Crispy fried tortilla strips smothered in sauce that makes the nose run, covered with cheese, a fried egg and chicken. We're talking chilaquiles.
The Mexican breakfast dish -- which is perfect for any time of day -- makes us want to rewind our meal just to savor the flavors once again. Finding a spot to order them is not hard in the metro Phoenix area with the endless amount of Mexican restaurants filling the streets.
But we narrowed the field to La Tolteca and Pepe's Taco Villa, putting the two head to head this week in a chilaquiles showdown.
In This Corner: La Tolteca
The Setting: Tolteca is your go-to for Mexican consumables. It's a panaderia, carniceria, market and restaurant, meant to take care of all your needs. Their pandulce is amazing, and you cannot go wrong with anything on their menu.
The Good: The chilaquiles falls off the plate when your order is ready. Fried tortillas are piled high with sour cream, avocado, scrambled egg and chicken, all in a generous portion of red sauce. The sauce covers everything on the plate, but the chicken still maintains its flavor. Both flavors mesh well together, leaving a savory spicy flavor in the mouth. We've never had chilaquiles with avocado, but like everything else it only made the experience better.
The Bad: Even though the sauce was flavorful, the other elements were swimming in it. The sauce still would've made its impact without overdoing it. For the amount of food on the plate, there was not enough egg, and it was a hit or miss find.
The Setting: The atmosphere is all around fun and inviting at Pepe's.The restaurant sits in a strip mall next to a Mexican furniture store and decorated inside with Chicano art.
The Good: The chilaquiles comes with chicken, a fried egg, fried tortillas, cheese, sauce, and a side of beans. A couple slices of jalapenos made their way onto the plate, giving a nice kick to the dish. The chunks of white chicken were moist, giving depth to the chilaquiles, and the amount of cheese was perfect. Egg yolk mixed with fried tortillas is one of the best parts of ordering chilaquiles, and Pepe's did it right. The homemade beans -- which reminded us of grandma -- complimented the chilaquiles.
The Bad: We asked for our fried tortillas to be on the crispy side, but a majority of them were kind of soggy, like they had been sitting for a while, soaking in all the sauce. Of course the sauce was punchy, but we missed the crisp.
The Winner: Pepe's Taco Villa takes the prize in this battle. La Tolteca gave us more than we expected, but over did it when it came to the sauce.