Guacamole in New York has got to be one of the most frustrating foods in the universe. Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love guacamole, it’s just that the way NYC restaurants and people deal with guacamole drives me nuts. Let me be specific:
1. The price. The going rate for a small dish of guacamole in New York is something like $14. Fourteen dollars. Rosa Mexicano, Dos Caminos, and Fonda are all offenders. This is a dish made from, at most, a $1.50 avocado and some inexpensive garlic, lime, chilies, and (if you’re lucky) tomato. We’re talking a 7x markup, which is even more than we all pay for the usual $15 mediocre glass of wine served at every restaurant in NYC these days (a rant for another day). And no, adding some pomegranate seeds does not get you off my poop list – I’m looking at you, Toloache (you’re lucky it’s so good).
2. The upselling. If I hear one more waitress casually drop a “would you like some guacamole while you look over the menu?” like she’s doing me a favor I’m going to punch her in the face. That pretend act of kindness will cost you — yes, an undisclosed fourteen dollars. Stop it.
3. The people who order guacamole. How many times have we all been to dinner with some guy who, before we can stop him, blurts out “yeah bro we’ll take two orders of guac for the table.” BAM – $28 split six ways. Or the people who carry on with “OMG Rosa Mexicano has the best guac EVER!!” like it’s not just avocado mushed up with some stuff. Listen, it’s not the best “guac” ever. It’s just standard guacamole. You take an avocado, some garlic, onion, cilantro, lime, and tomato, and you mash it with a fork. It’s not hard and Rosa Mexicano doesn’t do anything special. I’ll give you a printable recipe for chrissakes:
- 1 tomato
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper (or to taste)
- ½ medium red onion (optional)
- 1 lime
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 avocados
- A small handful of cilantro
- Finely chop the tomato, chilies, garlic, and onion, and put them in a bowl. Squeeze in the lime, add some salt and pepper, and mash everything a bit with a fork.
- Open the avocados and scoop out the flesh into the bowl. Mince the cilantro and toss it in. Mash it all together, making sure to leave some un-mashed pieces of avocado.
- There is no step 3, unless you want to sell it to some fools for $14.
4. The word “guac.” Look, it doesn’t make you sound cool to say “guac,” and it’s a really, really unappetizing word that does not belong around food or people who are eating. To be clear, “guacamole” comes from two words: aguacate (Spanish for avocado) and mole (Spanish for a kind of sauce). Saying only the first half is like walking into an IHOP and ordering a stack of “panc” with maple syrup. Sounds awkward? Yes, so does “guac.”