This blog experience was made possible through the support of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. All thoughts, opinions, and comments are those of Fit, Fun & Delish.Barrio Queen 7114 E. Stetson Drive Suite 105 Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 My husband Paul and I were talking the other day about how we have become anti-chain and prefer to eat at unique places….well, except for Chipotle. There is always room for our weekly visit to Chipotle :). We are lucky that we live in Scottsdale where there are many food events and a variety of restaurants that cater to the most picky palates.
Most of the food events are held early in year to take advantage of the beautiful mild weather we have during those months. One of those events is the Scottsdale Culinary Festival held in April. The Culinary Festival runs for six days and welcomes over 35,000 guests, 20 events, 100 restaurants, dozens of top chefs and countless fine wine and spirit selections. This is a must do if you’re in the area and are foodies like us (unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend since I was out of town). Another foodie event is The Original Taste held at Scottsdale Waterfront featuring 40 of the Valley’s best restaurants, wines & beers. What a great opportunity to taste new places all in one! I won’t miss next year’s for sure.
And now what you’ve been waiting for…. let’s talk about my featured restaurant. I had been wanting to visit Barrio Queen for a while since it has won awards and gets great reviews by the locals. It’s operated by chef/owner Silvana Salcido and has been open since December 2011. The focus is authentic Mexican food with over 300 types of tequilas and drinks. Can’t go wrong with that right?
Barrio Queen is located in downtown Scottsdale surrounded by an array of excellent restaurants giving you plenty of dining choices just feet away. This area is becoming the mecca of the Valley of the Sun foodies and tourists. Since I was born and raised in Mexico, I thought I would give this place a try and see if it lives up to the hype. You can say that I’m a Mexican food snob and my standards are pretty high ;).
First Paul and I started out with an order of guacamole and chips. Made right at your table and customized to fit your taste. We went for a medium hot level and skipped the cranberries – Paul doesn’t like cranberries but I bet they would taste great in the guacamole! I really liked it since you can’t go wrong when you mix the right ingredients with avocados. I added more lime juice, salt & pepper as I like my guacamole bursting with those flavors. We really enjoyed the chips that were very fresh. I asked for some salsa and I was told that they did not have salsa for the chips! The only salsa they had was for the tacosI was very disappointed as one of my most favorite things in the world is chips & salsa!
The hubby ordered their 3 taco dish:
1) Carne Asada Chorizo Azul – marinated grilled flank steak topped with chorizo and blue cheese
2) Barrio Pollo Chorizo – Spice rubbed chicken, caramelized onions and roasted poblano peppers in a spicy pinon creme sauce topped with chorizo and cilantro
3) Cochinita Pibil – Chef Silvana’s acclaimed pork marinated sour orange and achiote paste, topped with pickles sour orange onions and pico de gallo
Paul really enjoyed the tacos but could have eaten about two more since these are small street style tacos. He has a good appetite. His favorite was the carne asada chorizo azul. Paul loves blue cheese so I’m not surprised. Me on the otherhand – eh. Blue cheese that is not tacos.
I ordered the Cochinita Pibil Torta – Chef Silvana’s award winning pork. Marinated in sour orange and achiote paste, wrapped in a banana leaf and slow cooked all night long. Topped with sour orange pickled onions and pico de gallo. Served between a Artisan Bolillo roll
The Cochinita Pibil did not have the taste I grew up with. I couldn’t taste the achiote paste. To me the pork tasted more like Carnitas but it was delicious nontheless. The pickled onions gave it the perfect crunch. I ordered it with a side of french fries and they had a great Mexican seasoning that made them go perfectly with the torta.
For dessert Paul ordered the Churros – Individual churro dusted in cinnamon sugar topped with goats milk caramel and pecans. Disclaimer: The hubby ordered all of the ingredients on the side as he didn’t know if he was going to like the combinations. But guess what? He ended up dipping the churros in the caramel and ate the pecans too! A great combination of flavors. The churro had the right crunch on the outside and was perfectly soft and warm on the inside with a small amount of filling.
I had their Tres Leches – Three milk soaked sponge cake topped with fresh berry compote, whipped cream and pecans. I can honestly say that was my favorite part of the meal. That was one delicious dessert! I felt inspired to re-create it at home. Sooo good!
The coffee deserves an honorable mention as it was amazing! French pressed right at your table and the flavor was crisp and hot just how we like it. One of the best coffees we have ever had.
As you can see in the photos below, the interior is very cheery with lots of natural light in the main dining area. I really loved the light fixtures and exposed ceiling giving it the industrial feel I like these days. The walls are decorated with Mexican art work done by local artists and some of them even work at the restaurant according to our waiter.
This is the second bar that was not in use on a Saturday afternoon. I’m sure it’s very active on Friday & Saturday nights!
This is the main bar located as you enter the restaurant.
Overall it was a great dining experience and would love to visit Barrio Queen again. Next time I want to try the Enchiladas Suizas or some tacos……..and a margarita of course 😉