BEST HOLE-IN-THE-WALL MEXICAN JOINT Phoenix 2003 - Rito's
For more than 25 years, Rito's owners have been telling folks to get out of their house. It hasn't worked. Even with no sign, limited operating hours, and an inconsistent list of daily menu offerings, people continue to flood the tiny converted dwelling for topnotch burritos, tacos, chimis and tostadas. The Salinas family doesn't even go out of its way to make us feel too welcome. We shout out our orders at the counter, after waiting in line for way too long; they shout back at us when it's ready to pick up. There's no seating, save for a few plastic tables on a patio. Law officials are always swarming around -- Phoenix police are good customers. And choice? There is none. There's red chile and green chile, plus beans and rice. Sometimes there are enchiladas. Whatever we get, it's hot. Hot as in painful. Hot as in the Salinas family might be subtly telling us: "Get the hell out of here." But it's all to no effect. On any given day, at any given lunch hour, you know where you can find us: standing in line at the Salinases' house, begging for another meal from Rito's.