Ever wonder why guacamole you order in a restaurant is so amazing? The avocados are perfectly green ripe and the flavor is the perfect balance of salty, tangy and creamy. I visited Uncle Julio’s, a Tex-Mex restaurant in Dallas, where they take their guac making as seriously as I do. I was surprised to learn three little secrets they use in the restaurant biz that I now incorporate into my home recipe.
First, at restaurants, they refrigerate their avocados. This ensures firm, yet ripe avocados that won’t brown easily (nothing is more devastating than cutting into an avo and the whole thing is ruined!)
Second, they swap out lime juice for lemon juice, which is sweeter and less sour. So you get the bright citrus flavor without the tartness.
And the biggest difference in restaurant guacamole is they make a paste out of raw garlic and olive oil. This is a real game changer. The garlicky flavor is subtle, smooth, but uh-mazing, I can’t tell you how much it elevates the flavor of this creamy dip. I use a mortar and pestle and sprinkle a pinch of salt to help emulsify it. This is what it looks like after I give it a good pounding:
After you’ve mashed the avocados, fold in the golden garlic paste, then add the other ingredients. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!
Restaurant Style Guacamole
2 ripe large avocados
1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped
3 tbsp fresh cilantro minced (a small handful)
3 tbsp yellow sweet onion, minced (about 1/4 large onion)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
half a jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
Place the oil, garlic clove and a small pinch of salt into a mortar and pestle and pulverize until a paste forms, set aside. In a large bowl, scoop out the avocados and mash until smooth, with a few large avocado chunks remaining. Add the garlic paste and stir until incorporated. Add the rest of the ingredients, generous pinch of salt and pepper and stir gently until combined (don’t over mix). Serve immediately with tortilla chips (these are my absolute favorite, pronounced ‘so-cheel’) or place plastic wrap directly onto the guacamole and refrigerate.