We're working up our appetites for our huge Best of Phoenix issue, out September 30, with daily servings of Chow Bella's 100 Favorite Dishes from across the Valley -- in no particular order
Leave your suggestions for upcoming favorites in the comments section.
Visit our sister blog, Jackalope Ranch, for a companion series on 100 Creatives who make Phoenix a little more interesting for all of us. We'll be posting the next 19 picks daily through the rest of the summer.
Number 20: Oaxaca Special at Carolina's
At some point, just about everything on Carolina's menu has been a lifesaver for me, whether it's been a hangover rescue, a fix for a craving, or just filling my belly in the middle of another crazy day at work. Considering how busy this South Phoenix hole-in-the-wall always seems to be, I have a feeling I'm not alone. Office workers, cops, teenagers, and people from the hood come through here in a steady stream.
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One item stands out as an old standby, though: the Oaxaca Special burro.
Wrapped in one of Carolina's famous, uber-thin, tender tortillas, it's a melange of cheese, potatoes, beans, and really, really good chorizo for a salty, spicy kick.
One of these, plus a drink, adds up to less than five bucks, making it one of the absolute cheapest of my favorite eats in town. (At that price -- given how good these are -- you may as well get two.)
The Favorite Dishes, so far: 21: Chicken Tikka Masala at Guru Palace 22: Hirame Carpaccio at Nobuo at Teeter House 23: Hot Pressed Tuna at La Grande Orange 24: Chilaquiles at La Tolteca 25: Pho Tai Nam at Da Vang 26: Olive-Oil Poached Arctic Char at Kai 27: Pulled Pork at Joe's Real BBQ 28: Falafel Sandwich at Haji-Baba 29: Payt-N-Bake Chicken at Caffe Boa 30: Thai BBQ Chicken at Thai E-San 31: Sweet and Spicy Burger at The Grind 32: Kimchi Chigae at Ewha Korean Restaurant 33: Red Chile Beef at Verde 34: Garlic Shrimp at Hope Kee 35: Antipasto Platter at Pizzeria Bianco 36: Beef Fried Noodles at China Magic Noodle House 37: Grilled Calamari at Andreoli Italian Grocer 38: Spicy Miso Ramen at Sushi Ken 39: Fish 'n Chips at Rula Bula 40: Corn Pancakes with Crab at The Mission 41: Santa Lucia Pasta at Marcellino Ristorante 42: Smoked Truffle-Infused Filet Mignon at Christopher's 43: Pollo Colonial at Iruna 44: Mozzarella Carozza at Aiello's Fine Italian Dining 45: Mofongo at El Coquito 46: Sticky Toffee Pudding at St. Francis 47: Steak Frites at Metro Brasserie 48: Black Cod with Acini de Pepe at Cafe Bink 49: Steak & Egg Sliders at Lon's 50: Taco Monterrey at Pepe's Taco Villa 51: Toro Tartare at Sushi Roku 52: Fish Tacos at Barrio Cafe 53: Reuben at Matt's Big Breakfast 54: Short Ribs at J&G Steakhouse 55: Mole Poblano at Los Sombreros 56: Chicken Fried Steak at Texaz Grill 57: Carne Asada on a Potato Pancake at The Vig 58: White Flannel Hash at Orange Table 59: Butterfish Tataki at Roka Akor 60: Eggs Maximilian at Harlow's Cafe 61: Chickpea Ceviche at Bombay Spice 62: Spiced Skirt Steak at Tuck Shop 63: Rib Eye Philly at SanTan Brewing Company 64: Albacore With Black Truffle at Crudo 65: Slice at Jimmy & Joe's Pizzeria 66: Lee's Combination at Lee's Sandwiches 67: Duck Curry at Sala Thai 68: Chicken Kabab at Med Fresh Grill 69: Cheese Course at Sweet Republic 70: La Potence at Le Chalet 71: Brisket at Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue 72: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup at The Roosevelt 73: Coq Au Vin at Vincent's Market Bistro 74: Cochinita Pibil Tacos at La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop 75: Char Siu Bao at Phoenix Palace 76: Huevos Rancheros at Gallo Blanco Cafe 77: Italian Stallion at La Piazza Al Forno 78: Bourekas at Spices Mediterranean Kitchen 79: Warm Maine Lobster Salad at Modern Steak 80: Escargots En Croute at Petite Maison 81: Salumi at Quiessence 82: Okonomiyaki at Hana Japanese Eatery 83: Croissants at Essence Bakery Cafe 84: Coronado Coney at The Main Ingredient 85: Green Chili at Rito's Mexican Takeout 86: Soup Gyoza at Sens Asian Tapas & Sake Bar 87: Pop Cho and Sweet Ginger at The Breadfruit 88: La Jawab Kadahi Gosht at The Dhaba 89: Chicken & Waffles from Lo-Lo's 90: Burrata at Humble Pie 91: Bruleed Foie Gras Torchon at Posh 92: Moroccan Nomad Stew at Chakra 4 93: Peking Duck at Gourmet House of Hong Kong 94: Mozzarella Sandwich at Pane Bianco 95: Egg White Omelette at Fez 96: Machaca From Los Dos Molinos 97: Shish Taook from Baiz Market 98: Pasties From Cornish Pasty Co. 99: Clams in Black Bean Sauce From Asian Cafe Express 100: Bruschetta From Postino