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“Simple menu, simply delicious”

Gonza Tacos y Tequila
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Ranked #9 of 1,518 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $15
Cuisines: Mexican, South American
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Come experience the best Mexican restaurant in Raleigh.
Reviewed January 13, 2012

First off, for those of you that like Dos Tacquitos, Gonza's was started by his brother. Now, my wife and I have visited it twice since it opened in December, so I'm going to cover each of the things that we had by category instead breaking down each visit. The first thing you'll notice on the menu is that it is only two pages and has mostly traditional mexican fare. I think that if you stick to this menu, you won't be disappointed. However, I recommend that you stray from this after 1-2 visits b/c there are some nice surprises to be had.

Drinks: The house margaritas are very good. You can taste the tequila, but aren't over-powered by b/c the lime juice cuts it so well. They are also reasonably priced so that you can have two of them during a meal and not break the bank. We also tried the Spicy Pepino (a house specialty rita) that has cucumber and serrano pepper in it. I wasn't sure if I'd like it (bartender recommended it), but I thought the combination of heat/spice from the pepper and "cool" from the cucumber make for a very good drink. They also have homemade sangria and a wide variety of tequilas, but we haven't gotten to those yet.

Appetizers: On our first visit we had the queso picoso. It has a blanco (white) cheese base instead of the Americanized cheddar and can stand up on it's own. Our only complaint about it was that the portion size was too small for our liking, but that may be because we ate it quickly b/c it was so good. We tried the chiles endiablados (bacon wrapped pickled jalepenos stuffed w/cream cheese) on the second trip and have found our new favorite appetizer there. Once again, there's a definite heat from the jalepeno, but the bacon and cheese add plenty of flavor/coolness to cut it. Loved it.

Main Course: I had the carnitas (pork) tacos with the tortilla soup as a side while my wife had the tinga (chicken) tacos with the beans as a side. For me ordering tortilla soup is always an adventure b/c restaurants all seem to have a different take on what tortilla soup is. At Gonza's, it's more like a stew (almost like a chili) and heavily laden with meat and beans which is right up my alley b/c I'm a huge chili fan. My wife lived in Costa Rica for a year and she said based upon her experience - the beans were clearly authentic central american fare and had been cooking all day. Each order of tacos has three small tacos in corn tortillas which seemed to us to be great portion size - you walk away full, but not stuffed. The spices on each do a good job of bringing out the flavor of the meat, but also come with sauces on the side (green chile sauce for the pork and red sauce for the chicken), so you can tweak them more to your liking. On our 2nd visit, my wife had the El Platano (plantain stuffed w/chopped fajita steak, rice, chipotle sauce) with the beans and raved about it. Once again, not something that we would have ordered normally, but it's the favorite of the owner and he talked us into it. Speaking of which, I'd definitely try to meet the owner when you visit. He let us know of a few things that you can get off the menu, but you have to ask.

We had a great experience both times, so give it a try. We're very glad we did.

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1  Thank Steve_Shoeless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 12, 2012

I went tonight and I wasn't 100% bowled over until we got to dessert. We ordered one coconut flan that was fantastic and a fried fruit filled dough & ice cream combo that was divine. For dinner I had the tacos pibil which was pretty good with tortilla soup on the side. I'm a big fan of tortilla soup and this did not disappoint. My friend ordered vegetable tacos and a salad. It was good but not quite filling (3 small tacos) so we got dessert too. The menu is a little limited if you aren't a fan of tacos but I'm excited to go back and explore all the different types of tacos and the few other items. They have an amazing, extensive tequila selection but I am a sucker for a spicy drink and ordered the Spicy Pepino. It's a spicy jalepeno & cucumber drink that was quite tasty. The decor can only be described as eclectic. They've only been open just over a month and I hope they do well.

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Thank NCtravelz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Gonza's Tacos y Tequila is a fun and very friendly place to hang out. I stopped in a few days before the restaurant opened and spoke to the owner. He is Colombian, and has included some signature dishes on the menu from his native country. Selection include some traditional Tex - Mex fare, more authentic Mexican, and the recipes from Colombia. The decor is very whimsical and yet beautiful at the same time. There are 30 or so Mexican star paper lanterns that provide the majority of the light in the restaurant. All of the lanterns are unique, and the colors and shapes give the restaurant a magical quality.

I met friends for dinner about two weeks after the restaurant opened. We started at the bar with a couple of drinks. I highly recommend the local beer - Triangle Brewing Company's Habanero Beer. For dinner, I had the red snapper which was absolutely delicious. The staff was very friendly and the service was great. I am taking a larger group of friends back to Gonza's Tacos y Tequila tomorrow night.

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1  Thank apraleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2011

You may remember him from Dos Taquitos: the smiling, friendly amigo to all.

Now, he's in the former Savoy / Fins spot in North Raleigh, and he will do very well.

Colombian by birth, Gonza here serves up food from a tad north of his native borders, but I hope he'll mix in more of his homeland's food, too.

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Thank HomoQuiScitOmnia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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