Los Taquitos CenPho location
Hi All, we've visited the seconday location for Los Taquitos (16th St & Glendale) a few times now and I think it is time for a quick review...
Besides being WAY closer than the original on Eliott Rd, it's way less busy as well. They have recently launched some awesome happy hour deals ($1 tacos, $3 Margaritas)...which probably has to do with the lack of business. They are situated in sort of a hard-to-see and slightly off the beaten path location, so I'm hoping they don't struggle and eventually close because no one knows it is there (support your locals!! :) )
As far as the food goes, I think it is pretty close to the original Los Taquitos, so if you like their food you're probably going to like this location especially if it saves you $10 in gas.
The service has been super spotty, which is sad because there are rarely a ton of people in there - seems like almost every time I go in, I wind up with 2 burritos or 2 of the 3 varieties of tacos I ordered. They seemingly have a TERRIBLE cash register that requires an excessive amount of touchscreen use to enter and order...seems like every time you tell them what you want, they are tapping the screen for (not kidding) 20 seconds and then they say "so you wanted what kind of tacos?" It's like they have to enter a 50-character password and answer 5 security questions to turn the register on... but I digress...
Anyways, some of the original owners are in periodically and the service really steps up when they are on site. The food has always been what we expected, our fave being the al pastor tacos.
If you're in the area, which is strangely devoid of mexican joints (unless you count Qdoba or Ajo Al's), check it out -
I live near the new location and have been about a dozen times. (Disclosure: The first time my meal was free as part of an event hosted by people handling publicity for the restaurant. Every meal since has been paid for.)
I'd say it's a welcome addition to the neighborhood because as you suggest there isn't much in the way of Mexican food between Camelback and Sunnyslope. We have not encountered any of the cash register difficulties mentioned. My only complaint is too much sour cream in some items. That's largely a matter of personal preference because I find sour cream to be pointless filler in most dishes.
It's never empty when we're there, but also not as full as it should be.
I do a weekly training on Wednesdays with a group of co-workers, and we have made this Los Taquitos location part of our regular lunch spot rotation. We love being able to sit out on the patio at lunch, and have found the service to be prompt and friendly. Have NOT had any angst over how long it takes the cashier to tap in our order. I can't say enough good things about the food here... just about everything I've tried is delicious (tamales, chile rellenos, street tacos in various configurations, burritos in various configurations, sopes in various configurations). The al pastor pork is pretty close to al pastor heaven. The carnitas are simple, tender, sweet, and delicious -- some of the best I've had in Phoenix, honestly, and I'm a carnitas fiend and have sampled offerings from many, many other restaurants. The fish and shrimp tacos are also really good. The last time we were there, I sampled the guacamole and found it to be outstanding -- really, really fresh, and perfectly seasoned. The traditional margaritas are also QUITE tasty... not too sweet, not too sour, nice balance of tequila and marg mix (they use Tres Agaves brand, which I really like). Sadly, I'm so used to ordering a margarita and getting a glass of margarita mix with ice in it. It was a nice surprise to be served a decent margarita, and they really aren't that expensive.
This place deserves to get way more traffic than it does (although the lack of traffic usually means we can snag an outdoor table for lunch). The location is probably the reason; you can barely read the signs near the strip mall entrances, and the restaurant is tucked away in pretty much the farthest possible location from the street. I hope they get enough business to stay open. This is not the fanciest Mexican food in town (I'm lookn at you, Barrio Cafe), but it does traditional taqueria fare very, very, very well. In fact, it's now the standard by which I measure all other taquerias. And it's a mom and pop business run by very nice people, so for me, that's all the more reason to patronize it. If you go, it's in the strip mall on the northwest corner of 16th St and Glendale Ave (the one with the Walgreens).
This thread inspired me to take the family to LT16 for dinner tonight. The good news is we had an excellent dinner; the bad news is we had the place almost to ourselves on a Saturday night. It appears that LT16 is drawing most of its clientele at lunch.
I take back what I said above about the sour cream. It turns out that's a problem really with only one dish -- the shrimp burrito, which inexplicably drowns the crustaceans in sour cream. Tonight, I had shrimp tacos, and their topping was a more appropriate pico de gallo without any sour cream to be seen.
Other favorites there include the AZ style burritos, which include potato with a choice of meat and the grilled veggie burrito.