5 De Mayo

In the spot where the Pho Viet portion of Van Bakery and Cafe used to be, a new restaurant opened up a little over a week ago. 5 De Mayo Mexican Restaurant – Taqueria and Pupusaria. As far as I can tell this mexican joint has some serious guatemalan leanings, which is just awesome by me.

5 de Mayo Mexican Restaurant

5 de Mayo Mexican Restaurant interior

The inside is still pretty spartan. There are a couple pieces of art, but it’s mostly bare – there are still even some of the old chinese/vietnamese good luck charms hanging up.

5 de Mayo Mexican Restaurant interior

The pupusas and the Picamas sauce are the guatemalan elements that led Adam and I to think that 5 de Mayo is more than just a standard mexican restaurant. An illuminating Google search taught me that other latin countries do celebrate Cinco de Mayo as well, so the name still applies to Guatemala.

Picamas – the most popular hot sauce in Guatemala

Picamas – the most popular hot sauce in Guatemala according to the label.

After ordering, we got a big plate of homemade tortilla chips with extremely generous portions of two types of salsa. The chips and the salsas were all good. We preferred the tomatillo salsa.

Handmade tortilla chips with two types of sauces

Handmade tortilla chips with two types of sauces.

Since 5 De Mayo professes to be best at tacos and pupusas according to its menu, we decided those were a great place to start. We ordered the three tacos for six bucks. They didn’t have the barbacoa that we wanted, but since they just opened, I guess it’s understandable.

The tacos had raw onion and cilantro, and came with lime to juice ‘em up. We also used some of the leftover salsa from the tortilla chips. They weren’t oily like some tacos are, especially some chorizo tacos. The chorizo was quite tasty, and the beef was very good as well. The chicken was pretty good, too, but definitely our least favorite of the trio.

5 De Mayo Tacos

Three tacos for $5.99 – Chorizo, beef and chicken.

The pupusa came with cole slaw. Emily Trivia Fact #12: I hate cole slaw. But I also believe in pushing boundaries and try to challenge my beliefs from time to time, so I tried this cole slaw. And I liked it a lot! AND I was already full of chips, salsa and tacos, so it wasn’t the seductive effect of hunger. Now I wonder if it’s just the common cole slaw of the american southeast that I dislike. I’ll have to keep experimenting.

But on to the pupusa. I’d heard a lot about pupusas, but never had one before. This was a great little thing and a great price! I’m also not a huge fan of chicharones, but I was still impressed by the pupusa and enjoyed every bite. Adam really loved the pupusa, too, so success all around with this dish!

This high note is where our experience should have ended, were we smart people.

Chicharones, beans, and cheese pupusa

Chicharones, beans, and cheese pupusa ($2).

The generous amount of hearty chips and salsa surprised us, and between that and the tacos and pupusa, we were actually fairly pretty darn full – and on $8 plus tip! Ridiculous! Unfortunately, we were really hungry when we came in and made an error in judgement by ordering diablo shrimp. This is a spicy dish we both really enjoy, but it’s also probably not the thing to buy at a brand new restaurant 500 miles inland.

The shrimp were definitely previously frozen, and that really worked against the dish, which was spicy but not overly so. The rice was very mild but still not bland – a pleasant subtle flavor to balance the spice of the diablo sauce. The beans were okay. All in all, I really blame our judgement more than anything else. If I were a new restaurateur in this location, I would probably keep track of demand for a while before routinely ordering pricey food that doesn’t keep as long as other types of animal parts. And that would mean using frozen shrimp. I’m prepared to chalk it up to new restaurant woes, or at the very least ordering outside of the restaurant’s stated specialties.

Camarones a La Diabla

Camarones a la diablas ($10.99).

Still, it wasn’t bad. Just not as impressive as everything else. Really, to think we could have left satisfied for around $12 is somewhat mind-boggling. Adam and I are resisting the urge to get swept away in the excitement of a new place with great prices, and are sticking to 3.5 stars for now. But depending on how things go when the restaurant is all settled in, I think we could really have a go-for-the-great-cheap-food-and-nevermind-the-setting winning taqueria (and pupusaeria) on our hands. Can’t want to find out!

5 De Mayo Mexican Restaurant
5000 Buford Highway #195
Chamblee, GA 30341

5 De Mayo Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

emily

Nerd. Foodie. Gamer. Gardener. Cook. Perpetual planner. Aspiring homesteader. BuHi Food Expedition leader. Pixelcrafter. I use too many damn commas.

Posted Under: 3.5 stars atlanta food buford highway food expedition guatemala food mexican food
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6 Comments

  1. helen says:

    Are those homemade bolillo rolls on the speed rack in the third picture? If not, did you catch a look at what they were?

    • emily says:

      In a way, yes. I’m fairly certain they were destined to be banh mi rolls. It looks like Van Bakery and 5 de Mayo are sharing kitchens and/or cold locker space. There’s an between the two areas that doesn’t even appear to have a door. At some point an asian gentlemen popped in and wheeled them away to the Van Bakery side.

  2. tanline says:

    Finally tried this place. Service was excellent from the 2 ladies (one was the cook and the other waitress). The Pupusas were great. Maybe as good as Ricon Latino. We also had Empanada, Tacos and Chicken Mole. The Empanada was our favorite – the dough instead of flour based was made of corn. Very different than other restaurants like Havana. The tacos (Asada, Pastor and Barbaqoa) were also good although we prefer Taco Veloz or El Rey de Taco. The Chicken mole was just OK… Like you noted – the snacks like the Pupusas or Empanadas were the better than the entrees…

  3. Uy and Melissa says:

    Uy and I were looking for a great little place off Buford Highway to have lunch today. I knew the right person to check in with and see where to go to. This place was AWESOME. It was so authentic and original. We got there right when the opened for lunch. Everything was fresh. I ordered the Tacos and they brought out fresh Mozzarella Cheese and Salsa for the tacos. I could have honestly ate all the cheese. The chicken on the tacos had a special seasoning that I had never tasted. Uy had the Tortas and loved it. Uy and I have been looking for such a place like this and the price was great too. I can’t wait to go back and try something different! Service was excellent and quick. It all tasted so fresh. Loved it! Thanks for the tip Emily!

    • Emily says:

      Hello! If you click the Urbanspoon link at the bottom of the article, you can see all of the restuarant’s facts, including phone number. Next door is Van Bakery.

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