By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela
By Lauren Saria and Heather Hoch
By Deborah Sussman
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Eric Schaefer
By Heather Hoch
I also recommend the cahuamanta con camaron ($8), a seafood soup with shrimp and manta ray (cahuamanta). From what I've read, this is sort of a mock turtle soup, the terrapin here being a now-protected sea turtle for which manta ray is substituted. As the menu advertises, it is indeed "sabrosa" (yummy) and, like the birria de chivo, it comes with a small stack of tortillas.
My only problem so far with El Gordo is the lack of interest those within have shown for having their birrieria written about and photographed (a.k.a. "free advertising"). At first, I chalked this up to a language barrier, as I speak muy poco español. (Translation: My Spanish sucks.) But then I employed first one friend whose Spanish is excellent, and finally another who grew up in Mexico City. Unfortunately, the owner has remained completely indifferent to the prospect of a review that could draw hungry customers to his place of business. Even my Latino pals are at a loss to comprehend this unusual phenomenon.
2650 W. Glenrosa Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85017
Region: West Phoenix
602-995-1317. Hours: Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Tuesday. Hours may fluctuate, so call ahead.
What I suspect, however, is that peculiar, cross-cultural summer affliction of which I've already spoken. I went by one day to do some follow-up eating, only to find the shop cerrado when it should have been abierto. But the next day, everyone was back to work. Capitalism may be swell, but during a Phoenix July, even the free market takes the occasional, unannounced vay-cay. So phone ahead. And if you find them open, bon appetit - or, as they say in Spanish, buen provecho!