Hey, readers, get ready. We're putting new meaning into the term "street food." For Chow Bella's latest mission -- "Eating 16th Street" -- we've employed a young woman who's literally eaten her way around the world. Alex Rodriguez has eaten borscht in Moscow, steak in Buenos Aires and a "life-changing panna cotta" in Bra, a small town in the Piemonte region of Italy. Now we've set her palate loose on Central Phoenix's 16th Street. Rodriguez will try it all, from Jefferson Street north to Thomas Road -- and report back, place by place.
The Place: Mariscos Ensenada The Food: Mexican seafood The Backstory: You guessed it! Family owned and run by the owners' son. The Price: $10.95 for spicy pescado
Mariscos Ensenada doesn't really look open for business. It has a certain "we're closed" vibe from the outside, but that's not the case. I was surprised to see that it was actually open on the occasions I visited.
Standing inside (at nighttime, at least) will remind you that you left your sunglasses in the car - it's stark white inside. There's not a hint of darkness except for the royal blue tiles and chairs scattered about the restaurant.
Ok, so it's a little asylum-y looking. Big deal. On to the rest of it.
On my second visit, I was having a particularly stressful day, so naturally I sought to comfort my frustration with Ensenada's frozen strawberry margarita -- which is not cheap, but it's huge, so I'll leave it at that.
The glass is sugar-rimmed, but it's not like you need it. The drink is sweet enough. You may have issues leaving some to wash down your meal (because it's so tasty), so sip lightly. Plus, you don't want brain freeze.
What could possibly go so well with a strawberry frozen margarita, you ask? Spicy pescado, of course.
I know what you guys are thinking. What? No ceviche? No mariscos? Your questions are warranted. But sometimes, a girl just wants some fish, and unfortunately for the haters, Mariscos Ensendada makes some damn good spicy fish, so why not?
The pescado was tender, and swimming (pun intended, I guess?) in spicy red sauce. A side of refried beans and yellow rice with vegetables makes for a fantastic meal - the salad is just to make mama happy and make her think you're eating your vegetables. The only downside to our tasty and spicy fish filet was that it was a tad over salted for our taste - however, keep that margarita nearby and you'll be just fine.
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Eating 16th Street So Far: Eating 16th Street: Let's Begin at Pollo Sabroso La Frontera Taco Truck: A Hit and a Run Asadero Norte de Sonora: Family Friendly and Fit for a King Mariscos Playa Hermosa: From the Shores of Mexico to a Colorful Central Phoenix Restaurant Salsitas: Blame it on the Alcohol Pro's Ranch Market: Contents of a Fiesta Under One Roof Filiberto's: My Burrito of Sorrow La Cocina Economica: Bringing Familia from the Kitchen to the Table Hacienda El Bar-Ril: Central Phoenix Home to Diamond Tacos de Cabeza Dulceria Mayra's Y Mas: Small Place Packs a Huge Party La Condesa: Great Eats, but that Wait is Rough