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Great Mexican near airport?

JCT_UCB Mar 19, 2012 06:45 PM

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. Dapuma RE: JCT_UCB Mar 20, 2012 02:09 PM

    If you search the board you will find lots of options

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dapuma
      JCT_UCB RE: Dapuma Mar 20, 2012 02:50 PM

      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
        themis RE: JCT_UCB Mar 20, 2012 05:24 PM

        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
          MesaChow RE: themis Mar 20, 2012 06:18 PM

          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
            johnseberg RE: themis Mar 20, 2012 06:34 PM

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

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



      2. p
        PHXeater RE: JCT_UCB Mar 20, 2012 05:53 PM

        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
          JerryMe RE: PHXeater Mar 21, 2012 07:01 AM

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

          1. re: JerryMe
            JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: JerryMe Mar 21, 2012 11:07 PM

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

        2. j
          JCT_UCB RE: JCT_UCB Mar 21, 2012 03:22 PM

          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. Beach Chick RE: JCT_UCB Mar 31, 2012 08:09 AM

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

            1. p
              Poerz RE: JCT_UCB Apr 25, 2012 03:12 PM

              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.

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