Celebrating their seventh anniversary this December, Loco Patron looks to continue a tradition of pairing refreshing margaritas with inventive Mexican fare. The restaurant's crunchy pork tacos stand out from an extensive menu, garnering the attention of taco enthusiasts and taking home the titles of best pork taco and most school spirit at the 2011 Arizona Taco Festival. The tortilla-bound creations nestle tender shredded morsels of pork atop a bed of lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, and a special arbol sauce. Doled out in herds of 6–20 tacos, the porcine delicacies scale to suit various size groups and appetites ranging from hungry to postwork lumberjack.
"The heady smell of burning pecan wood hits your nostrils as soon as you walk through the door," Phoenix New Times writer Michele Laudig wrote after visiting Secreto. The southwestern eatery gains its name from the story of a 17th-century Franciscan monk, who secretly planted grapevines in New Mexico.
Grills and ovens heat up kitchens in all three of Sandbar Mexican Grill's locations to prepare a menu of burritos, fajitas, and other classic dishes. Tortilla chips deliver silky smooth parcels of queso dip ($7) or guacamole ($8) to taste buds and P.O. boxes masquerading as teeth. A Dos Equis–based batter coats the baja tacos' marinated mahi along with cabbage, tomatoes, and chipotle tartar sauce ($12). Steak burritos ($14) play the role of protein keystone at the center of food-pyramid-shaped dinners, and shrimp fajitas ($16) sate ears with the sound of sizzling onions and peppers. Sandbar’s tranquil, welcoming atmosphere heats up at night during weekly events at each location as guests sip fresh margaritas and cold beers.
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.
The six teachers at Cutting Edge Quilts combine their individual quilting savvy to lead students through a wide range of classes. Amid myriad fabrics and ample creative space, the studio's long-arm quilting machine lets students sew their quilt top, batting, and backing together in a more-time-efficient manner than by using traditional machines or bribing a silkworm. Various quilting groups meet regularly, focusing on different techniques such as hand-sewing and scraps as they take advantage of the studio's gargantuan collection of threads, kits, and specialty fabrics such as Batik and Moda.
Hues of vibrant orange and yellow splash across the walls in Migo's spacious dining room. Guests enjoy the lively environs at a selection of tables, some of simple, rich wood, others embellished with blue and yellow tiles. Said tables are soon cloaked by platters of aromatic Mexican delicacies, including T-bone steaks, grilled seafood, and beef-filled tacos. Meanwhile, blue-rimmed glasses the size of fishbowls pack in the sweet nectar of top-shelf Migo margaritas. Friday and Saturday nights coax the sweet sounds of authentic Mexican tunes from the strings of guitars and the throats of gifted singers, and weekday happy hours boast no formal entertainment, though diners are free to indulge that one bar guest determined to dazzle friends with their impersonation of Sinatra after a tonsillectomy.
El Rico's transformed from a humble taco shack into a full-fledged Mexican restaurant that boasts a menu jam-packed with homestyle eats. Mountains of nachos lurk beneath grilled carne asada or pollo asada capped with guacamole, sour cream, and lime ($9.79 for full order; $6.99 for half order). Crispy flautas ($8.99), which come in threes to symbolize each of the hemispheres, conceal shredded beef or chicken, and the grilled-shrimp taco plate hosts its seaworthy morsels atop soft tortillas accessorized with pillows of rice and beans ($11.99).