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Best Mole in Phoenix

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I am getting ready for my annual pilgrimage back to the Valley and would like to pick the brains of the Phoenician Chowhounds. Which of the excellent Mexican restaurants in the greater Phoenix area serves the best mole? I am already planning on hitting the big boys (i.e. Barrio Cafe, Los Dos Molinos, Los Sombreros, Phoenix Ranch Market), but are there any other places that might serve that heavenly black gold that could knock my socks off? Thanks in advance!

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  1. I'm not a big fan of mole, but my husband is, and he would nominate Oaxaca restaurant at Hatcher and North Central as a contender. See recent posting:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...?

    Sarah C

    2 Replies
    1. re: kittyfood

      Thanks for the info about Restaurant Oaxaca; it sounds like a good place to start. The restaurant is also close to some friends, so maybe I can drag them along.

      1. re: kittyfood

        OAXACA doesn't serve mole.

      2. Coyacan used to do a decent Mole but the chef Moises went to open another restaurant on the West Side..Cocomo's..

        I think the Mole at Cocomo's is probably the only good dish..

        1. normally I recommend Barrio Cafe for EVERYTHING central Mexican, but I didn't like the mole there and I haven't found an alternative... but Barrio is incredible for just about anything else.

          1 Reply
          1. re: blur

            I was also not impressed by the mole at Barrio my last time in Phoenix. This time I will have to try the Cochinita Pibil and those great Cajeta Churros.

          2. I read a review of a new place in Phoenix Ranch Market that might be fun! Im going to check it out this next week..
            http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/Issues...

            In my opinion Los Dos has really gone down hill over the past year or so.. while the drinks are still good (Kick Ass Margarita) the food hasnt been all that.. overly salty and not what it used to be.. havent been back since they lost our credit card about 3 months ago. This would have been at the Central location.

            Good luck!

            7 Replies
            1. re: xanderbear

              I'm going there tommorow for brunch. I to Ranch last Sunday for some things and noticed the new ajacent eatery, so I popped my head in and it looks cool. They do a brunch on Sunday for $12 so I thought I gotta try that out! Will do a write up.

              1. re: tastyjon

                Thanks for the tip on the Sunday Brucnch at Tradiciones. Let us know how it turns out.

              2. re: xanderbear

                I used to go to the Mesa location weekly back in my former life. I went once after Sandy and Gilles left for Manhattan, and it wasn't the same - they were the life of that restaurant.

                This is Los Dos, by the way...got my response screwed up.

                1. re: xanderbear

                  That is bad to hear about Los Dos. Has anyone been to Espo's on Chandler Blvd (near the mall) recently? I used to go there all the time in high school.

                  1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                    Espo's was a regular lunch spot of mine, until I recently changed jobs. I still go down there every once in a while for a Sunday lunch, since so many similar places around town are closed on Sunday.

                    I just found their website. Click on the restaurant link and see if the pictures remind you of your high school days.

                    http://www.espinozasfoods.com

                    1. re: johnseberg

                      I should add that the pictures on the website, at the time of this writing, are terribly misleading. There is no table service at Espo's, let alone a Maitre D' in a tux. The food is mostly served in disposable aluminum cake tins.

                      1. re: johnseberg

                        Sounds exactly like I remember... except for being open on Sundays, but that works great for me. Thanks!

                2. Mena's Mexican Buffet
                  4372 W Olive Ave (NW corner of Dunlap & 43rd)
                  Glendale, AZ 85302
                  (623) 847-1020

                  I'm not a fan of mole, so I wouldn't recognize a truly good one. This place always has chicken mole on the weekends when I go. Good chicken and pork fajitas, ranchero-style beans, empanadas, red and WHITE menudo, etc. (Omellettes to order on Sundays!)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: VictorLouis

                    "I'm not a fan of mole.."

                    Me neither. It's always a staple at festive family occasions, and I just seem to pass it up on the buffet line.

                  2. I love the mole at La Guadalupana, 16th St & Oak N of McDowell.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dean

                      I almost ate at La Guadalupana last weekend, but I didn't want to find out the hard way that the food wasn't what it used to be. If you're still eating there then it must still be good. Next time...

                    2. We just had dinner at Tradiciones, the new restaurant attached to the Ranch Market at 16th St. and Roosevelt. My husband had the enchiladas with mole and liked it very much. (I will report on the rest of the dinner another time -- I'm packing to leave on a trip early tomorrow morning.)

                      Sarah C

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kittyfood

                        Now I have to go to this place. Chicken enchiladas with mole are some of my favorites.

                      2. I used to live down in Chandler, but haven't done much eating down there in ages. Literally years ago I visited a place in "downtown" Chandler near the San Marco Hotel and across the street from the civic center. It had been recently remodeled and had a nice courtyard out back, with quite a party on the weekends.

                        I have no idea if the place is still there or if the quality of the food has changed, but I had a pretty good mole there... can anyone identify the restaurant and provide more up-to-date info?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Pincho

                          Sounds like El Zocalo. I haven't had the mole, but what I've eaten there has been fresh and quite tasty.

                          1. re: Pincho

                            Found it - El Zocalo at 28 S San Marcos Pl in Chandler

                            Can't vouch for the quality though it's been way too long. I remember enjoying the mole though.

                          2. I'll have to admit to not really being a mole afficianado, but I absolutely *love* the mole at Rancho de Tia Rosa in Mesa (on McKellips Rd). I've had several things there that were very good, but now it's the mole for me every time.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mitchgx

                              I'll second that recommendation. Tia Rosa's doesn't get a lot of accolades with chowhounds, but either I've ordered well there, or people have hit it on off nights, but I have been consistently impressed. It's a place I never hesitate to suggest.

                            2. I am no authority on mole. The first mole I tried was at La Hacienda and it became my favorite dish there. Was truly surprised to see the dish win a New Times Best of Phoenix award, but it's been some years now.

                              -----
                              La Hacienda Carniceria
                              1603 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ

                              1. The best mole in Phoenix... is in Tucson. Nothing up here has come even close to the one served up at the little Cafe Poca Cosa in downtown Tucson.

                                So far, my favorite around here has been at Phoenix Ranch Market. I remember the one at Rancho de Tia Rosa in Mesa was too sweet.

                                1. Don't know if anyone has already mentioned this--but Pepe's Taco Villa on 17th ave and Camelback has some to die for mole.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Mahilover

                                    My last experience with their mole (and their beans) was very disappointing, but based on other reports, I'm willing to believe that they were just having an off day.