East Valley restaurants: Mexican/Southwestern - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Guide

East Valley restaurants: Mexican/Southwestern

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Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 12:50 pm, Mon Oct 29, 2012.

Blue Adobe Grille (144 N. Country Club Drive, Mesa, [480] 962-1000). The carne adovada plate is the highlight of the New Mexican dishes found at this award-winning establishment. There’s an excellent selection of Southwest infused seafood as well, including lobster tamales with mango salsa and raspberry chipotle. $$

Cantina Laredo (2150 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert, No. 123, [480] 782-6777). This Dallas import is the mastermind behind the mind-blowing camaron poblano asada — sautéed plump shrimp, mushroom slices, onions and Monterey Jack stuffed into a poblano pepper wrapped in tender carne asada on a small pool of chimichurri sauce. Not into gourmet Mex? The kitchen pulls off the basics as well. Additional location in north Scottsdale. $$-$$$

Kai at The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa (5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, [602] 385-5726). Incorporating the essence of the Pima and Maricopa Native American tribes and locally farmed ingredients from the Gila River Indian Community, Kai’s chef creates unforgettable masterpieces at this fine dining restaurant set amid the breathtaking grounds of the The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa. It’s Arizona’s only AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star restaurant, and it should be treated as such; don’t even think about showing up in anything less than business casual attire, and don’t plan on talking obnoxiously on your cell phone in the serene dining room. Do expect to spend lots of money; it’s worth it. $$$$

Mangos Mexican Café (44 W. Main St., Mesa, [480] 464-5700). Über-popular with downtown Mesa’s 9-to-5 set, tiny Mangos satisfies with jalapeño-flecked carne asada burritos, enchiladas, a breakfast burrito that’s tasty any hour of the day and refreshing pressed fruit juices. Crispy beef or chicken tacos are a mere $2 from 3 to 5 p.m. daily. $$

Rancho de Tia Rosa (3129 E. McKellips Road, Mesa [480] 659-8787). From the gorgeous architecture to the colorful ambiance and fabulous cuisine, we can’t stop singing the praises of this east Mesa gem. Specialties include shrimp quesadillas, salmon enchiladas, chicken mole and an extensive margarita menu. In our part of the country, Mexican restaurants seem to outnumber 7-Elevens. Tia Rosa outshines them all. Additional location in Gilbert (891 N. Higley Road [480] 396-8787). $$

Serrano’s Mexican Food (141 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler [480] 899-3318). You can’t live in the East Valley without knowing the family behind this eatery, who made a name for themselves as clothiers in turn-of-the-20th-century Chandler before getting into the restaurant business. Dishing up Mexican comfort food since 1979, Ernie and Eva Serrano — and six of their eight children — now run seven locations in Mesa (1021 S. Power Road [480] 854-7455; 1955 W. Guadalupe Road [480] 756-2992), Gilbert (959 N. Val Vista Drive [480] 507-5027), Tempe (6440 S. Rural Road [480] 345-0044) and Queen Creek (22703 S. Ellsworth Road [480] 987-0192). $-$$

Someburros (1335 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert [480] 755-8226 and 2597 S. Market St., Gilbert [480] 497-8226). While it lacks ambiance, Someburros scores points for its flavorful, inexpensive Mexican fare. It’s a good place for families with children and those looking for a casual bite. The extensive menu includes the requisite tacos, tamales and enchiladas, plus house specialties such as the pollo fundido — chunks of chicken wrapped in a deep-fried tortilla topped with spicy cream cheese, grated cheddar and green onions. Additional locations in Chandler (3461 W. Frye Road [480] 726-8226) and Tempe (101 E. Baseline Road [480] 839-8226). $

El Zócalo (28 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler [480] 722-0303). The lush, inviting back patio — often with live music — makes a great backdrop for enjoying the flavorful chicken mole or carne asada at this downtown Chandler hot spot. $$

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