Phoenix Ranch Market and Tradiciones
We just returned from a trip to Austin (highlights were Vespaio in South Austin, and Hondo's in Fredericksburg, TX) and one of our favorite places to stop on our way home from the airport is the Phoenix Ranch Market on Roosevelt. Just minutes from the airport, we like to relax with a couple of margaritas and a nice Mexican meal at Tradiciones, and then stock up on groceries at the Ranch Market next door.
We haven't been in a while and the menu seems to have changed a bit - different layout and I noticed, for example, that carnitas are no longer on the menu. We started with a couple of Cazadores margaritas and salsa and chips. I ordered a chili relleno and shredded beef enchilada combination plate, while E ordered his usual - mole. The mole was better than the last time, moist dark meat chicken on the bone, the chili relleno was good, but I wouldn't order the enchilada again as the flavor was fine but the tortilla was soggy and fell apart. As usual, we enjoy the festive atmosphere here as there are always large parties of Mexican families celebrating special occasions. Service was especially good this visit as there was a friendly manager who frequently checked in on the tables. My three best girlfriends are visiting in January, and this is going to be our first stop when we pick them up at the airport - welcome to Phoenix with Happy Hour on Tradiciones' outdoor patio with margaritas and $1.00 tacos.
I also noticed that on December 11, starting at 8 pm, they are having a "cena & fiesta del año" celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe - hosted by Don Julio tequila with a four-course tasting menu with margarita pairings, live music, and hand-rolled after-dinner cigars on the patio. $85 pp/$150 a couple. I took one of the flyers:
Cilantro margarita with Don Julio blanco
Halibut encrusted with toasted pumpkin seeds, sauteed with garlic and chili oil, and served in a blue corn tortilla with fresh cabbage and radish
Avocado-honeydew margarita with Don Julio blanco
Cream of pumpkin with crema and roasted corn
Platinum Margarita with Don Julio Reposado and Navan liquer
Walnut and pecan wood-grilled veal chop with sweet potato puree
Pumpkin margarita with Don Julio Añejo
Dessert tamale table with pineapple, chocolate, strawberry, and cajeta tamales, horchata, and homemade coconut ice cream.
Coffee bar with Don Julio 1942 cream, and tequila frappes
After dinner, we picked up groceries next door at the Ranch Market. We love this bustling, huge mercado with its food courts. They have such great prices too. For example, this weekend avocados were 4/.99, cilantro 5/.99, bone-in country style ribs .88/lb, and cabbage and onions 6 pounds/.99, among other bargains. I also noticed they had a sign for skate in the seafood department (they were out when I asked, and were getting more in), and beef cheeks were $3.49 a pound IIRC. On the way out we couldn't pass up the pollo asado they were grilling out front. Two whole grilled chickens, a dozen warm corn tortillas, and containers of salsa verde and salsa roja for $10.00. We had family coming over on Sunday and this made a great lunch the following day.
Phoenix Ranch Market III
1602 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85006
I just went to ranch market the day before T-day. My husband absolutely hates that place. The deals are extremely attractive but I can't help to say I was disappointed with the produce section, I honetsly thought the onions looked scary and refused to even purchase any there.
Hmmm... I don't want to sound stuck-up but I haven't really gotten into it yet. We did buy a pork butt and smoke it T-day morning that was great and it was $12!!!
Let me know if you find the produce decent? Just curious.
Oh, that's disappointing. I wonder if the produce gets picked through on a busy weekend or holiday?
I've had good luck with the produce - usually lots of bins piled high and everything looking fresh. On our most recent trip, I picked up cabbage, cucumbers, Mexican green onions, bunches of cilantro, poblano peppers, key limes, and lemons. I did notice though that most of the herbs, aside from the cilantro, looked wilted.
I've never had a problem with the produce (it's high turnover), and the prices are quite a good. This week's add had 6lbs of onions for $.99, or four avocados for the same price, which is basically half price from other places.
Rubee - just to clarify - carnitas are no longer on the menu at Tradiciones? I wonder if they still sell it by the pound next door? I remember it being $6.99/lb.
Yes, I did see the carnitas by the pound at Ranch Market. I've ordered carnitas at Tradiciones before, and I was surprised too that with this menu change it's no longer offered. I just double-checked the new menu to make sure, and don't see carnitas on either the lunch or dinner menu. Hmm.....
I've found the produce there to be kind of mixed bag too. The (admittedly few) times I've been there, about 80% of the stuff looked good and the rest was either way under-ripe or 1 day away from being compost. I haven't shopped there enough to discern a pattern with respect to day of the week or time of day.