blanco tacos + tequila
For free monthly updates, event invitations and exclusive deals, sign-up for our newsletter!
Enter a keyword such as “Italian” or “Hamburgers” or type the name of the restaurant below.
Blanco Tacos + Tequila
June, 2009, Page 178
Photography by David Moore
Cheese crisp with braised short rib meat and avocado chunks
In the vein of other Sam Fox restaurants, Blanco serves up satisfying plates in a slick atmosphere.
Creative cocktails, a hip setting, fun servers and well-crafted California-Mexican food. It’s a simple combination that’s so successful at Scottsdale’s Blanco Tacos + Tequila that you’d better plan on a lengthy wait for a table.
Is it authentic Mexican like we desert dwellers are so well-schooled on? Not really. Is it pricey, at up to $14 for ahi tacos and $19 for shrimp and steak fajitas? Generally. But is it satisfying? For sure.
Like all the restaurants in the Sam Fox empire, this Borgata mall space radiates “concept,” with slick, graphically perfect interior design, safe-bet food kissed with a bit of excitement, and a tinge of cleverness – from the sassy, striped polos and jeans that the servers wear to the occasional modern riffs on cooking, like a massive mound of nachos ($9) ladled with asadero cream sauce instead of globs of neon cheese.
It helps that the servers know how to sell the stuff. “I don’t even like pork – or enchiladas – but these are great,” my waitress gushed as I asked about the green chile versions ($14). They’re not traditional – two bubbly, browned bundles in a black skillet – but they’re tasty, touched up with poblano pepper and tomatillo.
Cheese crisps are terrific, with a base of crispy, crackly flour tortilla that doesn’t get soggy under a heap of melted Oaxacan, asadero and manchego cheeses topped with juicy braised short rib meat and avocado chunks ($11). Chicken mole ($15), if disappointingly mild, has a welcome crunch from pumpkin seeds, while achiote chicken ($16) gets a nice kick from lime glaze.
Other dishes lean toward ho-hum, like grilled New York steak ($20) with corn on the cob, or salmon that’s oddly paired with chile verde ($18). But remember the name of the place to clue you in to the real culinary point here. The carnitas tacos are addictive ($11), stuffed fat with melt-in-the-mouth braised pork and a drizzle of crema.
And then there’s that other point: tequila. The cocktails get as much thought as the food. Though a bright pink pomegranate-grapefruit margarita ($9) is sweet, it’s not achingly so, while the blanco sangria ($8) entices with a blend of white wine, peach, pear and lychee. The bartenders pour with a generous hand; my cucumber-kumquat fresca ($10) snuck up fast with its Jose
Cuervo Platino and Triple Sec.
Armed with bowls of airy-light tortilla chips and mild salsa, I could cheerfully do some regular happy-hour brain damage perched at the bustling centerpiece bar.
© 2007 Copyright Phoenix Magazine 15169 N. Scottsdale Road Suite C310 Scottsdale Arizona 85254
Travel & Outdoors
Best of The Valley
Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine
Advertise With Us
Web Site Design