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
Sadly, the bírria, goat meat cooked in a seasoned broth and one of Guadalajara's most distinctive dishes, is the most disappointing of the specials, given its dry meat and weak flavor. But then there is the carne en su jugo. Seldom seen on menus outside Mexico, this workhorse of a soup comes packed with chopped beef, crispy bacon, potatoes, and beans in a thin yet robust broth. Surprisingly simple yet yielding a different mix of flavors and textures in each jumbo spoonful, it's an all-inclusive meal you can enjoy until you're full — and then take home the rest for lunch the next day.
Fans of offal won't want to miss another famous dish of the city: tostadas de pata, or pigs' feet tostadas. No diced meat here, this trotter is kept intact, the pink rubbery foot nesting in a bed of lettuce splashed with sauce and (barely) between two fried tortillas. The best way to eat it is to cut off what you can with fork and knife and then pick up what's left with your hands, gnawing and sucking it clean. Suffice it to say, this one's not for the timid.
As the only eatery (save for a snack shop) inside the Mercado Plaza del Sol, Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara acts as the heart of this lively shopping center. Alive with activity, it's surrounded by brightly painted storefronts — a tienda de ropa, salón de belleza, and herberia — with enormous, brightly colored piñatas hanging over the central eating area. Here, at clusters of tables and chairs positioned around a condiment bar, its hungry patrons gather and await a harried but friendly server to bring them sustenance, Guadalajaran-style.
518 N. Arizona Ave.
Chandler, AZ 85225-4587
The energy behind the eatery's counter matches the dining area. Past a case of carnitas and tasty peeled, roasted, and salt-sprinkled peppers that come with most of the dishes, and a refrigerator stocked with Mexican Coke, Penafiel sodas, and fruit-flavored Boing, the small, open kitchen is a well-organized hive of hustle and bustle. Tortillas are made in the front, rice is mixed with seasoning in giant, steel bowls off to the side, and in the back, meat is chopped and fired on the grill.
It seems a rather unpretentious home for the king of Mexican sandwiches. But when you've got this kind of street food cred, royal monikers hardly seem appropriate.