First developed by the Aztecs, guacamole is an avocado-based dip beloved nationally by college students and others. With National Spicy Guacamole Day on Nov. 14, many celebrated the day by gorging on the savory dip. If you’re wondering what the best guacamole locales near campus are, look no further. Get a feel for the ins and outs of guacamole in Atlanta.
Located in Ponce City Market, Minero fits in with the market’s trendy atmosphere but serves a rather unexciting guacamole. Virtually flavorless, the guacamole is pretty lackluster. Minero’s version of the dip lacks in salt, cilantro and the rest of the general elements that elevate a mere mashed up avocado to a true guacamole. The insipid nature of the guacamole balances with the interesting but aggressively salted, thicker chip that is paired with it. Spice level was virtually zero so in all. I was unimpressed with the egregiously overpriced dish — at $8 for about 6 ounces, Minero’s guacamole is far too boring to be worth the purchase.
The light-colored guacamole at Bartaco is rather simple, as it consists of fewer ingredients than most guacamoles but still packs a lot of flavor. While the dip itself feels heavy, the flavors are light. Sea salt and pronounced notes of lime and cilantro blend into the almost creamy consistency of the guacamole. While not flavorless, it doesn’t quite have the kick you might want in a guacamole. Served with flattened hard taco shells, the wholesome and fresh guacamole adheres to the chip quite satisfyingly. The portion size, about 6 ounces, is disappointing for a $6 “family style” appetizer, but the guacamole is expertly prepared and enjoyable.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle guacamole is like the “basic white girl” — it’s extra. Granted, it has more ingredients than its competitors. Chipotle guacamole will mollify the Goldilocks in you as it’s neither too chunky nor too creamy. It’s also seasoned just enough to bring out the flavors of onions and cilantro, but isn’t overly salty. It reaches a harmonious balance of every culinary aspect, epitomizing good guacamole. Although not overly spicy, Chipotle’s guacamole still beats out Minero and Bartaco in terms of spice levels. While the chips are often stale and greasy, the guacamole itself is quite the bang for your buck at only $3.25 for a 4-ounce plastic cup.
Tin Lizzy’s Cantina
Having a dull color and a metallic aftertaste, Tin Lizzy’s guacamole is dangerously reminiscent of the little frozen tubs of guacamole that my mother packed in my school lunches. This version adds tomatoes, cilantro and onions to the avocado base, all of which fail to ameliorate the dip’s flavor. I enjoyed the lightly fried, seasoned chips better without the guacamole, which I ended up having to do because of the offensively immense chip-to-guacamole ratio. While this guacamole has the same chunkiness as that of Chipotle’s, do not be fooled by this stale imposter that’s more than double the price at $6.99 for 6 ounces. Although it contains some flaws, Tin Lizzy’s guacamole does rank highest in spice level of all the options. Perhaps tolerable as a mindless snack for those who like to lose themselves in a televised sports game, Tin Lizzy’s guacamole is otherwise somewhat repulsive.
For guacamole of the best value, head over to Chipotle. For a flavorful and wholesome culinary experience, choose Bartaco for your Latin delicacy. However, if you do find yourself celebrating National Spicy Guacamole Day at Tin Lizzy’s or Minero, I recommend also ordering a margarita or two to aid in the expulsion of bad guacamole from your memory.