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Carolina's Mexican Food: Awesome food, but Not for Macayo Lovers!
This is not a chain, and doesn't serve tomato sauce as their salsa, so if you think Macayo is awesome, don't bother making the order line longer here. This is authentic positively yummy mexican food--everything is fresh and made right at the restaurant. I haven't had one bad food order here--EVERYTHING is good! They also sell food in bulk to go (tortillas by the dozen, pints and quarts of beans, rice and red and green chili). Their flour tortillas are the best in town. The dining room has a lot to be desired, and their location is not in the best part of town, but I have never felt unsafe visiting Carolina's (and diningroom is usually full with firemen who obviously love the food as well).
The prices reflect the overhead and location of the restaurant--they are extremely reasonable. The combo plates range from $3.95 to $5.15, and are loaded with food! A dozen flour tortillas are just a little over $2, and they are HUGE!! I can't say enough wonderful things about this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: "Oaxaca Special" burrito enchilada style and the Combo #9 (shredded beef taco plate)
The Barrio Cafe: Modern Mexican Food
This is a darling little restaurant on 16th street. A great little cafe with excellent food. It has a wonderful atmosphere with funky art on the walls. The theme in the bar and bathroom features Mexican Wrestlers. Too cute.
The food makes this restaurant special. We went for brunch and had a seafood crepe that was out of this world. Their tortilla chips are more authentic mexican and the guacamole is nice with an unusual addition of dried sweet pomagranite.
The bar features a good selection of tequilas and the staff was very nice and attentive when I was there.
This place is unexpected in the neighborhood it is in. It is totally worth the trip.
Favorite Dish: Seafood Crepe for brunch along with a Mango Mimosa. Sweet!
Update: I eat here way too often now - At lunch I am likely to order their Shrimp Tacos with their house salad and an order of guac and chips. Their margaritas are good but strong. Expect a buzz.
- Food and Dining
Barrio Cafe: Try a Michelada and the tableside prepd guacamole
(Barrio Cafe) Fantastic... unassuming little place... but once you walk in, you realize its not gonna be your standard tacos and chimis.... its a hip little place, and the wall are adorned with an ever changing variety of beautiful mexican american paintings, which are also for sale... Barrio means nieghborhood, and the local art and small size, with its hip n loose feel, make it a true corner of phoenix....
Now for the grub... its fantastic, but not without a price... that aside, its worth it. Everything ive tried is fantastic... chef Silvana Salcido Esparza is an acclaimed mexican cuisine innovator.... there are traditional dishes like mole and posole, both well done, and some original twists, like the crab and chicken torta..... the dishes featuring oaxacan cheese like the relleno pablano come loaded in good, rich mexican cheese... portions are large, drinks are fantastic, like the margaritas... they have excellent fresh fruit margaritas too... I recommend a Michelada, which I was introduced to on a trip to cuernavaca.... Definately get the tableside guacamole... Its unreal... they add pomegranet which works very well for some reason...
This place is not only authentic, with a slight fusion twist... The food seems modern, yet traditional.... its hip, sheik, yes, its a bit pricey... but trust me.... If you wanna see real Phoenix, and do it first class, check this place out....
Favorite Dish: Guacamole, micheladas... margaritas..... pablano relleno, the red pepper soup.... the mango shrimp salad, and anything with crab and mexican cheese... but, its all good, in my humble opinion...
Caramba!: The YUMMIEST!
The restaurant's motto is "Where you don't peso much!" This is true! You get inexpensive, delicious, hearty food along with a great selection of salsa's!
There are 3 of these little restaurant's, all in the West Valley. They're small and run by two brothers. The people who work here are wonderful and friendly.
The food...FABULOUS. They have a huge menu and all (yes, I said ALL) of it is delicious! A huge variety, from your authentic Mexican to your "americanized mexican". DON'T miss Caramba's!
I do NOT like Mexican food, but I eat here at LEAST once a week!
Favorite Dish: Stuffed Quesadilla - Huge totilla stuffed with meat, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole.
Pollo Fundido - Chicken burrito with a queso fundido sauce over it.
Torpedo's - SImilar to flauta's, but with flour tortilla's, topped with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo.
Tee Pee Mexican: Best chili rellenos in town
This is a classic Mexican restaurant that has been around for years. The decor hasn't changed much since we started going there in the early 70's, but the food is great and the price is right.
