Scrimp Cocktail

The proprietors must be paying the rent in pesos. How else can they operate in the middle of art-walk Scottsdale with menu prices that range from $1.50 to $5.95?

Dos Gringos keeps costs down by skimping on interior design. Actually, except for a few barstools, there's almost no interior at all. Most of the seating is outdoors, at long, wooden tables. Along one wall, a giant Orwellian big-screen television is tuned to Wheel of Fortune, although I half-expected to see Big Brother instead of Pat Sajak. The blues spill out of the music system, while heaters keep you warm.

The menu is small and simple, and the food is cheap and fresh-tasting. There may not be too much grilled fish in the fish taco, but what's there is quite serviceable. (How much fish do you expect for a buck and a half?) The chicken taco features grilled cubed white meat. Best, though, is the beef. Splurge for an extra dollar and upgrade the beef taco into a beef fajita taco. You'll get a decent portion of tender steak wrapped in a soft flour tortilla, heaped with onions and peppers sauteed with heat-packing chipotle pepper, as well as sour cream and salsa. Sit back with a couple of these babies and the house margarita, a potent drink which makes up in intensity what it lacks in refinement. Then buy a vowel and watch the tourists stroll by.

Location Info

Map

Dos Gringos Scottsdale

4209 N. Craftsman Court
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Central Scottsdale

The chicken torta is worth clucking over. The kitchen uses thick pita bread, and covers it with poultry and a snappy mango-chile salsa. Mexican pizza is also first-rate, a double layer of tortillas topped with chipotle pepper puree, grilled onions, peppers, chicken, cheese and garlicky black bean hummus. At $5.95, it's the most expensive item here, but you won't feel shortchanged. In contrast, the cheese quesadilla--tortilla with melted cheese--is a snooze.

Dos Gringos' most serious problem: the chips. They're store-bought awful, not fit to dunk into the chunky pico de gallo or the chile con queso.

During one visit, I dawdled over a margarita and watched one of the staff preparing a huge vat of black bean hummus. When he finished, the boss came over for a taste. "It's no good," he said, shaking his head. "Throw it out." I don't know if that's standard culinary operating procedure in Rocky Point. But it sure makes spending what's left of your cash at Dos Gringos a lot more reassuring.

China Chili:
Hot and sour soup
$5.50
Spicy garlic eggplant
6.50
Tangy lemon chicken
7.50

Dos Gringos:
Chicken
taco
$1.50
Beef fajita
taco
2.50
Chicken
torta
5.25

96.

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