I have some sad news for many of the older (and poorer...) readers of the East Valley Tribune. Pancho's Mexican Buffet at 1356 W. Southern Avenue across from the Fiesta Mall has closed its doors. My Buddy and I would go there once a month for a nice (under $10) lunch. The food was good, not gourmet, no costly ingredients or stacked up like the Tower of Babel, but tasty. Being a buffet meant that us senior citizens could choose items that weren't that spicy or were easier to chew (think it won't happen to you in your 60s, think again). The servers and wait staff were friendly and super-accommodating to families with small children and us older folks too.
Many of you are saying right now, "Who the heck was Pancho's?" That's a good question. You never saw a review in this newspaper or any other of the local newspapers. You also never saw Pancho's being reviewed on our local cable or TV stations either. It was to "low-brow" for them. The "beautiful crowd" never went there.
Just your everyday, run-of-the-mill, hard-working, budget-scrimping citizens of Mesa. The last restaurant north of Southern Avenue, between Dobson Road and Stapley Drive.
HoneyBaked Ham: gone. Lonestar Steak House: gone.
Black Angus: gone. Bennigan's: gone. Marie Callender's, JB's, AZ Country USA: all gone. Another great small restaurant, the Hideaway Cafe across from Superstition Ranch Market: gone. Would some press recognition have helped, or a TV review? It would never happen. Too "low-brow." Too American.