merchandise store, which is convenient because Ganzo's parking lot is ridiculously small and difficult to navigate. The same could be said of the interior...
The restaurant area is very small and consists of MAYBE 10 tables. A bunch of people were crammed into the lobby area waiting. We got a booth with a chair stuck on the end because it was the only place to seat all 6 of us. We didn't care, because we aren't fussy people.
The decor is, well, obviously Mexican. But not cheezy Mexican. It actually looks/is authentic.
Of course you get served the complimentary chips and salsa. These chips were actually salted, which saved me the trouble of first licking the chip to get salt to stick.
They had 2 for 1 drinks that night and apparently make really good margaritas. Here is my sister's drink...
Here's a link to the menu. They offer what a typical Mexican restaurant would, with great prices and a few things I've never heard of like costillas, chucos, and tortas. They have a taco bar on Sundays & Mondays. Ole`.
We've got two plates here... the small combination- an enchilada, taco, and burrito is in the back. The closer plate is what comes with the fajitas- beans, rice, guac, and veggies.
Here's a terribly dark picture of the steak fajitas. Steak with green peppers and onions brought out with much fanfare and sizzzzzle. It's a secret fantasy of mine to see someone get the sizzling plate dropped on their lap...or face. I'm not picky.
And a closer look at the fajita sides. The refried beans, though disgusting to look at and think about, were actually quite delicious. I thought I'd try a bite, but that turned into pretty much the whole tortilla bowlful. and that wasn't even my plate.
A chicken taco salad. Covered with cheese. There's just no way to eat healthy at a Mexican restaurant. Unless you have the guts to request no queso.
Yes there is chicken under there. and lots of it. It was quite good, lightly spiced and very juicy. I had a similar dish at Azteca and could barely eat it because it was dry and drenched in salt. (I could honestly feel my pallid face reddening as i ate)
It was no quincea~nera, but the birthday girl was rewarded with a big fat plate of whipped cream. There seems to be some fried ice cream dabbed on there as well...you know, as trim.
Yes they brought out six spoons, but I'll be honest and admit that I ate over half of it. Thanks mom! It's not like you had a choice in sharing though.
Everyone agreed that the food lacked the typical grease found at Rudy's and other local favorites (which is a good thing, unless you're talkin pizza). It was fairly mild, nothing was very spicy or hot, which is undoubtedly more traditional than Taco Bell drenched with fire sauce. The foods that really stood out were the chicken and steak. They were very tender and juicy. I liked the tortillas too, but I don't know if they're bought or made. You have to request goat cheese, so next time I think I will give that shot. Other than that, everything was perfecto. Next time, I will probably order a chicken torta to go and forgo the sides of anthropophobia and claustrophobia.