This South Phoenix favorite is a little slice of Valley history. In the mid-’70s the place was raised from a takeout business into a full-fledged restaurant when the Vasquez family converted their house into a dining room. It’s been popular ever since, and that’s really saying something in a town that has more Mexican food than it knows what to do with. True to its beginnings, Poncho’s menu features homestyle recipes served up in generous portions, and with the wallet-friendly prices you can choose your own affordable family feast. Try the El Crudo burro stuffed with juicy machaca and tomatillo sauce, Tamale Especial made with green corn and slathered in salsa verde and jalapeno cream cheese, or gooey, golden fried chile relleno, and you’ll immediately understand how Poncho’s Mexican Food and Cantina earned its stellar reputation. The restaurant is open past 10 p.m. every night, so it’s a great destination to belly up at the bar for a late-night taco and beer fix.
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