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“Absolutely Delightful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Gaucho Inca

El Gaucho Inca
4383 Colonial Blvd, Fort Myers, FL
239-275-7504
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Ranked #53 of 649 restaurants in Fort Myers
Price range: $10 - $20
Cuisines: Argentinean, Italian, South American
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Broadway, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Absolutely Delightful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Again I trusted the reviews here and I certainly wasn't disappointed. I played safe by making a reservation online although as it turned out this would not have been necessary, however it is a small intimate place and there were only a couple of tables free at 7.30pm which is quite good for a Wednesday.

As others have said the authenticity is such that I asked our lovely server who incidentally comes from Cuba to explain the various dishes to us, this she did without any hint of rush and her knowledge of the extensive menu was outstanding.

We all deiced to try something different, we agreed we could get a steak anywhere so centered on the fish dishes.

Th appetizers looked so tempting that we just had to try a couple and they were to die for. We had the Choros a la Chalaca which are six Black Mussels marinated in fresh lime juice with onions and tomatoes and the six Scallops a parmesan served in their shells beautifully presented on a round platter.

Most of the fish entrees come with rice, which really does nothing for me however there was one with noodles and I plumped for that. Most of the fish specialties have a spicy flavor however they do rate the spiciness on the menu which is a great help. I had the seafood medley in a light spicy sauce and my friends had the fish fillet in a really spicy sauce both were very good indeed.

If you go on their website and check the menu, you will not find their extensive range of fish dishes mentioned which is a pity, I would recommend that they keep their website up to date as reading it you could be forgiven for thinking they do not have a good selection of fish entrees.

I understand they are moving just a short distance away which will be in a more prominent position, trust me if this attracts more passing trade reservations will be a must, I have traveled along Colonial Boulevard almost daily for the past 15 years during the three months I visit Fort Myers and although I know of the strip mall I never noticed this gem tucked away in the corner.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
    67
    29
    8
    5
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Falmouth, Massachusetts
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“fabul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

This small , 12 to 15, table , restaurant was more than I expected. The food was outstanding ,I had fish and my wife a fried seafood special. The husband and wife team make this a special place. It is intimate , authentic, and special. Everybody cares that you get a good meal and are taken care of.
I only hope that this restaurant can keep its authenticity in the years to come as this will surly be a top goto place in Fort Myers. It is hard to find and you don't expect great food in a strip mall

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Interesting variations”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

After reading other TripAdvisor reviews we decided to give El Gaucho a try. While it wasn't what I was expecting, we did have a nice meal. We started with the Creviches Mixto (mild), which was excellent, very tangy.

The meals had generous portions, although I did find my food (t-bone steak) a bit saltier than I'd like and the sauteed veggies seemed a bit heavy on the oil used in cooking.

This isn't a cooking style I'd encountered before, so it was interesting to try something new. All-in-all it was a nice meal with big portions for a very reasonable price!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“An Argentinian married a Peruvian”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Often as diners, we are drawn to the romanticism of a restaurant only to find out it was all a farce to get us in the door. The proverbial husband and wife team come together for a family dining experience. Well you can put the skeptic to rest at El Gaucho Inca Restaurant.

After missing out on a Peruvian restaurant in Naples because they do not accommodate dogs, I was excited, as a pig in mud, when told that there was an outside table and they would love to have my dog. Woohoo, music to my ears. I was staying close to the Sanibel Captiva Island Gateway, which is a good 20 minute drive to this restaurant. Since it was night, I really could not make out much. But, with limited lighting I could tell this was a very residential area. The restaurant is in the middle of a strip plaza. Lucky for the big overhead sign we found it.

In true family style this restaurant was bustling. The heightened activity, noise, people chatting, music playing, kids giggling, kitchen clanking almost made me want to ditch the dog and sit inside. No, I can’t do that. The lovely host sat us outside and brought menus. On a little prompt, our server went on to describe the dishes. We pulled the right card. She was Rocio Navarrete, Peruvian, the Inca portion of ownership. I’ve dined in enough ethnic restaurants to know the difference between authenticity and fakeness. Rocio takes deep pride in representing her restaurant and culture. She took time to explain each item, with parallels that we could relate to. It is a joy to hear the ring in someone’s voice when they present their food.

Bread – with chimicurri. I really had to be careful with this. The chimicurri had the right amount of bite to open up the taste buds. I could eat a lot more of this, easily.

Seafood Ceviche – The ceviche is the national dish of Peru, made with fresh fish marinated in fresh lime juice, red onions, cilantro a hint of rocoto chili served with Peruvian corn, sweet potato and fresh lettuce. Fresh, with the right balance of acidity and sweetness, textures melted together in cohesiveness.
Pork Tamale – Corn mashed potato stuffed with pork wrapped with banana leaves. Soft, pliable with the earthiness of leaves, very flavorful.

Pescado a lo Macho – Fish fillet with a light spice herb and creamy seafood served with rice. This is not a dish to be taken lightly. It is very rich and complex. The main flavoring ingredient is a Peruvian pepper that has a distinguished taste. Although, this dish can be served hot, the pepper is more for flavor rather than heat. The rich butter and cream sauce is lusciously addicting with succulent seafood. The moist supple white fish, Swai, was a perfect vessel for these flavors. A spectacular dish. When asked if this dish could be served with anything other than rice, the simple answer, “ That is how it is served in Peru.” That is a restaurant staying true to it’s roots. This was the Inca side.

Churrasco 12 oz Skirt Steak – There is not much done to a steak in Argentina. In true Gaucho fashion, the meat is grilled on open fire in the wild range and devoured. Those flavors were captured in this hunk of meat. The subtle saltiness lend well to a slightly chewy texture. Couldn’t get any better.

Torta de Lucuma – A traditional Peruvian dessert. The slightly nutty Lucuma , a native Peruvian fruit, fragrance filled the nose. The cake itself was spongy but not too sweet. As shown in picture, dessert in take out box, we just could not fit anything else in so we took it to go. After a couple of hours, this made a nice midnight snack at the hotel.

I am always thrilled to find restaurants that stay true to their culture. Walking around this dining room is like a museum of cultural art. Even the toilets have interesting art to ponder while you take care of business. All too often ethnic restaurants shy away from their own identity and form this thing called “fusion”. Or is it confusion, or not wanting to embrace their true self. The blend of Argentina and Peru is prevalent in every aspect of this place. Judging from the crowded dining room, I would say this is a great marriage.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“great food, great service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

food was great! Fairly small restaurant, very extensive menu. Four of us all had different entrees and each one was perfectly prepared. Steak was tender, seafood was properly cooked with a lot of different types (fish, octopus, squid, mussels). Tried three different sauces, all of which were done to perfection. Somewhat hard to find, but worth the effort.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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