Going out to eat might just be my favorite thing, especially to cute new (and unfortunately, expensive) restaurants. So, when a new restaurant opened up just around the corner from me, I knew where I would be going; Gran Castor.
Believe me when I tell you that every time I have driven by Gran Castor, their parking lot has been PACKED. I tried to grab dinner with a friend previously on a Friday night and we managed to snag one of the last spots as someone was leaving. Unfortunately, we walked in and saw that there was a 2+ hour wait and decided we were too hungry and went elsewhere. Needless to say, I didn’t give up and was resolute to come back again.
The next time I tried to get a table was a Tuesday night (still a packed parking lot, but much more tolerable), and we got a table for three fairly quickly. Gran Castor is, according to the internet, a Latin American Restaurant with, according to me, a heavy hipster influence, which I am sure you will see from the photos. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, and I found the ambiance very chic and very cool. The warm orange light made everything feel warm and inviting, though it presented a problem when trying to work out my camera exposure.
The prices were hit or miss. All three of us decided to pass on the 10$ and up cocktails (though I will be going back for one of their margarita slushes after a payday). We ended up ordering a few different types of tacos, which were reasonably priced, and a fairly pricy appetizer of Queso Dip with their house seasoned chips which were 100% entirely worth it. I wouldn’t consider this your typical queso dip, but rather a cream cheese based buffalo type dip with none of the spice and all of the flavor. Seriously, SO GOOD. If I had known about this dip, I may have waited the two hours the first time, no joke. They give you a generous amount of queso and I ended up putting it on my tacos, an A+ move.
All three of us, Kirsten and Caroline (you can see her on my blog, here) separately decided on the same two types of tacos without discussion and ended up ordering the same thing. The first, the ‘Taco Night’ included ground beef simmered in Honcho Taco Night seasoning, toped with shredded romaine (FDA approved romaine, that is) and house-smoked cheddar and turmeric onions. If you’re an onion fan like me, the turmeric onions are a perfect flavorful kick. The second, the ‘Pollo Asado’ included chargrilled lime-cumin chicken (yum!), chipotle creema, sweetpea guac & queso fresco. The tacos were a good size and two, with the queso, were just the right amount of food (we all three pleasantly cleaned our plates).
Of course, we had to finish out the night with dessert! We had a hard time choosing between the mini donuts with spicy Mexican chocolate and salted caramel (available gluten-free), the citrus skillet cake and the ‘Postre Chasa’. Intrigued, we went with the ‘Postre Chasa’, white cake layered with peaches in chamomile syrup, scratched whipped cream & citrus meringue. It came out in a cute little mason jar dish and was just the perfect amount for the three of us to have a taste. If you are looking for a sweet dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth, this may not be the dessert for you. The only real sweetness came from the small meringue treat on top, which we cracked open and split between the three of us. That’s not to say that it wasn’t tasty, but rather that it was more of a fresh taste than a sweet one. If you’re looking for something sickly sweet, I would pick another of their tempting desserts.
All in all, I really enjoyed eating at Gran Castor, and spending some much needed time with the girls. I look forward to going back! I hope that this puts Gran Castor on your radar if it wasn’t already, and that you take my advice and get the queso. For real. You need this queso in your life.
Until Next Time!