Grumpiez Green Pepper

Special thanks to Grumpiez Green Pepper Mexican Cantina for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

This is my first food review for 2015! Three years after the uneventful so-called apocalyptic doomsday event in 2012, we can all thank the Mayan gods for keeping us alive. Well done, Hollywood and the Internet, for sensationalizing such nonsense.

And we cannot be thankful enough to Grumpiez Green Pepper Mexican Cantina for giving us insights to what Americanized Mexican food ("Tex-Mex") tastes like. Never mind Habanero or Amex Fresh Mexican Cuisine. Grumpiez is here to show how the big boys roll!
Located at Hillside and between Marshall's and Gusto Cafe, Grumpiez is operated by one charming Bob from Ohio, United States. With decades of experience in the food business, Bob has moved from the States, to Taiwan, then Thailand, and finally decided to start a family in Penang. In the few few years, Bob used to operate a Tex-Mex stall at Northam Beach Cafe, but it is great to have this brick-and-mortar restaurant today.
While alien-sounding Spanish (spoken in most of Latin America and one of the six official languages of the United Nations) on the menu may be intimidating to the average Malaysian, Bob is happy to explain what each dish is made of and how it is prepared. Well, at least when he is not busy in the kitchen. Nothing in Grumpiez leaves the kitchen without being inspected by Bob's watchful eyes.
To start off, say hello to Guacamole & Chips (RM16.00), an appetizer which is usually shared around the table. Made from fried nachos (tortilla chips), the texture is rougher and more fibrous than potato chips. In fact, I just love the unique taste of corn.
Beside the basket of chips is one of my favorite dips while I was in the States: guacamole! Guacamole is primarily made from avocado, a fruit which I also enjoyed in the States as it is cheaply imported from Mexico. The texture of guacamole is creamy and chilling. This is one of a kind dip which I find most gratifying.
The next appetizer is the Grumpiez's Super Nachos (RM32.00). It is not called "super" for nothing. This portion is enough to feed 4 or 5 people; don't say that I didn't warn you! Super nachos is one of America's favorite not-so-American snack to enjoying while watching all-American football.
Grumpiez's Super Nachos is available in pork and chicken versions; this one is chicken. Besides chunks of chicken, this appetizer also contains sliced radishes, black olives, shredded cabbage, jalapeño pepper, salsa and parsley. More guacamole at the center serves as icing on the cake.

As finger food, super nachos is eaten by picking a piece of nacho chip with its toppings, then dropping it entirely in the mouth and followed by loud munching noises. This alerts people around you to what you are eating, who consequently also want super nachos of their own.
Moving on to entrées, the first dish is Grumpiez Chimichanga (RM25.00), which features a large deep-fried burrito. The burrito is made from flour tortilla and stuffed with chicken, bell peppers, refried beans (pinto beans which are fried twice), Spanish rice and Monterey Jack cheese. Molten cheese on top lends additional appeal. On the side are more refried beans, salsa, fresh greens and fried tortilla strips. The beef version is also available should you prefer so.
The next Hispanic delicacy is Chicken Enchiladas Rojas (RM20.00), whose appearance and taste is quite faithful to the ones that I encountered in the United States. Served on the side are Spanish rice and other ingredients similar to the previous chimichanga.
The enchiladas are two soft-shell tortilla wraps, each filled with pulled chicken, salsa roja (red sauce with cilantro) and salsa enchilada. On top are Jack cheese, guacamole, black olives and scallion. I must say that the pulled chicken is certainly well marinated, much to my satisfaction.
In response to poorer sales on Tuesdays, every Tuesday is Taco Tuesdays at Grumpiez. This offer was an immediate hit and Tuesdays have ironically become Grumpiez's busiest days! Although today is not Tuesday, Bob specially prepared this for us.
Each serving of Taco Tuesdays (RM18.00) consists of three hard-shell tacos or 3 soft-shell tacos. In addition to chopped cabbage, grated Jack cheese, jalapeño pepper and salsa, customers have a choice of either minced chicken or minced pork. Personally, the soft-shell minced chicken taco is my favorite.
Posted on the special menu is the Cubano Sandwich (RM30.00), the official sandwich endorsed by the city of Tampa, Florida. Grumpiez's Cubano Sandwich comes in a basket of two pieces. The portion is mean for one person, but it is extremely large by Malaysian standards. According to Bob, Grumpiez's food is faithfully served in standard American size. A knife is stabbed through the heart of sandwich, a clear message that the Fidel Castro means business.
Jokes aside, the Cubano bread is baked in-house as it is extremely difficult (if even possible) to find a bakery which carries this bread in Penang. Cubano bread has harder crust than most bread, but the interior remains rather fluffy. Sandwiched between bread slices are roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, chopped onion, mustard sauce and Grumpiez's special sauce. Simply irresistible!
Speaking of sauces, Grumpiez has several types of salsas (sauces) which you cannot find in any Tom, Dick and Harry's. Most of these condiments are imported from the States, except for Grumpy's special sauce which is Bob's secret creation.
The pungency of a given spice can be measured in the Scoville scale, which is a measure of capsaicin concentration in Scoville heat units (SHU). The jalapeño pepper measures around 5,000 SHU, while habañero pepper is a whopping 300,000 SHU! For reference, law enforcement pepper spray is approximately 1,000,000 SHU.
With the exception of desserts, all food at Grumpiez is prepared in-house entirely. Ingredients such as tortilla wraps and pulled pork are prepared each morning for maximum freshness. Salsa is prepared one day in advance because it tastes better overnight.
Last of all, why is Bob called "Grumpy"? According to Bob, his wife thought that he is rather grumpy at times. I'm sure that she meant it in an adoring way. Being a gentleman, Bob does not want to argue over this because the wife is always right. I mean, whose wife isn't? But on the off chance when the husband wins an argument, you should place a historical plaque to commemorate such auspicious event.
Name: Grumpiez Green Pepper Mexican Cantina
Address: 27, Jalan Sungai Kelian, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-890-5880
Business hours: 12:00pm-10:00pm, closed on Mondays
Coordinates: 5.46409 N, 100.29047 E
Directions: From Jalan Tanjung Bungah, turn to Jalan Sungai Kelian and immediately keep right. Drive past Petron gas station on the right, then arrive Grumpiez Green Pepper approximately 100 meters later on the left. There is limited parking space in front of Grumpiez.


  1. Nice review there! Food description and store details are thorough with a side of jokes :p
    Will check this place soon enough with my friends and family.
    Bookmarked !

    1. Thanks! Glad that you like this article! :-)

      Please share your thoughts once you have tried this restaurant. :-)

  2. When I have a chance, I'll visit there for sure. So attractive!