America's Taco Shop - Phoenix
I saw this place mentioned in a New Times blog so I swung by for lunch on a Tuesday.
It's in a converted house on 7th St. just North of McDowell, 2 doors down from the Coronado Cafe and across from a CoCo's. They claim to have the best Carne Asadad in town.
And you know what? They just might!
It's a somewhat funky, small place, with a lot of construction going on around it (new patios?). But it's also very charming in that restored old house kind of way. And it's already got a following, judging by the crowds of local office workers. If going with a group of more than 4, you might be pressed to sit together as most tables are small, as are the dining areas.
The menu is pretty simple... tacos, burritos, ceviche, quesadillas, etc. and most items in the $3-6 range. Chips and salsa are extra. They have sodas, mexican sodas and huge jugs of Mexican drinks... horchata, jamaica, tamarindo, etc. You order at the counter and stake out a seat where they'll bring you the food. Very informal though.
I won't do a full review since I only tried one thing... a carne asada burrito. But it was tasty enought to post about it. As mentioned, they were slammed with a lunch crowd so it took 15-20 minutes to get my order, but no biggie. For $5.95, my burrito with loaded with tasty carne asade and little else... no beans or rice fillers - just good beef, not dry or grissely, nor mushy. It tasted as though it was fire grilled, but was also moist. It contained some pico de gallo and guac, though I didn't notice any guac until the last few bites (must have loaded one end). And they serve it with a nice homemade salsa on the side, should you want to add more flavors.
So if you like Mexican and happen to be near, it's defintiely a place to check out. I think it might now be #1 on my list for satisfying burrito cravings. And I look forward to trying their corn on the cob, which is garnished with cotija cheese and spices. So if anyone wants to go on a lazy Saturday (when there's not the office crowd), it would make for a great Chow gathering.
Also, the name isn't any take on nationality... the place is named after one of the owner's daughters, America. And there is kind of a nice family vibe to the team running the show.
America's Taco Shop
2041 N 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ
The corn is very nice, as is the ceviche, which is served only on Fridays and Saturdays. There are no meats other than carne asada offered, but there is a bean burrito and a vegetarian quesadilla.
The horchata is very good, I believe beer is on the way once a license is obtained.
Visited this place today with co workers for the first time. Ordered the XL burrito and must say for the price was very dissapointed with the size. We had one heck of a wait for our food, service was decent at best, and the whole process seemed out of wack. I know people love this place but I was mildly impressed. It is one of the few places that have true char grilled asada, but come on 12 dollars for a burro, chips, and a canned soft drink. This proves how much of a carne asada waste land AZ really is.
I checked America's out today for lunch. It was good. I shared the America's favorite for 2 (2 carne asada tacos, 2 carne asada burritos, chips and salsa and 2 agua frescas) for $18. The carne asada was excellent. It's grilled and great flavor. The roasted pepper salsa it comes with is also excellent. One in our party ordered the Vampiro, which is a crispy tortilla covered in carne asada, carmelized onions and cheese. He said it was good.
The chips are store bought (Food City, I asked), and I'm not sure if the regular salsa with the chips is fresh or not. It was very tomato based and fine. The horchata and jamaica we had were homemade and very good (very sweet).
It is very small inside and packed at lunch. We got there at 11:45am and waited in line for 20 minutes. Then we had a long wait to get our food. The servers were very friendly, although one guy kept saying it was too busy. There is not a lot of seating, either, and getting the table cleared from the last occupant can take a while as well. Five minutes after we arrived the line was out the door, down the little front patio with some seating and down the stairs.
Although the prices aren't bad, they charge $2 for a 12 oz can of diet coke or an little Arrowhead water. No refills or anything like that. The do have Mexican coke for $3.50 a bottle.
The food was very good, and I'll be back, although we'll try to get there by 11:30 to avoid the crowd. You have to love all of the little independent places that seem to be doing well along 7th St. between Thomas and McDowell.