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From the outside, this place looks like your basic Mexican restaurant strip mall storefront. But inside, the kitchen is turning out central Mexican dishes that you won't find elsewhere in town. Check out huarache, gorditas, sopes and the alambre con queso, all variations on a corn masa theme. The more familiar items are also well-crafted, particularly the pork adobada and carnitas. The chorizo and egg torta is a sandwich gem, and the enchiladas with verde sauce will light your mouth on fire - in a good way.
Grilled cheese sandwiches were generally reserved for greasy-spoon diners and kids' menus. Then we discovered pambazos, a Mexican take on the tired grilled cheese sandwich. At El Nopalito, order a pambazo and be treated to a huge, soft bun that is similar to the telera used for tortas. This bun is then dipped in a guajillo chile sauce that adds spice and a bright red color. Afterward, your electric-red pambazo is filled with salty queso fresco and grilled. (You can request that meat be added... More »
A jaunt to Rocky Point may seem like the quickest route to an authentic Mexican street taco, but it turns out that the real thing can be had a lot closer to home. Of course, you'll still be logging a lot of miles heading to El Nopalito, but only because of the many repeat visits we're sure you'll make once you taste their fantastic tacos. Tucked into tiny, fresh corn tortillas that you can in eat a couple of bites, the homemade fillings range from spicy al pastor and rich carne asada to... More »
It's probably a cliché, but it's true: Some of the best tacos we've ever had were at a ramshackle roadside stand in Mexico, cooked right up in front of us and served with halved limes the size of large gumdrops. We thought we'd have to swing a return trip to eat tacos that good again, but thankfully, we've found a delicious substitute -- and amazingly, it's in central Phoenix. Like so many local finds, El Nopalito resides in an inconspicuous strip mall and is easy to zoom past... More »
It's probably a cliché, but it's true: Some of the best tacos we've ever had were at a ramshackle roadside stand in Mexico, cooked right up in front of us and served with halved limes the size of large gumdrops. We thought we'd have to swing a return trip to eat tacos that good again, but thankfully, we've found a delicious substitute — and amazingly, it's in central Phoenix. Like so many local finds, El Nopalito resides in an inconspicuous strip mall and is easy to zoom past unless you're seeking it out. In other words, don't expect to stumble on this place. But hey, if you're craving tacos the way we were, you'll head straight to it. No bigger than two or three bites, El Nopalito's tiny tacos are easy to love, served on fresh corn tortillas and topped with diced onion and fresh cilantro. They even serve them with those miniature limes. You'll want to try them all, from al pastor (spicy pork) to carne asada. And considering that they're only 99 cents apiece, trying them all really isn't out of the question.
What kind of south-of-the-border traveler are you? Do you get on an airplane and head to a fancy resort? Do you stay where the drinking water is pure, the swimming pool is heated, the flies have been banned, all major credit cards are accepted... More »
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