Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southwest >
Apr 25, 2008 02:44 PM

Inexpensive mexican, downtown phx?

Looking to take the boyfriends parents out to dinner this weekend. Looking for a sit down mexican food place(a good margarita is a must!), that is inexpensive. Basically, richardsons and barrio cafe are out. I've read tradiciones can be very average, and los dos molinos downtown location isn't all that it's hyped up to be.

Oh, and they're staying at the hyatt downtown, so nothing too far. Thanks in advance, any help would be great!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. what does inexpensive mean to you? richardsons dinner carne adovada entree is only 12 bucks - which i think falls into relatively inexpesive territory. granted - some of their specials scurry to 25 bucks an entree, but its possible to eat on the cheap there if you're careful.

    i like tradiciones - i prefer the food court for better flavor, but if you want sit down and a cocktail there's nothing wrong with tradiciones, for me at least.

    what do you mean that the downtown los dos location isn't all its hyped up to be? frankly - i had given up on them til they opened this location - i think the foods noticabely better and there isn't a 90 minute wait for a table.

    im sure that isn't what you are looking for but im trying to figure out your objections to places :)

    5 Replies
    1. re: winedubar

      Tradiciones can have slow service and some items are average, but their margs are top-notch and their mixed platter of grilled meats is really good. I'm with winedubar, I prefer the food court, but I would not rule out this place out if you have not tried it.

      1. re: winedubar

        I just got that opinion after reading a few reviews on yelp and heard from friends that it's good but the hotness level on the food is the only great thing about it. But i'll definitely put it back on my list. Any idea on how crowded it gets on saturday nights?

        And another problem with richardsons and barrio is that the boyfriends dad just unfortunately cant stand that long and wait as I know both places could easily have an hour wait for 6 of us, and neither place seem to have a good waiting area

        1. re: AnonymousWaitress

          i don't like super hot mexican/new mexican/santa fe style. sue me, i know ;) but i really like the downtown los dos molinos. the amount of succulent chicken on their 6 dollar tostada feels almost criminal. its soooooo good...

          if you have a party of 4 or more, richardsons does take reservations. but you will have to have everyone in your party there before you're seated.

          if you want the best of both worlds, i'd take my family, sample our way around phoenix ranch market for all kinds of yummy interesting treats from tortas to birria to caldo de res to ceviche to sonoran hotdogs and back to the juice bar, and then go to tradiciones for a marg. the cilantro marg is all kinds of yummy :)

          1. re: AnonymousWaitress

            I went to Los Dos Molinos Downtown last Saturday night and the place was only half full. We had no trouble getting a table, although that could be different if there's a sports event going on nearby. I'll also second the notion that the Downtown location has restored my faith in LDM. With regard to reviews of LDM on Yelp, the reviews of the Downtown location (Washington Street), including my own, average out to 4.5 stars. It's the south Phoenix location (Central Avenue) that comes in lower at an average of 3.5 stars.

            1. re: silverbear

              Ah, you're right, I was looking at the other location. We'll definitely try it then, a 6 dollar tostada with that great of a review cant be missed!!

              Hopefully next time though we can convince his parents to splurge for Richardsons, they are much less adventurous than the boyfriend and i unfortunately!

        2. If Richardson's is out of your range, Tradiciones is likely to be out of it also. The high end of Richardson's menu will likely be higher than those at the high end of Tradiciones' menu, but, in general, if you get a combination plate at Tradiciones, it's going to cost about the same as many of the offerings on Richardson's "Santa Fe Trail" menu ($10-$15). IMO, Richardson's is the better food value, by far. I can't speak to the drink prices, however.

          To go much lower in price, you're going to have to sacrifice some atmosphere points (e.g., by eating in the food court at Ranch Market) and/or eat a bit farther from downtown.

          Phoenix Ranch Market III
          1602 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

          1602 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

          Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico
          1582 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016

          1. I would recommend Rosita's Place at 2310 E. McDowell. great food,service and a lively atmosphere.Also inexpensive.
            Tradiciones is o.k. but it's not great.I have taken friends there and not the food court because we wanted to sit and visit and have some drinks and I've always wished we had just gone to the food court and skipped the drinks.

            1. Another Great place the is very reasonable is Rosita's on Hardy and University. We go there 2 times a week for lunch and have never been disappointed. It's not flashy, but consistent.