BEST CHICKEN SOUP Phoenix 2007 - Ajo Al's
Despite County Attorney Andrew Thomas' failed attempt to ruin this terrific family restaurant with his P.R.-driven "Dirty Dining" campaign (the case was tossed out of court earlier this year), Ajo Al's remains a trusted standby for thousands of spice-happy Valley eaters. We like the food just fine, but it's the chicken soup that brings us back for more, and then more. It's got a bite to it, and a rather thick broth imbued with black pepper and probably more than a pinch of chili powder. The delicious chunks of white chicken meat are too big to swallow in one bite, so it becomes a three-utensil (fork, knife, and spoon) affair, and that doesn't count the mandatory tortilla or two to soak up every last drop. Really, it's a meal in itself and, as a bonus, will clear the sinuses by the time you're done.