611 W Strasburg Rd.
West Chester, PA 19380
I was told West Chester had some great Mexican spots, so I thought I would start with the popular Don Gabriel. It's located in what was obviously a WAWA in it's former life.
It had all of the makings of a great spot. No frills seating, a small grocery store inside, and chips and salsa.
A kitchen with various pots of bubbling sauces and stews.
And fresh guacamole.
The guac was good. The chips were medicore. But they were not a show stopper. The salsas, while plentiful, all lacked acidity and salt.
The pork tamale was decent, nothing to write home about. Confusingly, I had a previously frozen sweet corn tamale sample at Trader Joe's recently that far surpassed this offering.
The sope was good, like a salad on a masa disc. I liked the cotija, but again, nothing was too impressive with this item.
I felt the taco trio would be a good way to try some of my favorite meat varieties. The chorizo was good, the barbacoa had all the trappings of good 'coa, but the chicken was extremely bland and dry. In addition, why were they served with lemon slices? The lime shortage?
The torta was the biggest winner of the group. I got the al pastor, and although the bread could have been better, it had all the necessary requirements. I would order this again, if I were ever forced back here.
Probably the biggest disappointment was the mole. It had a couple of whole pieces of chicken in a rather bland sauce, lacking the complexity and depth of traditional mole. I would pass next time.
I just didn't find anything to love at Don Gabriel, and ended up spending over $40 in disappointment. I have heard West Chester has great Mexican, so where is it?