Tag Archives: spicy food

taco dish

Find Delicious Mexican Food In The Old Pueblo

Having spent four years in Tucson attending the University of Arizona, I assimilated to the culture.  By that I mean Mexican food became one of my major food groups.  There’s no shortage of Mexican food from South Tucson to the foothills of the Catalina Mountains, so if you love Mexican food, you’re in luck.  Here are seven diverse Mexican restaurants that will be sure to get your taste buds buzzing in the Old Pueblo.

Café Poca Cosa
110 E. Pennington Street
Tucson, Ariz. 85701
(520) 622-6400

You never know just what you’re going to get at Café Poca Cosa.  But with a menu that changes twice daily, you can expect fresh and innovative food.  Located in downtown Tucson, Café Poca Cosa is sleeker and more modern than other Mexican restaurants.

El Charro Café
311 N. Court Ave.
Tucson, Ariz. 85701
(520) 622-1922

El Charro Café was established in 1922, but today there are three around Tucson, one in Oro Valley and one in Sahuarita.  According to Bloomberg’s Businessweek Magazine, it’s the oldest Mexican restaurant in the United States. The best part of the downtown, Court Avenue location is the outdoor patio, perfect for dining on spicy food on a cool evening.

Guadalajara Grill
1220 E. Prince Road
Tucson, Ariz. 85719
(520) 333-1022

Guadalajara Grill is always packed on Friday and Saturday nights.  Most people may be waiting for the food, but those in the know are there for the La Bandera margarita. This margarita is 18 ounces of fun, with different flavors stacked three high to look like the Mexican flag. Learn how La Bandera is made.

La Fuente Restaurant
1749 N. Oracle Road
Tucson, Ariz. 85705
(520) 623-8659

During the day La Fuente can’t be missed – it’s bright pink.  But at night La Fuente shouldn’t be missed because of the lively and loud atmosphere.  At La Fuente, mariachis are the main attraction Thursday through Sunday.  They even have their own stage in the middle of the restaurant.

Mi Nidito
1812 S. Fourth Ave.
Tucson, Ariz. 85713
(520) 622-5081

Located in South Tucson, Mi Nidito is Mexican food with a presidential past.  When President Bill Clinton visited in February 1999, Mi Nidito commemorated the event by naming a dish “The Presidential Plate.”  Other notable guests include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, actor William Shatner and of course hometown favorite and former Wildcat basketball star Steve Kerr.

Sir Veza’s Taco Garage
4699 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, Ariz. 85712
(520) 323-TACO (8226)

If you’re looking for Mexican food with a different spin, try Sir Veza’s Taco Garage. Chips and salsa are served in a hubcap and shammies serve as napkins at this unconventional restaurant.  It’s not the most authentic Mexican food in town, but Sir Veza’s delivers with an extensive cerveza and cocktail menu and themed meal names.

The Taco Shop Co.
1350 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, Ariz. 85719
(520) 622-1899

The Taco Shop Co. is great for cheap, fast and semi-greasy Mexican food. Don’t expect linen tablecloths and silverware, The Taco Shop Co. is open 24 hours and has a salsa buffet. But the combo platters, complete with a drink, rice and beans, rarely cost more than $8, and they’re filling.


Jimmy Woos

Jimmy Woo’s Doesn’t Disappoint In Old Town Scottsdale

If you crave excellent Mexican, Italian, Contemporary American, or even old-fashioned ice cream, Old Town Scottsdale has always been the place to go.  With P.F. Chang’s dominating the Chinese food scene a few blocks down at Scottsdale Fashion Square, there has never been a reason to venture into Old Town for Chinese cuisine … until now.

Jimmy Woo’s Chinese Food will be the new staple of Old Town. With great food and a great atmosphere that runs from lunch until midnight, Jimmy Woo’s is ideal for the curious tourist and late night clubber. With a color scheme of red and black, the restaurant has an indoor and outdoor bar, perfect for casual hors d’oeuvres and drinks.  The low lighting inside provides a great ambience and a social atmosphere. After taking a look around inside, our party was seated outside. I was a little weary at first, thinking it would be loud, with the patio near the street. It was surprisingly quiet.

When first seated, my dining companions were served green tea. Not expecting this, I thought it was very charming. The tea was very good; not big fans of green tea, my dining companions and I were very surprised.

We started off with appetizers, the Pork Dumplings and Wonton Soup. The Wonton Soup was delicious, the chicken broth providing lots of flavor. The texture was also fantastic with a stark contrast between the hot broth and the slippery, smooth wonton, filled with minced pork. Next up, were the Pork Dumplings. Very similar to pot stickers, these dumplings can be served steamed or pan fried. We had them steamed.  They were good – until I tried them in the sauce that came with them. Made of soy and scallions, it made these dumplings absolutely mouthwatering.

For the entrée we were served the Kung Poa Shrimp, General Woo’s Chicken, and Woo’s Noodles. When picking our favorite entree, my dining partners and I differed.  Two of us were thrilled with the shrimp, while the other hogged the chicken the entire night.

I loved the shrimp and thought it had fantastic flavor. It had a very subtle smoked flavor, mixed in with the peanuts, dried chili peppers, and onions. It was seafood without that real fishy flavor. Perfect for my taste buds.

One of my dining companions loved the chicken because it was sweet and spicy. The scallions added an extra kick with the sweet and spicy sauce.

The noodle dish came in third because it just wasn’t spicy enough for our taste buds.  We all thought the egg noodles in a chili bean sauce needed an extra kick. For those of you who aren’t a huge fan of spicy food, Woo’s Noodles would be perfect.

For dessert, we tried Jimmy’s Sweet Puffs. Fried wontons filled with raspberry or chocolate custard, they were very light and flavorful, complimenting our meal.

By the end of the night, I was completely satisfied with my flavorful meal. I recommend Jimmy Woo’s Chinese Food to anyone with an inclination for Chinese food in the Old Town Scottsdale area.