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A Valley legend since 1968, Carolina's has a cult following for its out-of-this-world homemade tortillas. But folks from all walks of life line up at the bare-bones (no A/C) shop to gorge on green corn tamales, enchiladas, red machaca burros and, on weekends, menudo. Breakfast burros are another delicious treat.
This is part two of my interview with Jacques Qualin, chef de cuisine at J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician Resort. If you missed part one, where Qualin talked about head cheese, being an apprentice, an... More »
When it comes to the holiday season, living in the Southwest means enjoying the bonus of fresh tamales in addition to the rest of the country's more traditional fare. Whether they are green, red, vege... More »
The Guilty Pleasure: Oaxaca Special Burro, enchilada style. Where to Get It: Carolina's Mexican Food Price: About five bucks. What It Really Costs: No more damage than your average Mexican meal in thi... More »
Tacos, like sandwiches and burgers, come in so many delectable variations that it's hard to commit to just one. Especially when these traditional, wallet-friendly Mexican snacks can be found in a mult... More »
Savory, salty, spicy, burrito-y -- Mmmm we love our green chili burritos. Mix it up with creamy refried beans and we're in burrito la-la-land. Two of the Valley's best burritos come out of tiny hole... More »
Wow. Carolina's is a perfect little hole-in-the-wall type place with, like everyone else mentioned, truly amazing tortillas. I got a bean and potato burrito and a soft shell chicken taco. I would've been full with just the burrito - but the taco was delicious and totally worth being over-full for.
If you want a lunch or dinner that's cheaper and tastier than fast food, Carolina's is the spot.
They have huge tortillas that are delicious, fresh, and soft. I usually get some of their refried beans and tortillas and cook the rest of home with carne asada and fried onions and peppers with some lettuce and salsa. Delicious!
It's noon and your corporate overlords already hate you for even stepping away from your desk at all, let alone for lunch. (Yeah, we feel your pain: more work for less pay.) Time for a break that's fast, cheap, good, and legendary, courtesy of this always-hopping Mexican joint just south of downtown. Boasting crazy-good tortillas, green corn tamales, machaca, and a show-stopping signature hot sauce/salsa especially drool-worthy when poured over the Oaxaca special (a burrito featuring... More »
Carolina's sets the standard for flour tortillas in the Valley. In a land where Mexican food is found on every corner, we use these giant, tender 'tillas as the baseline for excellence. It's really not fair to the competitors. Carolina's has won "Best Tortillas" more times than we can recall, and with good reason. The tortillas are made in-house and roll off the grill warm and tender. These formidable flour discs somehow manage to be so thin they're almost transparent, yet they hold up to... More »
Carolina's is legendary. A Phoenix institution. A family-owned business for more than 40 years. And now, it's bigger than ever. While the Mohave location remains ultra-busy, serving the downtown business crowd as well as hungry locals, and Carolina's on Cactus keeps people well fed in the North Valley, this past year has seen the addition of a third Carolina's, in Peoria. The expansion was inevitable, we think, because Carolina's tortillas make everything taste good. They're deceptively thin... More »
Tucked away on a quiet street southeast of downtown Phoenix, the original Carolina's would appear to be off the beaten path. But step through the front door and you'll be surprised at how bustling this place is; there's usually a line at most times of the day. (To be fair, the packed parking lot sort of gives it away.) Indeed, folks come here from well beyond the barrio to get their Mexican food fix, and not just because it's affordable. It's the killer tortillas that keep them coming back... More »
We've given Carolina's "Best Tortillas" more times than we can count, but don't assume we're being lazy just because we're giving them the honor again. Seriously, we spend all year thinking about tortillas, comparing the offerings at every Mexican place we visit to the hot, homemade beauties we find here.Indeed, there are lots of tasty tortillas in these parts, but Carolina's are still the gold standard. They're thin and stretchy and almost delicate, but big and firm enough to hold a... More »
We tried -- no, make that really tried, just ask our editor -- to see if anyone in town could beat out Carolina's, the perennial winner of Best Tortillas. Surely, we thought, this sprawling metropolis has got to have a feisty new contender in this category. And indeed, there are some great homemade tortillas to be had around town. But nowhere else do they transform such seemingly simple food into something as sublime as what Carolina's cranks out by the hundreds. Stretched until they're hu... More »
We purposely set out to find tortillas better than those at Phoenix legend Carolina's, ate our way across town, and ended up about 40 pounds heavier. What did we glean from our efforts? That Carolina's still has the best tortillas this side of the Mexican border, tortillas so exquisite that they only need a little butter when grilled to melt in your mouth like savory cotton candy. Of course, they're equally delicioso wrapped around green chile, machaca with egg, chorizo with potatoes, or any... More »
A visit to Carolina's is nearly a religious experience, one that's catholic, with a little "c," meaning it's almost universal in its appeal. Park yourself in front of the main entrance to the dingy, warehouse-like structure with its school-cafeteria tables and chairs, and you'll see what we mean. Every sort of person, regardless of class or ethnicity, walks through those doors: a businessman in wrap-around sunglasses, and a construction worker on a lunch break; a pregnant woman by herself,... More »
The menu at Carolina's offers these toppings for their tortillas: cheese, with red, green or machaca meat, or slathered with butter. We admit that we've made a major meal of ordering one of each. Pure heaven. What is harder to come clean on, though, is that before we leave the restaurant, we buy a dozen more tortillas, and have been known to eat them all, plain, on the drive home. The aroma of Carolina's fresh-griddled wraps is intoxicating. The recipe is simple: unsifted, white enriched... More »
When we're in Rocky Point, we start most of our days with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a handful of made-that-morning flour tortillas. We pull them one by one, still warm in their plastic bag, delivered right to our doorstep.Since 1968, Arizona's closest contender for a Rocky Point tortilla experience has been Carolina's. And to this day, it still is. Carolina's delicate wraps are made on an endless line of hot griddles, hand-tossed until paper thin and stretchy. We can get them by... More »
Had Fannie Flagg, author of Fried Green Tomatoes, grown up in south Phoenix and not Alabama, she might have written Green Corn Tamales instead. And if she had, her inspiration couldn't have come from a more mouth-watering specimen of the titular delicacy than the steamed fluffy packets offered up at Carolina's.Long famed for her tortillas, Carolina really shows her culinary flair with these heavenly blankets of golden masa wrapped around a few green chile slices, a sprinkle of fresh... More »
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