With so many endless Mexican restaurants in town, most of which are phenomenal, it was tough selecting the perfect spot to celebrate National Tequila Day last Wednesday. But what better place to pay homage to this agave-based beverage than Barrio Queen, where their menu board reads “Soup of the Day: Tequila”.
This laid-back spot is the place to go to get your "Mexican Soul Food" fix. Owned by local legend and modern Mexican master, Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Queen is an artfully casual restaurant with Dia de los Muertos meets industrial/urban flair. Skeletons and skull art, colorful ceramic tiles and leather seating mixed with exposed pipes, metal and ducts adorn the inside; while the sunny sidewalk patio is one of the best spots to sit back and enjoy the action of Old Town Scottsdale.
We started at the bar where Chantale ordered a gorgeous orange and yellow drink called Barrio Punch—with Don Julio Reposado tequila, fresh squeezed lime and orange juice, grenadine—perfect for summer. I ordered an extra sour margarita on the rocks, and our girl Lauren ordered the Paloma, with Tres Agaves Reposado, Mexican Squirt and fresh grapefruit and lime juice.
Then we sat down to dinner and devoured some fresh guac and homemade tortilla chips. I was quite pleased with my massive Arizona Burrito, served enchilada style with pork that melts in your mouth, a tangy green chile sauce, gratinada of quesillo cheese, salsa verde, crema fresca and cilantro. Chantale ordered the Carne Asada, Lauren got the Chiles en Nogada (seasonal) and Maurice got the Mole Enchilada. Even though I was beyond stuffed, I couldn’t resist ordering the Flan with caramelized syrup, pecans and a vanilla Kahlua sauce. This place definitely redefined “soul food” for me.