Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco de Mayo: Phoenix Mexican Restaurant Recommendations

So I'm throwing way back today for this post.  Something about Cinco de Mayo coinciding with me being ravenously hungry this pregnancy, is making me reminisce about all the great restaurants in Arizona that made this holiday so near and dear to my heart.  (And I'm awake at three am again.)  We actually have a large Hispanic population in our current town as well, and get to enjoy good South-of-the-Border eats like Savadoran pupusas and Peruvian chicken.  But nothing beats the authenticity and deliciousness of my Arizona Mexican food memories.

And although my AZ teaching license just finally expired 6 months ago, it's been almost 7 years since we set foot on the desert soil.  Places I would eat at in a heartbeat if I could visit (fingers crossed, Brian has a conference there soon...):

Los Olivos Patio:  This was our "fancy" Mexican restaurant.  It's really not that fancy inside, but it's location always made it feel that way. Located near the Scottsdale Mall (a park, not an actual mall) it was where Brian took me after we officially got engaged.  And many times before in our undergrad days.  They often had music (dancing, not that we did, but we enjoyed watching others), and delicious dessert.
7328 E 2nd St
Scottsdale, AZ

This donkey at the entrance somehow became a photo opp spot for us many times.  These boys could use some better expressions to convey how great this place is, but it's the only photo I could find on my computer. 

Downtown Phoenix:
Los Compadres: Cheaper lunch place, near where I did student teaching.  Everything you would want in an inexpensive, lunch place.  I learned to love tostadas here, and of course their salsa was great.
4414 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013

Ponchos Mexican Food and Cantina: This was the go-to place near the school I taught at for two years.  Wish I had found out about it sooner so I could have gone more often.
7202 South Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ
I snuck out during my lunch break and had lunch with my family there when they were in town for my graduation.
And while I'm no restaurant critique, these places have all been going for over a decade so other diners must like them too.  I'm sure there are even more restaurants around now to choose from, but these will always be the ones I'm attached to because of all the great memories I have in them.

Last trip to Mexico in 2008.  How lucky we were to be able to hop down there on a weekend trip.  Happy Cinco de Mayo!
The one recommendation I had that is sadly now closed was the Tres Margaritas on Rural Rd.  Nearest to our apartment, that place brings me back to our newlywed days.  We ate here quite often during those two years after being married while I was teaching full time and going to graduate school in the evenings.  I needed one of their delicious margaritas many a Friday night after a long week.  Mariachi bands would often liven up the atmosphere on weekend nights.  It appears there is now a Starbucks and Potbelly Sandwich spot on that corner. 

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