I first tried them was when they started up a couple years ago downtown. At that time I thought the pupusas were kinda bland but I think that’s the typical flavour profile of a lot of
South Central American food…not salty and not a ton of seasoning (like at those Salvadorean places on Victoria Drive and Magda’s on Fraser). But the major disappointment with Guanaco was the yuca frita (cassava fries). They were dry, fibrous and tough. So bad that didn’t bother with Guanaco in the two years since. Recently they were at Brassneck so I thought I’d try them again. Glad I did.
The day’s beers.
I went with (L-R): One Trick Pony (Single Hopped Simcoe IPA), The Geezer (Dry English Porter), my favourite go-to Passive Aggressive (Dry Hopped Pale Ale) and the tasting room-only special Magician’s Assistant (Experimental Sour with Nelson Sauvin Hops).
I’ve enjoyed previous incarnations of One Trick Pony more than this current one, but the standout for me was the Magician’s Assistant. The sour component is really just a whisper here but the whole alchemetic process in whatever they did on the other side of the wall resulted in a delicious beer with mysterious complexity and drinkability. I totally got the tropical fruit aromas and flavours from the kiwi Nelson Sauvin hops. (Nelson Sauvin hops also feature in one of my favourite BC IPAs, Lighthouse Brewing’s Switchback IPA.) Great stuff. Too bad it wasn’t available for growler fills! It might be out by the time you read this, unfortunately 🙁
The Guanaco menu.
If pupusas aren’t your thing, maybe you’ll like pasteles?
Pasteles with Yuca Frita.
Much-improved cassava fries! Not dry or tough like last time. Fresh-tasting, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Almost creamy. Starchy, hearty, hint of salt. Delicious. Great with the tangy acidic salsa. Awesome show, great job!
Pork Pupusa Platter. Sorry, did I spit on you?
I know this looks like shit but that’s how it looks inside. Frankly not my favourite thing to eat (it’s all bland + mush), but I respect that this is a traditional
South Central American food probably done really well, that lots of people like… I’m sure there’s tons of traditional Chinese food that other people just don’t get, like 100 Year Old Eggs… 😛 Maybe I’ll grow to love (even crave) this someday…
Here’s the inside of the chicken pasteles. These were tasty. More flavourful than the pupusas, partly by virtue of being fried, but definitely had more spices. Filling was chicken, cheese, peppers and possibly onion.
I’d maybe try the beef pasteles next time, but I’d definitely get the yuca frita again!