BEST HOLE-IN-THE-WALL MEXICAN JOINT (2004)
Birrieria El Gordo
In a place like Phoenix, where Spanish is the only language in some sections, there is no shortage of Mexican dives. But we suggest you try Birrieria El Gordo on 27th Avenue, about a block north of Indian School. The decor is sparse, and if your Spanish is rusty, you may have to get by with goofy white-boy sign language, but the tacos are delicioso, with tortillas made from scratch on site every day, and some of the best patrén, cabeza and barbacoa-style meat we've ever pushed past our lips. Don't forget to hit the sauce cart with its little limes, finely chopped cabbage and a half-dozen types of salsa. And they also make a great bowl of menudo on the weekends, if you happen to be hung over from too much tequila the night before.