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There are lots of homegrown options for Mexican food in Arizona, but we have to hand it to one Utah-based chain restaurant for serving fresh, healthy food: Costa Vida. There are three locations in Arizona: Mesa, Queen Creek, and the newest location in Goodyear, which has online ordering capability. Costa Vida serves standards like burritos, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, and quesadillas, but we really love the salads, served on a tortilla hand-crafted with stone-ground flour. Top the leafy greens with sweet pork, grilled chicken, shredded beef, raspberry chipotle chicken, mango chicken, or grilled steak to get your protein fix, and then choose tomatillo ranch, cilantro lime vinaigrette, or sweet and smooth mango dressing. The brand is also working to make its food as gluten-free as possible, including sauces, dressings, and meats. It’s easy to avoid wheat gluten; just be sure not to have the flour or whole wheat tortilla or two of the desserts, tres leches cake and key lime pie.
A good friend led us to Costa Vida because it's become her favorite lunch spot, not only because of the salads on a tortilla (not in a tortilla -- these aren't fried; instead, they're layered with beans, your choice of meat, veggies, and cheese) but also because of the free cheese crisps for kids 5 and under. Very tasty -- we loved the shredded chicken with black beans. We told the guy at the counter how good it was and that we'd be back, and he said, "Oh, well, we'd be happy to... More »
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