The Cuisine Scene
Brenda Hill

Gaby's Mexican Food

Yucaipa, CA

After reading some of the buzz about the new orange restaurant in upper Yucaipa, Kathryn and I wanted to try it.

To my surprise, I saw two orange restaurants about a block apart. One is very small, not yet open, and it looks as though it’ll be a take-out place. But Gaby’s, next to the News Mirror, is open and in full swing.

Since it was a mild evening, several people were seated on the front patio. Inside, the owner, Abraham Rubio, greeted us from behind the counter and we learned he’s been open about a month. He also owns Albertos Mexican Food, a drive-thru in Colton, and has over twenty years experience in fine dining. His new venture in Yucaipa is truly a family affair as Gaby’s is named for his wife. Their sons help at both restaurants.

His menu is posted on the wall, ranging from breakfast to the normal choices of burritos, tostadas, and tacos, but they also offer a special of the day. That day’s special was fresh Albondigas, a soup similar to beef minestrone with meatballs, Abraham explained.

Everything is made fresh daily, including the tortillas, so I wanted to try their chips and guacamole for $2.95. Also offered as sides are fries, beans, rice, nachos supreme, enchiladas, and 2 chiles rellenos for $3.75. I almost ordered the chiles, but decided to go for a combination dinner which includes beans and rice. I ordered the #8-chiles rellenos combination dinner for $5.50, and Kathryn ordered the #5-beef taco and enchilada, also for $5.50. Most of their combination dinners are the same price, such as a beef taco and tostada, 2 fish tacos, 2 sopes, bean tostada and enchilada, and 2 chicken tacos. The carne asada plate is $6.50.

Abraham brought the chips and guacamole first, and unlike other restaurants I’ve tried, the serving was huge. Even before I tried the guacamole, I knew I’d love everything as the chips had those little bubbles that I love. He explained he prepares them in a secret way to make sure they’re crispy. And, instead of lard, he cooks everything in 100% vegetable oil. The guacamole was creamy and delicious, and not once did I taste that unpleasant flavor that signals the avocado was overripe.

Then Abraham brought our dinners, and again, the servings were large. I wanted to try a taco, and Kathryn wanted a chile, so we traded the one item. First I tasted the beans, and they were very good, no burnt flavor that I’ve found in some places. The rice was fluffy and good, but the chile relleno was absolutely fantastic, the best I’ve ever eaten. As I cut into mine, I could see it looked dark green as if it had just come from the garden. Pasilla peppers, which are the best, Abraham explained, and he stuffs them with mozzarella and cheddar. He said they were his most popular dish and I could see why. With just enough batter to add to the flavor, the chile was spicy with just enough heat to be good. I didn’t even have to gulp water.

The taco was stuffed with shredded beef with the lettuce and cheese piled high, but what I loved was the corn tortilla. As was everything else, the tortilla was homemade and crispy. I liked it so much that next time I might just try one with lettuce and tomato.

Although Kathryn liked the enchilada, she raved over the chile relleno as well.

I couldn’t believe that the entire meal was only $5.50. It was so good and filling that Kathryn and I couldn’t finish the chips and guacamole, something that doesn’t often happen.

And that’s only part of their menu. They offer about fourteen different burritos, from shredded beef for $3.95, chicken, fish, even a chile relleno burrito for $3.99. Will have to try that one. And the standard bean, bean and cheese for $2.90. Abraham said he uses sirloin for his burritos.

For tostadas, they have about four different ones, bean and cheese for $1.85, asada, at $2.65, chicken for $2.25, and a tostada salad for $3.95. That’s another one I’d like to try.

They also offer several different tacos, from the shredded beef or chicken for $1.85, 3 beef taquitos for $3.25, a fish taco for $1.85, and even shrimp for $2.45. Then there’s an Asada, pastor, or carnitas for $1.25.

All their dishes are served with two homemade sauces, a green tomatillo if you like your sauce mild, and a hot red guajillo.

If you’re not in the mood for a taco, you might want to try a torta, one of their sourdough sandwiches. They have ham, chicken or pastor for $3.45, carnitas for the same amount, an asada for $3.99, and mi tierra for $4.25, which I think is a variety of steak, ham, cheese, beans, and some other items, even guacamole.

Their breakfast prices are amazing. They have a breakfast special, 2+2+2 for $2.99, which is two eggs, 2 pancakes and choice of 2 sausages or 2 bacon strips. Also offered is a breakfast burrito of ham, bacon, steak chorizo, machaca for $3.20, an omelet for $3.99, and more. And breakfast is served all day.

They even have fresh oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies and brownies.

Kathryn wants to bring her grandchildren as the atmosphere is casual and friendly, and they’re open seven days a week from 7am to 8pm. Another couple wandered in while we were there, saying they stopped because it was one of the few places open in the evening. 

Give them a try. I did and I'll certainly be back. 

35158 Yucaipa Boulevard
(between California and Bryant)
Yucaipa, CA
(909) 797-6626

UPDATE: The Yucaipa location is now closed