OK, folks, it’s time to put another push-pin on the maps on our walls. This time – surprise! – it’s Mexican food.
Let’s begin with the salsas. Aside from the fact that the bowls are too small, which is a ubiquitous failing of most great places, the two salsas are to die for. Neither the green, jalapeno-based and pleasantly savory green salsa, nor the roasted and slightly bitter red chile salsa, has any tomato in it; the taste in each case is authentic chile, chile, and more chile. The tortilla chips are prepared and fried in-house, and they’re still piping hot when they get to the table.
qb had the chile colorado, a dark reddish-brown stew of lean chunks of pork, with frijoles and arroz. The resulting “goop” (see below) was off the charts, especially when fortified with a couple of spoonfuls of each salsa. Iced tea was as it should be: tall, icy, and brewed, with limes on the side. My lunch companions had the menudo, which looked and smelled heavenly, with plenty of posole and fire, and the machaca plate, a huge mound of spicy, shredded beef with the frijoles and arroz.
This place is a definite keeper if you’re in Phoenix, AZ, and need a fix. Service was friendly, fast, and ethnically genuine.
2310 E. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85006-2452
P. S. Here’s the salient excerpt from Epinions.com, representing qb’s 15 minutes of Internet fame:
But the real genius of chili gravy– it’s metaphysical raison d’etre if you’re one of those high-fallutin’ pinky-in-the-air types who likes to “parlez-vous” at every opportunity– is to serve as the basis for one of God’s Great Gifts to Texans– “Goop”. Hell, the reason that so many Texans order enchiladas in the first place is just to wind up with a plate of rice, refried beans, chili gravy and cheese after the enchiladas are cleared away. Any one of the four subcomponents to goop is yummy-licious in and of itself, but swirl them all together and you’ve now engaged in a bit of alchemy so profoundly perfect that the trivial act of transmuting lead into gold seems little more than a cheap parlor stunt by comparison. At a restaurant called Los Norteños in Bryan, Texas, you can actually order a plate of goop right off the menu, sans enchiladas. This item (the “Brent Averman Special,” for anyone sincerely curious) exemplifies the sort of forward thinking that has kept that fine establishment busy and popular for some 30-plus years.