I am just going to come out and say it, Richardson’s New Mexico Cuisine in Phoenix had tastier dishes than the state of New Mexico! I have traveled through New Mexico over the last two decades and have stayed in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque several times. I have been down to Carlsbad Caverns, Roswell and many towns in between. I have also tasted great cuisine in New Mexico but I was floored by the flavors and the quality of my dining experience at Richardson’s. It beat anything that I had tried in New Mexico.
For a quick trip to New Mexico without leaving Central Phoenix, join us at Richardson’s, where proprietor Richardson Browne has been dishing up hearty New Mexican-inspired fare, like carne adovada, smoked turkey enchiladas and bacon wrapped shrimp, as well as fresh seafood and steaks since 1988.– Richardson’s Restaurant Website
I came in due to a recommendation from another foodie on Yelp and since then I told him he was my ‘Gastronomic Bestie’. The next morning after eating at Richardson’s, I was already recommending this place to my friends in Phoenix and beyond. Richardson’s is a remarkable restaurant, not only for the food but the friendly staff and the casual upscale ambiance. It is a great place for Happy Hour, a hearty meal, a drink at the bar, a business meeting or date night.
I decided to come in for Happy Hour because when I called a few days prior, the hostess said to come in before 6:00. That is when the restaurant gets busy and since this place is quiet intimate, my wait might have been long. Richardson’s does take reservations but not for one person and I did not want to sit at the bar. They were very accommodating and I was seated inside a full booth, which worked out well for me and my spread out food.
I came in for Happy Hour and I am glad that I did. The Happy Hour menu was filled with New Mexico and South West inspired starters. I decided on variety of appetizers because I wanted to try a bit of everything. I thought by ordering three “small plates” that I would not get filled up. I was very wrong!
I will recommend everything that I ordered and ate, it was all flavorsome and marvelous. I enjoyed everything from my gin cocktail to my creamy flan for dessert, and all the deliciousness in between!
—— On The Table ——
— Gin Smash —
As with many of my wonderful dining experiences, I started off with a a great cocktail. I do love a cocktail but love a gin cocktail more. My server recommended their Gin Smash and it was excellent.
Gin Smash and a tall bottle of H2O
If you enjoy a gin cocktail, I recommend their Smash as it was ‘Smashing’! It was not overtly sweet and the muddled berries were fresh. It was a very refreshing cocktail on that warm Phoenix day.
— Carne Adovada Sliders —
The Carne Adovada at Richardson’s was very delicious and tender. I wanted to try it since this was one of their house specialties. I found these mouthwatering sliders on their Happy Hour menu marvelously flavored and with a bit of heat. The slider rolls were grilled perfectly and the meat was topped with melted cheddar cheeses.
The last time I had Carne Adovada was in Santa Fe, New Mexico for breakfast . It was good, but this was better.
— Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos —
If you like a lot of heat then I must recommend Richardson’s Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños. This appetizer actually blew my mind because I could not get over how elevated these jalapeños tasted. This dish was over the top delicious! I have tried my share of of stuffed jalapeños and even made my own, but these were perfection.
The peppers were large and stuffed with Italian asiago cheese, which made a huge difference. Typically the peppers are filled with a cream cheese mixture but the asiago cheese gave it a fuller, richer flavor. Plus the consistency was not as soft and gooey inside. These were the perfect Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños- the perfect bacon, the perfect cheese and the perfect sized jalapenos.
— Pork Belly —
My favorite dish of the night was the Pork Belly, which was literally swimming in both red and green sauces. If you are familiar with New Mexico’s dishes, then you know the importance of both these sauces to their cuisine. I was impressed with the exceptional flavors and the amount of heat of both their red and green sauces- so damn good.
The high quality pork belly slices were very thick and added another layer of smokiness to this dish. I asked the server what gave the pork belly such smoky flavors and she said it was grilled over pecan wood! That was when I realized that this was my favorite dish of the evening. The amount of detail in making this simple dish, not so simple was extraordinary.
— Flan —
I am sure you are wondering how I ate everything and had room for this magnificent looking flan. I had a majority of my food boxed up in takeaway containers, so I could have dessert. It was strategic planning on my part because I wanted this flan, right here.
I love flan and I do love Richardson’s heavenly flan. Although I ate a third of my savory dishes, I polished off this rich and sweet dessert. This divine flan was creamy and dreamy in all the right places. If you are going to finish off a meal at Richardson’s, this is the best way to do it.
I am a flan lover and have been since a child. Filipinos have their own version called Leche Flan, which is very similar. Over the years, I have grown accustomed to the Spanish style flan. I like the consistency and flavor variation much better, but to each their own.
Richardson’s exceeded my expectations for a Happy Hour experience. I was pleased by everything this restaurant had to offer- the intimate ambiance, the friendly service and their exceptional cuisine. If you find yourself in Phoenix, take it a step further and do yourself a favor, find yourself in Richardson’s.
For restaurant location and information, Richardson’s Restaurant
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