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Gwen Ashley Walters
February, 2010, Page 158
Photos by David Moore
Fish tacos with mango lemonde
Lenny Rosenburg has created a foodie destination out of one corner in central Phoenix, but does his newest addition live up to its sibling restaurants?
The problem with a tagline like Revo Burrito’s “revolutionary Mex” is that it sets up certain expectations. What’s revolutionary about the newest restaurant from veteran restaurateur Lenny Rosenberg? Lard-free tortillas or “100 percent natural” chicken and beef? How about the fact that pork is not on the menu?
Positioned between his other two restaurants, Zen 32 and Delux, Revo Burrito is just another Americanized burrito joint. It’s convenient, sure, with an outside walk-up window for to-go orders, and it’s visually stimulating with a colorful, splashy interior. But the menu isn’t radically different or particularly innovative.
Order at the counter and young, efficient servers deliver your meal in minutes. Ask what’s best and the order takers will steer you to the carne asada ($6.95), available as a burrito or two tacos (hard corn shell, or soft corn or flour tortillas). The mild-flavored beef doesn’t stack up to other carne asada available in the Valley. Better choices are the kicky green chile burrito ($6.75) and the juicy chicken machaca burrito ($6.50).
The green chile version is stew-like, with chunks of braised beef, Anaheim chiles and tender potato hunks. It’s knife-and-fork messy – and delicious. The chicken machaca drips with cumin-scented juice, and the shredded all-white meat melds with cooked tomatoes and onions.
Burritos and tacos come à la carte or as combo platters ($3 more), which include black beans, rice and a miserly handful of chips and salsa. Salsa options are mild, medium and hot. I couldn’t tell the difference between mild and medium, but the hot certainly got my attention.
carne asada burrito combo
The organic black beans (lacking any real seasoning) seem out of place served on black Styrofoam plates. Creamy white rice is decidedly different – bathed in thinned sour cream and studded with corn and red bell peppers. It’s surely fattening, which is why the restaurant added a brown rice option based on numerous customer requests.
Fish tacos ($7.95) are terrific. Smallish pieces of marinated mahi-mahi are grilled and have a pronounced char flavor. Wrapped in two layers of soft corn tortillas (the outer layer a little too dry), the fish is topped with thinly shredded red and green cabbage, a smear of guacamole and lime flavored crema and served with pico de gallo.
The cheese crisp ($4.95) is a winner, too. A crisp, buttery 12-inch tortilla is covered in a thin, melted layer of four kinds of cheeses (mild cheddar dominates the flavor), cut into wedges, each garnished with a dollop of guacamole and a mound of pico de gallo in the middle.
It’s hard to miss the massive lemon juicer behind the counter. It can juice 360 lemons in 30 minutes. Available in plain, mango, strawberry and tart raspberry, the pulpy lemonades ($2.50) are perfectly balanced between sweet and tart.
Two desserts ($3.75) – a cabo coco cake and a coconut tres leches snowball – are both sugar bombs.
Revo burrito might appeal to hungry lunchgoers and budget-minded dinner seekers, but it’s a far cry from living up to its “revolutionary Mex” tagline.
: 3154 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday
: Mahi-mahi tacos ($7.95); green chile burrito ($6.75); cheese crisp ($4.95); fresh squeezed lemonade ($2.50)
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