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
Elsewhere on the menu is the torta milanesa, whose top-notch combination of ham, egg, and avocado would be improved with a better roll. And there are tamales, cheese and epazote (a pungent herb native to southern Mexico) quesadillas, and memiltas (crispy corn-dough tartlets filled with meat and cheese) that are not nearly as flavorful as the aforementioned favorites but still find a way to satisfy.
That may be why, although Tacos Atoyac is just a year old, the small, spartan room is usually thick and noisily alive with a melting pot of families, friends, and regulars. Sitting at the eatery's handful of tables and biting into solid shrimp burros stuffed with rice and whole sweet shrimp, or intently focused on slurping up the bits of pecan and cantaloupe left from a heavenly sweet cup of homemade Mexican horchata, the packed room is reinforcement that Maldonado and Lopez's concept is working like gangbusters.
The two-man team is almost always on hand. While Lopez muscles trays of tamales or a hefty pot of steaming mole in the kitchen, Maldonado plays the role of gracious host and server, switching with rapid-fire flair between English and Spanish, welcoming customers and assisting first-timers' ums and ahs with suggestions of the day's best dishes.
1830 W. Glendale Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85021
Region: North Phoenix
None of which, unfortunately, include Lopez's chicken soup, but most of which are just as comforting.