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Best Tequila Selection Phoenix 2002 - Coyote Grill

Coyote Grill

Coyote Grill

7077 E. Bell Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85254

480-922-8424

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Coyote Grill's menu warns us that mescal is a "less smooth" tequila. We wonder if owner Chris Harter will step up and pay our dentist bill when we need to have the enamel on our teeth replaced after kicking back a shot of his Dos Gusanos. The liquor -- plumped up with two worms per bottle -- is a taste we haven't quite acquired. Likely the worms aren't too thrilled about it, either.

That's okay, though, because Harter gives us some 110 other tequila varieties from which to choose. And most of them are so smooth that we actually savor them, sipping them slowly to nourish their agave character. There's blanco and plata (silver and white, not aged), reposado (aged in oak for up to a year) and anejo (under the strictest scrutiny of the Mexican government to ensure its superior quality). For the big spenders, the Coyote also offers $145-a-shot super-premium José Cuervo 1800 Colección, of which Cuervo releases only a few hundred bottles a year.

Mescal usually is doctored with sugar, fruit, herbs and nuts to make it more pleasant to drink. When we're really wussy, we go for the less bitter dessert tequilas -- coquila (coffee, chocolate and cream), rose (strawberry and cream) and almendrado (almond). And hold the worm.

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