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'Cali/Mex' cuisine goes well with celebrating at Ole’s Guacamoles

Mystery Diner • Jun 28, 2019 at 7:30 AM

I can say that my education into the various types of Mexican cuisine has been not only informative, but absolutely delicious. At present, I am continuing my education (and taking my time about it, I might add) on the cuisine of Baja California, or Cali-Mex for short. My mentor in this endeavor is Mr. Alfredo Delatorre, proprietor of the remarkable restaurant that is Ole’s Guacamoles. I recently took the opportunity for some additional tutoring with Delatorre on the occasion of my friends the dine-around bunch and I welcoming the Retiree back from one of her overseas jaunts.

Yes, there is an Ole; that’s Ole Delatorre. He’s Alfredo’s dad who owns the first and very successful Ole’s Guacamoles in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Alfredo’s version of the restaurant occupies a large yellow building on South Roan Street in Johnson City, gaily festooned with a mural depicting larger-than-life slices of avocado around the outside first floor. Inside is a very nice, low-ceilinged and cozy dining area that seats 60 or so, along with a small but well-stocked and centrally-located salsa bar and an equally well-stocked beer, liquor and wine bar in back. Rest rooms are to the right behind a big, ornate medieval-looking door. On arrival, our server Jasmine seated us and took our drink orders while the bunch and I decided which part of the menu attracted our attention.

Arroz Con Pollo: Having spent the last two weeks traveling by rental car and commercial aircraft, our peripatetic friend the Retiree wanted a supper that would re-set a digestive system punished by two weeks’ worth of vending machines, greasy spoons and at least three different airlines. Her choice was Arroz con Pollo, Delatorre’s version of good ol’ chicken & rice ($8.99). Grilled chicken breast is aired with Ole’s Guacamoles’ own seasoned white rice, and garlanded with a nicely sautéed red onion. A ramekin of tomatillo sauce was all our footsore friend’s meal would need for her rejuvenation.

Pechuga ala Parilla: My dining partner was also wanting chicken grilled with vegetables and ordered a chicken breast from the grill, or pechuga ala parilla ($8.99). Chicken breast strips are grilled on the char rack, then added to a good quantity of grilled onions, mushrooms and green bell peppers. Once grilled, the chicken and vegetables are arranged on the plate of seasoned rice and drizzled with warm queso cheese. Very tasty indeed.

Pollo Ranchero: Now, the Carnivore regards ingesting anything that was not born with a circulatory system as a “waste of tummy space.” However, since we were all eating at Ole’s Guacamoles, and not wanting to put a cramp in the celebration, my meat-eating friend ordered the house Pollo Ranchero ($8.99), chicken sautéed in the house Ranchera sauce with onions, green peppers and sliced mushrooms. It was then served with some excellent refried beans dotted with queso fresca cheese, some seasoned rice, shredded lettuce, sour cream and a bowl of fresh-made signature guacamole. Let’s not forget the warm flour tortillas for my (omnivore?) friend to wrap it all up in.

Enchiladas Blancas: While the Carnivore was busy broadening his variety of intake, the Dieter took a break from counting her calories and decided that a plate of the enchiladas blancas ($8.99) was what her taste buds were wanting. Here, three corn tortillas are filled with cheese and diced tomato, onion, green pepper and mushrooms, then covered in melted queso white sauce and plated with rice and refried beans. Though she could have added chicken or beef for an extra two bucks, the Dieter felt it best not to tantalize the Carnivore who was (for once) busy eating his vegetables with nary a grumble.

Spinach & Mushroom Quesadilla: My workday had involved a business lunch with a client who was determined to dine well at my company’s expense, causing me to arrive at the Retiree’s celebration still feeling pretty full. After apprising Mr. Delatorre of my situation, he recommended something light: a spinach and mushroom quesadilla ($9.99). This is a flour tortilla stuffed with fresh spinach, sliced mushrooms and cheese, folded in half and grilled. Cut into sections, it is served with side orders of refried beans, seasoned rice, lettuce, sour cream and my own bowl of guacamole. I savored each bite of my meal, and asked for a take-home box so I could enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day.

The bottom line: The dine-around bunch and I had fun welcoming our friend the Retiree home, especially so with Alfredo Delatorre and the talented folks at Ole’s Guacamoles providing their expertly prepared and delicious “Cali-Mex” cuisine that made everything about our celebration just right. If you’ve got a special event coming up, or even if you just want a night out with good friends and delicious food in comfortable surroundings, Ole’s Guacamoles is the place to go.

Ole’s Guacamoles

1000 S. Roan St.

Johnson City

434-0801

Sun-Thu 11:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m. -10:30 p.m.

Available on Facebook

Credit cards accepted

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