Best Mexican Patio Dining - 2008
El Zocalo Mexican Grille
What a charmer. We already thought El Zocalo was a neat restaurant with the perfect name (a Mexican zócalo is the town square, and this eatery is situated right on Chandler's own town square, San Marcos Place). But once we discovered the lush outdoor patio tucked out back — something we'd missed when we ate there during the hottest time of year — we were totally enamored. With tables decked out in white linens, red brick pavers, flowering shrubs, and leafy potted plants all around, it's romantic and relaxing, the kind of place that makes us glad to live where the season for patio dining is almost the entire year. And at night, it's lit up with tiny white lights that cast a flattering glow on anybody who's dining out there. If there's any way to look good while greedily snarfing down El Zocalo's insanely tasty mole de pollo, it's in a setting as pretty as this.