One man. One grill. One of our most fun places to eat, period. Bacanora has fast become one of Phoenix’s signature Mexican restaurants thanks to the skills of Rene Andrade who has cooked in well-regarded fine dining restaurants throughout the Valley. Bacanora is his sizzling, mesquite-touched, chiltepin-dusted return to the food of his home region: Sonora, Mexico. On any given night (or Sunday brunch morning), the menu offers just a handful of items, many rotating. One night there might be grilled octopus. Another, a version of the shrimp aguachiles Andrade sold in his youth. Beef is a Bacanora cornerstone, whether brick-thick steaks crusted on the grill or shards of carne asada — among the best in our carne-asada-crazed town. Masterfully, seemingly effortlessly, Andrade adds the touches of an accomplished chef with diverse experience to Sonoran food, slightly elevating dishes yet somehow keeping them as humble as those of trucks and family-run taquerias. His radish-and-cucumber salad is clean and light, lifted by olive oil and queso fresco. His beans are plump, stewy, and make you marvel at how much flavor beans can contain. His caramelo is phenomenal. Built on a crisp, fragrant flour tortilla, slicked with melted cheese, heaped with shreds of wildly rich grilled beef, it’s the kind of plate that might haunt your hungry daydreams forever.
1301 Grand Ave., #1, Phoenix, 85007