When I arrived in Phoenix I found myself going to far too many fancy pants modern Mexican restaurants. So I asked around for where I could find the good stuff and was directed to Burrito Express. It sat on my list for a while as I tried plentiful other places, but I finally made it to the Scottsdale location and found that it had burritos and they were prepared in an express manner, hence the name.
Old Town Scottsdale has a dark side. I thought I was going out for a night of Mexican food and bowling, only to find this dark side. When I arrived at Casa Amigos I was a little taken aback by the loud music not only playing from within, but also at every other place around Casa Amigos. You might say I was even more taken aback by the weird semi-night life that was also happening within. It was like college, but not. Vegas, but not. Twerking, but not. I suppose Old Town Scottsdale is really its own special kind of place, but I was interested in the food.
Mixing Mexican and Korean isn’t something new. But doing that in Chicago? Maybe. Just maybe. Thus, I found myself at Del Seoul, a perfectly fused name of a restaurant in Lincoln Park. What’s unique about Del Seoul is that it’s not simply content to drop Korean meats into Mexican conduits, but has expanded Korean-style offerings and more.
Custom burritos are boring right? They’re so 2000-something. Enchiladas, though? Maybe their time is now. After all, they’re basically just glorified mini burritos covered in sauce. Gadzooks in Arcadia is banking on that…and soups because why not? Plus, they’ve fancied the concept up by adding ceramic dishes and premium ingredients.
Just when I was tiring of the repetitiveness of Fox restaurants, I happened upon a spot called Blanco Tacos. Sure, Mexican food might be the only restaurant type more prevalent than Fox, but there is still plenty of room for growth. Blanco Tacos takes the mildly upscale and trendy approach to Mexican food and the menu isn’t strictly limited to tacos.
When you’re in Moab, Utah, it’s probably best to be as Moab as possible. This might mean crazy mountain biking, death-defying humvee riding or long hikes. Or it could mean a meal out at Miguel’s Baja Grill, a Mexican restaurant right in the middle of town. But it’s not enough to simply go to Miguel’s – the key is to eat Miguel’s M.O.A.B. (Mother of all Burritos).
The Phoenix area is wealthy in greasy Mexican fast food. These places generally have drive-through and are open 24/7. Moreover, they quite simply make the world a better place. Take Armando’s in Deer Valley, for example. I was hankering for something good on the way to northern Arizona, and Armando’s stood out like a shiny beacon calling for me.
There’s little not to love about Tex-Mex, but it’s also hard to distinguish the difference between Mexican food that happens to be served in Texas and Tex-Mex. I have a theory that queso is the difference. Sure, queso literally means cheese in Spanish, but in Tex-Mex it means melty cheesy sauce. Torchy’s Tacos (originally from Austin) in San Antonio had some attractive queso on its menu, but I was also eager to eat its namesake tacos.
Tex-Mex is its own category of food. It seems weird because it gives the impression that Texans just somehow bastardized real Mexican food and had the audacity to put Tex before the Mex, but when you remember that Texas was once a part of Mexico, it begins to lose its weirdness. There is probably no place in the state of Texas where the former Mexican history is at the forefront of thought than in San Antonio, home of the Alamo (remember it). And in San Antonio is Mi Tierra, an old school Tex-Mex place with a full on panaderia to boot.
Scottsdale and breakfast go together like peas and carrots. Well, assuming those peas and carrots are nowhere near me. But having breakfast near me is good, so it became time to check out Ncounter in Scottsdale, its third location after presumably finding success in Tempe and Phoenix. I’m not sure what the “N” stands for, but the rest of the name is descriptive of the ordering style of the restaurant, so that made sense.