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Apr 10, 2009 09:23 AM

El Bravo-Sky Harbor Airport

Does anyone know if the El Bravo in Terminal 4 of the airport is owned or run by the same family that owns the 7th St location? I have a friend who has layover and I'm wondering whether to recommend for some decent Mexican food.

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  1. I believe it is, but like most of the eateries at Sky Harbor, it's a shadow of its non-airport self -- just like the Oaxaca and Flo's outlets in the airport.

    The idea of encouraging local restaurants to open secondary locations in the Airport seems a good one in theory, but something always seems to get lost in translation. Part of it may have to do with problems in equipping a kitchen behind airport security. Professional chef's knives, for example, would be out of the question, so more food has to be prepped off site and then brought into the airport.

    I'm not saying that El Bravo at the Airport is bad, but it's nowhere near as special as the restaurant in Sunnyslope.

    1. Found this thread in a google search, so let me resurrect it to re-ask and revise the question: Is it worth bypassing Oaxaca and waiting until one is past security to visit El Bravo instead? (Another old thread suggested that Oaxaca was pretty bad.) Would like a Mexican food fix before traveling east for Christmas (unfortunately my schedule dictates that it be at Sky Harbor), but if it would leave a bad taste, I'll just go with Paradise.

      2 Replies
      1. re: azveggieguy

        For what its worth, I'd sooner get those cheese filled pretzel things from the newstands that eat at Paradise but that's just me. I can't believe that El Bravo can possibly be worse than Paradise and I know Flo's is better.

        1. re: azveggieguy

          I've never noticed a marked difference between the quality at El Bravo and that at Oaxaca, but then I usually order different menu items at the different restaurants. If arrive at Sky Harbor with some extra time on my hands, I stop at Oaxaca for a green chile burro; if I'm at all worried about time, I go straight to the checkpoint and then onto El Bravo for a green corn or chicken tamale. Neither option is mindblowingly good, but neither is terrible, especially considering that it's airport food. FWIW, I don't think the food at Paradise is any better than El Bravo's or Oaxaca's, but it is less interesting to me.

          El Bravo
          3800 E Sky Harbor Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85034

          Oaxaca Sky Harbor
          3800 E Sky Harbor Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85034

        2. HMS Host is the master food and beverage concessionaire at the airport and I believe they operate these local brands under a license agreement. The idea is to give the airport food service some local identity but everyone is correct, they really don't do a very good job.

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