I wasn't expecting to have the first installment of the Great Guacamole Hunt so soon, but why procrastinate? I spontaneously pinged my friend Hugh for lunch today, as I was downtown. He's been trying to get me to go to Orale Orale for some time now, and I finally capitulated. Provided we had guacamole, of course. Hugh knows from Mexican food, or at least he has a clear concept of what he likes. And he definitely likes guac, so he's a suitable judge, with the caveat that he admits a bias towards this place.
Hugh: 6 -- To be honest, I didn't pay attention to the price, but I'm always sad when the bowl is empty, so I've gotta rate it low. I always must.
Sean: 9 -- We got a small side of guac, but it was definitely enough for the two of us as a complement to our entrees. And at two bucks, that's seriously poco dinero.
Hugh: 9 -- Love it. It would be a 10 but it had a few stringy bits. But it was a creamy, smooth guac.
Sean: 7 -- The avo base was very smooth and not at all slimy or overwhipped, and there were a few pleasingly crisp flecks of red onion. But I like the occasional chunk of avocado to offset the creaminess a bit.
Hugh: 8 -- Not much to say. I love Orale Orale. It's a basic taqueria, so my expectations are low. I wish they didn't come around with the salsa refill is a paper cup, but whatever. The salsa's great. The line is long but folks are always happy to get a seat, so once you're on your rear and amongst the lucky folks who are about to eat, all is good. It's crowded, but I don't mind. Everyone's happy to be seated and eating/ready to chow. I've been going here for years, so I really like the place. It's become second nature to me to eat the food. Service is fast - you're in and out..but it's lunch.
Sean: 8 -- It's not fancy, and that's OK by me. But it is clean, the service is efficient and even not surly (which can take some hunting in the FiDi). As Hugh notes, our salsa, um, gravyboat was plentifully replenished, the food came fast and hot, and we were out of there within a normal lunch break.
Hugh: 10 -- I love avocados and this guac had a slight spice. But it's basically a tongue cooler. The avo comes through and that pleases me. Guac is all about the taste of the alligator pear, so I love that it's not covered up.
Sean: 9 -- I thought it was very balanced and fairly nuanced. The avocado flavor was clearly the star, with evenly distributed supporting players in the form of onion, cilantro and heat. Best of all, it was not oversalted, which is so common. But I cannot extricate the flavor of avocado from the texture, so I had to ding it a little.
It's unanimous: Solidly good guac easily accessible on a lunch hour.
Oh, the salsa is quite good too, and our enchiladas verdes were quite agreeable as well. The best Mexican in the city? No, not by a long shot. But the best in the Financial District? You bet.
113 Sacramento St (at Davis)