when i’m traveling, i like to do the whole “save the best for last” thing. it’s fun to go out with a bang and leave on an amazing note. naturally, i planned our last dinner in scottsdale to be the best restaurant – according to what i had read in reviews, and from what i had thought after viewing countless menus. so i had a teeny tiny lump in my throat when we arrived to this first-come-first-serve mexico city soul food spot and it was jam packed. with a flight to catch and a 45 minute wait, we were ready to turn around and find another place to go when two glorious seats opened up at the bar. this was it…. we were finally eating at barrio queen.
we started with some drinks and an appetizer. i had the ‘la picosita’…. a spicy margarita made with chile-infused tequila. it paired perfectly with our queso fundido, which was incredible. queso can be tricky, because the cheese can get a little rubbery after a while. i wish i could say “in this case, the texture was perfect well after our order was set in front of us!” but my actual response is: in this case, i wouldn’t know, because we inhaled it all within five minutes and were scraping our plates clean. an equal, if not greater compliment.
in between our app and our main course, i wandered off to check out the rest of the restaurant. the decor was super cool, with an urban, industrial vibe and pops of mexican flair. they are big on the sugar skull, which is one of my favorite symbols. i did some epic dia de los muertos makeup this past halloween. i also own a bag, some artwork, and a few other random items that have sugar skulls in the design. needless to say, i was diggin the vibes at this place. i also must note that i got way too excited to see “christmas” lights – shaped like jalapeños – on a cactus. it’s the little things…………
after my brief tour of barrio-land, i sat back down to have some of their famous tacos. i started with the al pastor, which is a chile marinated pork taco that comes straight from mexico city. then i had a traditional carne asada (a staple for me)… and my last was our waiter’s personal favorite suggestion: barrio pollo con chorizo. spice-rubbed chicken, onion, poblano, and a spicy piñon cream sauce topped with chorizo and cilantro. this was literally heaven on a dish. i actually pulled our waiter aside and thanked him for the suggestion. don’t get me wrong – i’m happy i tried all three – but i could have had five more of those had i not used incredible restraint…….. but really, how many tacos is too many anyway?
we had such a great time at this restaurant. from the colorful and festive interior accents to the unique “street food” twist on traditional mexican cuisine, barrio queen is a scottsdale must-try. there are tons of menu options and so many tequilas to try. if you’re a fan of mexican food and you’re in the new york city area, i would liken barrio queen to one of our favorites, dos caminos, in that this eatery fuses urban flair with traditional flavor.