Arizona shares more than a border with the Mexican state of Sonora. Though they belong to different countries, the two states share the same desert topography and, thus, many of the same culinary traditions. Valle Luna highlights and celebrates these traditions with a menu of Sonoran–style tacos, sopas, and pedazos inspired by the rare genius of its founder, Tia Rita. Surprisingly, Valle Luna’s story began not in Arizona but in upstate New York. Tia journeyed to Syracuse in the 1970s, bringing with her the recipes she gleaned from her childhood in the Sonoran Desert. After earning a number of awards and accolades in New York, Tia returned to warmer climes and founded the original Valle Luna on West Bell Road in Phoenix, where her food continued earn rave reviews until her passing in 2008. Today, Tia's family carries on her legacy at three locations spread across the Valley. They’ve even added to her original menu, crafting such genre-defying dishes as Mexican potato skins, choco tacos, and salsa-stuffed piñatas.
Serrano’s extensive menu features a full spread of authentic Mexican appetizers, enchiladas, fajitas, sandwiches, and more. Make the flavorful most of the preprandial course with a combo mini appetizer platter, a delectable spread of beef flautas, chicken and cheese rollups, and stuffed jalapeños ($9.50). For the prand itself, diners can avail their faces of house specialties such as the machaca, shredded beef or chicken with chili, tomatoes, onions, rice, and beans saddled up next to a posse of flour tortillas ($9.75). Seafood lovers, and people who once dropped an engagement ring into the ocean and are searching for it one fish at a time, can explore the seafood favorites, such as the diverse Del Mar Sampler, featuring a shrimp enchilada, halibut steak, and garlic shrimp served with rice and Mexican-style veggies ($14.95).
In 1986, the Tenorio family pooled their knowledge of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine to create a restaurant that combined authentic, south-of-the-border cuisine with quick service. They named it Filiberto’s after one of their own, Filiberto Tenorio. Since then, Filiberto’s Mexican Food has expanded to three states and 55 locations, but their commitment to fresh ingredients hasn’t changed. Available for dine-in or carry-out, the menu abounds with crispy chicken, beef, and pork tacos, hefty burritos, and combination platters that pair enchiladas, tacos, and chili rellenos with rice and beans or a compatible paper doll.
Up a staircase illuminated by an overhead chandelier waits an arrangement of small tables. They're holding down one of the dining areas at SpeakEasy Saloon and Grill, a steak house that's part speakeasy, part saloon. On the main level there's a stage for live country music, a bar for drinking, and more tables for enjoying house specialties such as bone-in rib eye, cowboy spaghetti, and grilled fresh Atlantic salmon. When guests finish eating, they can get busy grooving on the dance floor and nervously anticipating their date’s line-dance moves. A private room upstairs also hosts private parties and events, rounding out the possibilities.
Following Baja Fresh’s ethos set in 1990 as a healthy take on fast food, never-frozen meats sizzle atop the grill before they're tucked into made-to-order tacos and burritos. Grilled corn and flour tortillas embrace fish, carnitas, chicken, and steak, and smoky queso fundido sidles onto nachos and into burritos. Between bites, chips scoop up salsa made from farm-fresh produce rather than poured out of a can or fabricated in a space-age replicator. A complimentary salsa bar ensures no mouthful goes unspiced, and guests can scoop up their favorites as they await their dine-in, takeout, or catering orders.