BEST NEIGHBORHOOD MEXICAN, SOUTH PHOENIX - 2005
After more than 35 years and two generations of family ownership, Comedor Guadalajara still packs 'em in for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Neither the regulars nor the newbies are coming for the decor or the ambiance, as there's little of either on the premises. Everything's meticulously clean, but form follows function here, and CG's function is to fill that belly like it's your last meal on Earth. The menu is classic, Sonoran-style cuisine -- tacos, tostadas, flautas and enchiladas. But CG also specializes in mariscos, serving standards such as 7 Mares soup, shrimp Veracruz-style, pan-fried tilapia, and shrimp enchiladas in green tomatillo sauce. You'll also be blown away by the house-made flan, so rich and dark it's more like a caramel pudding than a custard. The service, too, is topnotch, and far more personal than one might expect from the cavernous interior and inexpensive comestibles. It isn't the building that gives this place soul, but the employees and the food.