It's like Don the Beachcomber got a 21st century facelift. The place is more haole then tiki but there is just enough vibe and menu to offer a "hang loose" respite from the Scottsdale heat. We think the Phoenix location does a better job of capturing the island spirit.
The 'Must Try'- Macademia Crusted Butterfish
Monday, September 1, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
The 'Must Try'- Beet Salad with Ahi
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Beau knows the culinary arts...and service and scenery. The Valley is littered with great resort based dining options but this is the pinnacle. This is the special occasion place that is down the road but a world away.
The 'Must Try'- The Bacon Wrapped Filet
Monday, August 25, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014
The once staid and homogeneous world of Mexican food that we once knew, think bean and cheese burritos, has been replaced with a vibrant tapestry that represents the true diversity of a country full of distinct regions and tastes. Arizona's proximity to our great neighbor makes Phoenix one of the nation's top starting points to explore this colorful world.
This entry will help you navigate this world and will reveal that there are a myriad of tasty options for those willing to look beyond the crispy shell of the chimichanga.
The Sonoran Staples
Given that the State of Sonora is our neighbor to the south their cuisine will be a natural launching point. This also makes sense as this is the style of Mexican that we are most familiar with. To Phoenix graybeards there are a few names that stand out- Mata's in the East Valley, La Perla in the West Valley, Carolina's downtown, and the TeePee in East Phoenix. Think enchiladas, burros, deep fried tacos...all familiar combinations on the Mexican menu that we grew up with.
Like the humble burger before it, the venerable taco is the latest street food to move upstream to the more expensive "gourmet" territory. There have been multiple offerings that have popped up lately; we will help you discern between the legitimate options and the "johnny come lately's" who are just looking to capitalize on a trend and an excuse to charge you $5 for a taco.
First, turn to our patron saint of Mexican food, Silvana Esparza, and her latest creation the Barrio Queen. Her tacos span the length and breadth of Mexico and are the best of breed when it comes to the higher price point. The Mission and Milagro Grill also specialize in the higher end taco but they don't have the execution and pedigree of Barrio. The Taco Guild has servicable tacos but their flavor is overshadowed by the absolutely cool location.
Heart of True Mexico
Let's head inland and explore the options that give Mexico its reputation as a foodie mecca. These are the flavors from Puebla, Guanajuato, and Oaxca that most Gringo palates overlook or miss completely. They are the essence of real Mexico and they are fast winning a spot on top of the culinary world.
|El Gallo Blanco|
If you have the sensibilities of a chilango and want something with the flavors of the capitol we recommend Distrito or Gallo Blanco. Both are lead by impressive names, Jose Garces and Doug Robson respectively. Each has a menu full of dishes from this vibrant region.
Let's take a brief moment to imagine the sandy shore and the smell of the salty sea. In Mexico that means fish tacos and ceviche. Mariscos Ensenada offers incredible options out of its nondescript 16th Street location. While not typical of the ceviche you'll find seaside, the upscale offerings at Deseo make for a wonderful Mexican inspired exploration of the bounties of the ocean.
The Burly Burrito and the Tasty Torta
|Tortas El Guero|
Don't think sandwiches when you are fielding an appetite for Mexican? Think again. The recently discovered torta plays a prominent role here in Phoenix. Los Reyes De La Torta receives the most praise and rightfully so, but the less heralded Tortas El Guero makes a cubano that is just as messy, tasty, and filling. Sure the milaneza, avocados, or cheese attract the attention but it is the magically light bread that provides any Mexican sandwich with a distinct and wonderful flavor.
The Border Crossers
|El Rancho De Tia Rosa|
El Rancho de Tia Rosa in Mesa does a great job of taking dishes like mole and making them more accessible to the Gringo taste buds. Their salmon tacos, while a tad sweet, make for a great way to get your Omega 3's. Abuelo's provides an upscale corporate take on most classic dishes. They are safe and somewhat heavy but that doesn't mean they aren't worth trying. Macayo's is a long-standing Phoenix classic that claims ownership over the symbol of Americanized Mexican, the chimichanga. There are no shortage of restaurants in this vein around town. They are a stone's throw from your nearest strip mall and they make for a comfortable and pleasant Saturday night date.
What happens when you cross a Mexican with a ...
Let's spend a brief moment to appreciate the sweet tastes that can result when you fuse two distinct and disparate cultures. Phoenix has a few places that really give Mexican a passport to exotic new flavors.
They say that you can really capture the essence of a culture by what the good folks eat on the street. In Phoenix our streets are the perfect showcase for the most popular Mexican-American love child since Fernando Valenzuela, the Sonoran Dog. The bacon, guacamole, and soft pillowy bun embarrass even the best frankfurter options of Chicago or New York. The best place in Phoenix is on 20th Street and Indian School at Nogales Hot Dogs.
New Mexican Mexican
|Nogales Hot Dogs|
We could go on but we feel like the length of this article belies the focus of this blog which is brevity. The truth of the matter is that Phoenix has no shortage of world class spots from which you can enjoy the many colors of Mexico, Old and New. If only we had this many quality spots for Chinese food. Your favorite spot not mentioned? Shoot us an e-mail and let us know.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Great American contemporary with a twist of Phoenician southwestern flair. One of the long standing standards that anchors the ever growing and vibrant 16th St. cooridor.
The 'Must Try'- Beef Ribs and Mashed Potatoes
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Long standing staple cheaply serving the Sonoran classics that we were raised on.
The 'Must Try'- Screw the calories, go Chimi
The 'Must Try'- Screw the calories, go Chimi
Sunday, August 3, 2014
This salad is the stuff of legend, complete with its own fanbase on Facebook. This plate of game changing greenery will have even the reddest of carnivores second guessing their diets. The wait at Citizen Public House too long? The recipe is available for home trial and consumption.
1/2 cup smoked salmon
2/3 cup freeze-dried corn
2/3 cup chopped arugula
2/3 cup cooked Isreali couscous
Trail mix 1/4 cup black currants
1/4 cup toasted pepitas
3 Tbsp. ground aged asiago
1/2 cup diced Roma tomato tossed with 1 Tbsp. balsamic and 2 tsp. olive oil, one large basil leaf chiffonade, pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup Best Foods mayo
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. Pecorino Romano
Juice of 1 lemon
12 basil leafs
1 tsp. minced garlic
Combine thoroughly in blender.