Mexican (PHX - East Valley)
Queen Creek, Gilbert, Southeast Mesa authentic Mexican???
re: Bill Hunt
I'll be in PHX next month and am looking for a Mexican restaurant serving comida Yucateca or Oaxaqueña. (Frankly, after several visits to the Valley of the Sun, Mexican food options don't seem to vary that much)
Anything out there? I'll be staying in the Tempe area, just south-west of Price & E. Warner, practically in Chandler if I'm not mistaken. I won't have a car, but will be staying with friends (who do not like driving far). Oh, and they'll probably bring their kids (ages 6 & 8), so family-friendly por favor!
re: Mr. Roboto
Unfortunately, most of the Mexican in, and around, PHX is Sonoran, with a few Baja influences. There are a few spots, El Conquistador (Jalisco) come to mind, but they are in the minority.
I do not know of any Oaxaquan, or Yucatan, establishments. Back in New Orleans, we had a wonderful little hole-in-the-wall, Chapanlandia, that specialized in the cusine of the Caribbean/Spanish culture. They were a family, from Guatamala, but knew well the differences between Yucatan and Cuban - Guatamalan and El Salvadoran, and offered a very good cross-section of most cultures.
Yes, PHX paints Mexican with a very limited brush. Some spots are very good, but the diversity is somewhat limited.
I hope that others can share some worthwhile exceptions to my statements, as they will help you.
I went to Mini Mercado Oaxaca once about a year ago. It was quite good-- we had Mole Negro, a tlayuda, and some other special I can't remember now. Not as good as in Oaxaca itself, but the closest I've had in Phoenix.
It's kid-friendly and definitely a hole in the wall, a small store in one room with an equally small adjoining roomfull of little diner-type tables. We've been wanting to go back, but it's quite a drive from where we live (which is near where Mr Roboto will be). Staff on our visit spoke limited English but were patient with us, and the menus had photos.
A little farther north than Southeast Mesa, but there is a great Nayarit style Mexican Food restaurant called Los Picos Parrila - 1542 W University Dr Mesa, AZ 85201 (University Between Longmore and Alma School). We have been going there for years, and everything on the menu is very good to excellent. It's a Mom and Pop type place, and I believe it is closed on Tuesdays. Their colima lime hand squeezed margaritas are fantastic, and they make a mean Shrimp Diablo!
There is also a little taco shop in a strip mall in Chandler (Northwest corner of Alma School and Warner) called Taqueria Mi Casita. No frills, just a few tables and great, authentic tacos, including beef tongue and cabeza. For the less adventurous, they also have carne asada and really nice fish tacos as well - all served on three bite sized corn tortillas. Prices run a couple of bucks per taco, and the owner and staff are always super friendly.
Los Picos Parrilla
1542 W University Dr, Mesa, AZ 85201
We actually stopped in to Taqueria Mi Casita(also goes by the name Taqueria Azteca it seemed?) today for lunch. I found this thread when looking to see if it had ever been mentioned here.
This was our first time in but definitely not our last. As you say, a simple little place but great tacos...and yes very very friendly service! We each had a carne asada, an al pastor and a carnitas taco. The meat for all three was flavorful and juicy. Fresh off the griddle tortillas, onions, cilantro, radishes and tasty salsa verde finished off more than respectable tacos. $1.18 per taco is a steal. Wash down with a Mexican Coke if desired.
They were doing a steady business...lots of regulars coming through it seemed. They were serving up lots of breakfast burritos that looked good and were enormous: easily 3+ eggs, beans, potatoes, cheese, chorizo for $4.59. Looked like it would one for a couple days.
Will definitely have to try the fish tacos next time and now that he knows the taco are great husband is planning to try the lengua and cabeza next time around.
Stop in and try this place out if you're in the neighborhood!