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Barrio Café, Phoenix

2814 N. 16th Street
Phoenix , Arizona
Tel: 602 636 0240
view web site ›'s insider take:

We should probably keep Barrio to ourselves, as it doesn't take reservations and the wait can push an hour on a Tuesday night. Thankfully, there's a wall full of tequila to help pass the time. The place is small, loud, and not in the nicest part of town, but it also happens to be one of the best Mexican restaurants in the entire Southwest. Prettiest dish: tilapia fillet rubbed with achiote (a Yucatán spice) and wrapped in a banana leaf with chunks of onions. Most complicated: Pescado del Mar, with layers of shrimp, scallops, and crab and lobster over a pan-seared halibut fillet, all steaming in a white wine and shallot cream sauce with pieces of chorizo and poblano peppers. Best: four simple, slow-roasted pork tacos that will have your mouth watering for days—guaranteed.

Open Tuesdays through Fridays. No lunch on Saturdays.

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