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Mar 19, 2012 06:45 PM

Great Mexican near airport?

Hi guys,

Have to pick my daughter up at the airport this Thursday around 7 PM and drive her down to Tucson. She will have been traveling all day so I thought I would treat her to a nice Mexican food meal and a good margarita.

Anyone have a great suggestion either near the airport or south?

Quality trumps price.



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  1. If you search the board you will find lots of options

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dapuma

      Yes, well obviously searches can be useful, but I have never been to Phoenix and don't have a clue about the neighborhoods, as in "what might be a reasonable neighborhood" between Phoenix and the highway south to go for dinner.

      Hence my direct question. Nevermind.

      1. re: JCT_UCB

        I would take I-10 E and exit after six or seven miles, head west on Chandler Blvd and then go find Secreto. It's more New Mexican than Mexican but hearty, flavorful, and inventive. Nice relaxed vibe, very cozy adobe booths, everything on the specials board is good. If any of your searching found mention of Richardson's or Dick's Hideaway, know that Secreto is run by that guy's ex-wife. Since he by all accounts has raging BPD, she was able to poach the best of his kitchen and bar staff, and the food at Secreto is what I consider to be a big improvement on the other spots mentioned.

        They do terrific margaritas and they're right on your way. Typically, when people are looking for Mexican near the airport, people will chime in about Carolinas, but there you're out of luck -- they close at 7p and don't have a liquor license, anyway.

        1. re: themis

          I was going to recommend Mucho Gusto in Tempe, but now that Themis has mentioned Secreto, I would go that way. While I haven't yet been there, I've also heard great things and the location is much more convenient to your drive to Tucson.

          1. re: themis

            I thought of Secreto, too, but, I haven't been there, yet.

            Now, I'm thinking Los Dos Molinos in Mesa.



      2. Carolina's - it's a dive and no waiter service but great for a filling breakfast or lunch. Let us know what direction you're coming from or heading to and we can give other suggestions.

        Carolina's Mexican Food Restaurant
        1202 E Mohave St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

        2 Replies
        1. re: PHXeater

          No margaritas at Carolina's and I don't know if they're open that late.

          1. re: JerryMe

            They close up at 6. Maybe on the return trip.

        2. Awesome -- huge help! I have to go back to Phoenix next month and can try Catalina's for lunch, this time I'll give Secreto's a spin.



          1. Had a fantastic dinner at Los Dos Molinos a couple of days ago...forgot how great this place is.

            1. Secreto's is definitely New Mexican. They have some good items but it's not even close to Mexican food. Carolina's is the Mothership and is every bit as much a dive as described. Keep in mind the airport is very close to 16th Street which is the Mexican restaurant row of Phoenix. Lots of good choices such as Phoenix Ranch Market, La Condesa and Barrio Cafe, generally considered one of the best Mexican restraurants is the country.