I really had no intention to fly into Phoenix before the end of 2020, but I needed to use my flight credit before it expired on November 24. I learned about the expiration at the beginning of November, so I had to choose a city close by that had dine-in options during Covid. It all worked out, and I had enough points on my American Express Card to book a free hotel stay for four days. So that is how I ended up in Phoenix, Arizona!
I decided to fill those four days in Phoenix with exploring the city’s Southwestern, and Mexican Cuisine, visit a couple of cultural sites, and meet up with some school friends. Additionally, I had not been to Phoenix since 2015, and that was just for an overnight layover. I was excited to see what Arizona’s Capital city had to offer.
Choosing restaurants was planned out by either research or trusted recommendations. There was one exception when my friend and I hit a tortas eatery after driving by it. It was obvious that Arizona had an incredible food scene going on, even with the few restaurants that I ate at. I was very impressed!
From some of the best New Mexico cuisine that I have eaten, to an elevated churro dessert with goat cheese caramel, my delicious list of “What I ate in PHOENIX, ARIZONA – A Food Journal”.
Frank and Albert’s
Let’s go back in time a bit, and do a flashback food post. As I mentioned, the last time I stayed in Phoenix was for an overnight layover in 2015. Just because it was an overnighter, that did not mean we were going to eat poorly. My daughter and I dined at Frank and Albert’s, which is inside The Biltmore Hotel and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
We started off with the Smashed Avocado served with tortilla chips and pico. The ingredients were very fresh, and the serving was just right, not to large and not to small. It allowed us to have enough room for dinner. After debating all the enticing choices, I decided on the Chili Braised Short Ribs, that were served with Hayden Mills Grits, roasted poblano, and tomato. Holy cow, no pun intended, talk about elevating meat and grits to a whole other level.
For restaurant information, please visit – Frank & Albert’s
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 authentic flavors and the quality of my dining experience here at Richardson’s. It beat anything that I had tried in New Mexico.
I will recommend everything that I ordered and ate, it was all flavorsome and marvelous. I enjoyed everything from my “let’s get this started” drink, to my creamy flan for dessert, and all the deliciousness in between.
For my complete review and food descriptions, please visit 👩🏻💻➡Richardson’s – A Fine New Mexico Cuisine Restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona
On the Table:
- Gin Smash
- Carne Adovada Sliders
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños
- Pork Belly with Red and Green Sauce
For restaurant information and reservations, please visit Richardson’s Restaurant
This was a great place for breakfast, and it seemed like a very popular place. Since I was in Phoenix, I decided on visiting a few different friends that I went to school with back in SoCal. This certain morning, I was having breakfast with a friend who I had not seen in over 25 years, and she chose Hash Kitchen. She said they had a great Bloody Mary’s and tasty breakfast dishes.
For breakfast I ordered the Chicken Tinga Frittata. It was beautifully presented, and full of great flavor. The chicken inside were good sized pieces and seasoned very well. I enjoyed the grilled jalapeños that were on top of the frittata too. It gave my already delicious meal more heat, which I have always enjoyed.
My friend ordered the chilaquiles, which also looked delicious and she enjoyed. This was a great restaurant and it looked as if there was something for everyone.
For restaurant information and locations, please visit Hash Kitchen
I may have enjoyed eating at Gertrude’s more than visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. This really should not come to anyone’s surprise, considering that I practically live for a pleasant dining ambiance, great service, and even better food. Also, I am sure that I spent just as much time eating at Gertrude’s than walking around the whole botanical gardens. Again, this should be of no surprise.
From Gertrude’s seasonal menu, I had decided on several delightful dishes as well as a couple of refreshing beverages. Every menu item that I had tried terrific; Gertrude’s used fresh, high-quality ingredients and creative food presentation.
For my complete review and food descriptions, please visit 👩🏻💻➡A Lavish Lunch at Gertrude’s – Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, AZ
On the Table:
- Cactus Cosmo Cocktail
- Elote Fritters
- Sonoran Smoked Salmon Salad
- Carrot Cake Custard
For restaurant information and reservations, please visit Gertrude’s Restaurant
Tortas Paquime is a modern and casual Mexican restaurant serving tacos, tortas, bakery items, and ice cream. Since I had not eaten a torta in years, I decided to order one because they sounded delicious. I decided on the Torta Ahogada “spicy”, which meant that I received a nice sized container of hot sauce. The torta was very good and was filled with pork sirloin, avocado, and beans. Then it was topped with a lot crema and onions. It was an impressive torta, and I enjoyed the crema very much.
As for my friend, she ordered the Tacos Borrachos, which she loved. I took a couple of bites and they were awesome tacos. The battered shrimp had a slight sweetness to it, and was topped with cabbage. We both especially liked the fresh cucumber pico that came with it.
For restaurant information, please visit Tortas Paquime
Sitting down for a meal at Barrio Café in central Phoenix is one of America’s most sought after Mexican food experiences. This highly acclaimed restaurant has been featured on ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’, had countless write-ups, and comes highly recommended on various social media platforms. That is how I came across Barrio Café, through research and by word of mouth. A long-time trusted friend had strongly recommended that I eat here- Thank you, April!
When it came to the food and drink of Barrio Café, I was pretty much blown away on the colorful presentation, and the modern takes of traditional Mexican dishes.
For my complete review and food descriptions, please visit 👩🏻💻➡Barrio Café – An Award Winning Mexican Restaurant in Phoenix, AZ
On the Table:
- Lowrider Margarita
- World Famous Barrio Guacamole
- Cochinita Pibil Tlayuda
- Churros with goat cheese caramel and ice cream
For restaurant information and location, please visit Barrio Café
Barrio Cafe – Phoenix Airport
I felt bad about adding this, but it was an honest experience. I had just gone to the real Barrio Café in Phoenix the day before this meal, and enjoyed it. This airport location was nothing like the main restaurant in central Phoenix, so please do not associate the food quality as the same. I came in for breakfast, and it was mediocre at best.
I ordered the Omeleta Mexicana that came with breakfast potatoes, and corn tortillas. I also added a side of sausages, which did not make my meal any better. Thank goodness that I asked for a side of salsa because my food was quite bland. The potatoes tasted like they were under heat lamps, as they were dry and tasteless. I could not even finish my meal.
I will say that everyone who worked here were very friendly and helpful. It was just the food that I had issues with. I know it is airport food, but still.
Towards the end of my trip, I was so full by the third day that I had to cancel my dinner reservation. That would have been my last dinner in Phoenix before I flew out. I may need to plan this out better, the next time explore this cit. See you soon, Phoenix- Keep cooking up that 🔥🔥 cuisine!
Eat Well and Travel Often…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre