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Mexican Near Papago Park (PHX)

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A group of 10 of us are going to the Desert Botanical Gardens on Wednesday evening. We had hoped to eat at a Mexican restaurant, and then drive to the gardens, and I volunteered to find a place.

I had picked The Mission, since several in our group are crazy about Zinc Bistro. But we'll be eating in the middle of the afternoon, and I see that The Mission only has their "after hours" menu then. Is this still OK?

My other thought is to just give up and just go to one of the touristy places like Old Tortilla Factory or Garduno's. Most of the group probably wouldn't care or notice the difference. One couple thinks that Macayo's has the best Mexican food ever. But that's my last resort.

Any help? How about Mucho Gusto in Tempe?

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  1. Garduño's is now known as Camarones. Apparently it's owned by the same people, they just dropped the Garduño's franchise. It and OTTF are to be avoided like the plague. I work at the hotel across the street from OTTF and when people ask for Mexican picks, we tell 'em they're better off taking a cab somewhere.

    I think my first pick in that area would be Los Sombreros.

    1. We absolutely love Mucho Gusto! Have had many, many great meals there.

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      Mucho Gusto
      603 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

      1 Reply
      1. re: aztami

        I second Much Gusto and its not far from Papago at all.

      2. Two options closer to DBG than Old Town Scottsdale

        Los Jarritos on Van Buren near 48th St.

        It's a tiny little place that's easy to overlook, but the people are sweet and the food quite good. It closes at 4 PM, but serves a full menu up until then. A group of 10 would fill at least half the restaurant. Call ahead if intrested and make sure they can handle you.

        Restaurant Mexico in Downtown Tempe

        A classic that has been on or near Mill Avenue for decades. Serves more Interior Mexican than Sonoran. Could handle a group of 10.

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        Restaurant Mexico
        423 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

        Los Jarritos Restaurant
        4630 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85008

        1. Los Sombreros is probably the best Mex in the area, though they might not be open early afternoon - but late afternoon onward. Best to call and ask since their website seems to be down.

          Carlsbad Tavern is not too far - kind of an interesting joint for a mixed crowd.

          El Molino - South of Old Town serves up some good fare, but is pretty basic in terms of a dining experience - order at a counter, find your own table, etc. Not really a dining desitination, but has some of the better fare in the vicinity north of DBG.

          1. We got to DBG about 7:15 last Tuesday and it was twilight and perfect for viewing the Chully (sp) glass exhibit. Its not to be missed. So that should give you plenty of time for dinner if you start at 5pm. And parking is not a problem, they limit the number of tickets they sell for the exhibit.