Favorite Dish: Their specialty are chili rellenos, but enchiladas are good too.
Valle Luna Mexican Restaurant: Nice Ambiance/Good Prices
I rarely like to create Restaurant Tips because so many people have different tastes, but I only mention places I would eat again.
I have been to many Mexican restaurants in the valley and feel the Valle Luna is one of the better in the City. It is small and personal with nice ambience and friendly staff. Complimentary Warm chips and salsa and good food at good prices. What more could you want?
Favorite Dish: Enchiladas are very tasty.
- Budget Travel
Asi Es La Vida: Hidden Gem of a Restaurant
Basically I am a lunch-time foodie. I work in Central Phoenix and one of my favorite past-times is to hunt out new lunch venues for co-workers and clients.
I passed by this restaurant numerous times and finally had lunch there with a co-worker. We were so pleasantly surprised. This is an intimate little place with a cute decor, table cloths and cloth napkins. The service was was wonderful and the food was excellent. We were also treated to a guitar player in the dining room which made for a very relaxing lunch.
The fare is Mexican in the central-southern Mexico style. We enjoyed their guacamole. I need to go back for dinner sometime soon.
Favorite Dish: Seafood Enchiladas and Guacamole.
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Pepe's Taco Villa: Actual non-touristy Mexican food
There is a large industry of restaurants in Phoenix that serve "Mexican" food to anglos. The most notable amongst the chains are Garcia's and Macayo's. If chimichangas and fajitas are what you are looking for, stay with those places.
Pepe's, on the other hand, is not a chain, it's a family-owned business where Pepe's wife Dora Luz, does the cooking. It is in a relatively bad neighborhood and the place wouldn't win any awards for aesthetics. The food, however, is magnificent, and the prices make you feel like you are getting away with something.
Favorite Dish: My wife swears by the mole. I usually order the machacado. The Tecate is served in cans. The food somehow manages to seem very light in comparison to the Mexican food I am used to having.
Aunt Chilladas: Too hot to miss!
Great food - a bit too spicy for me but delicious nonetheless...
Favorite Dish: I had chicken enchilada with salad (thank goodness) and sangria (unfortunately, not very nice at all - if compared to the one I prepare).
On the border: Mexican
On the border-Mexican Grill and Cantina.
First resterant I have been to in Phoenix. Excellent food, you are given a big bowl of nacho chips and salsa. (Little tip, don't finish them or you will be given another big bowl leaving no room for your dinner!)
Favorite Dish: I had an unusual Salmon dish. It was grilled with a sauce on top. Served with rice, veg and beans. Very nice.
Their description "From traditional dishes to grilled meat specialties" Hours 11am-10PM
Satisfaction-satisfied, food great, service can be slow. Great chipsand salsa, no need to eat just drink margaritas
My favorite restaurant is...
My favorite restaurant is Macayo's. It is Sanoran Mexican food and it is the best i have had yet. it is well priced for the food, but their happy hour specials are a bit high priced when you are in Tempe. However you will find that macayo's is now a chain so you can find them all over the city.
Festive anytime you go!
Favorite Dish: Chicken Poblano. Shreddd chicken stuffed inside a huge breaded and fried Poblano chili. It is spicy and wonderful!
Blanco tacos and tequila: Another Mexican Restaurant bites the Dust
Ok, nice atmosphere at Biltmore Park. A little dark on the inside. I had to use my cell phone to read the menu. I chose the beef fajitas and a side taco. First, i dug into the "braised short rib" taco. Mmm, an explosion of flavors. I was impressed, and for 3.00 USD I better be. However, after this I had to rely on the flavor of this one taco to get me through the evening. The fajitas I could not say enough bad things about (unfortunately-I love fajitas). From the beef having nothing but gristle. I chewed until my teeth hurt. And, the out of a package seasoning flavor was terrible. The onions and peppers were a pile of mush (I like mine with a little crunch left in them). The rice was a nice try with whole white corn added but, it was a little wet. And, the frijoles were bland. The black tea had passion fruit in it (yuck). It is crazy to think that a person has to rely on Filibertos (another food chain) for good Mexican sabor. The wait staff tried to make it up by giving me a flourless chocolate desert. I got home and threw it in the trash after eating half of it; it was not that good. So, upscale prices and a somewhat worthless meal.
Favorite Dish: Tacos-
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