For this week's Cafe Review, New Times Food Critic Laura Hahnefeld explored the flavors of southern Mexico without having to leave Phoenix.
Hahnefeld ventured to Jose Garcia's, La Barquita (the little boat) and found an authentic restaurant that is a true homage to Mexican cooking.
Here's an excerpt from Hahnefeld's Cafe Review from the print edition:
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In the seven years it's been open, La Barquita has developed a reputation as a neighborhood hangout. Its mostly Mexican clientele appreciates the affordable, authentic food of southern Mexico -- more richly seasoned than flat-out spicy -- plus a few good ol' American classics.
There are working men lunching on cocido de res, a colorful, meal-in-a-bowl soup swimming with chunks of carrots, potatoes, beef shank, and half an ear of corn; little ones happily munching away on cheeseburgers and fries; and families who pack the place on the weekends for breakfast. Some enjoy zesty chilaquiles made with triangles of homemade fried corn tortillas topped with a tangy tomatillo sauce and sprinkled with ranchero cheese, while others dive into the "Big Combo," a classic American breakfast of eggs, ham, and Garcia's popular pancakes.
Read the full La Barquita review.