This year we're marking the hundred-day countdown to Best of Phoenix 2015 by sharing some of our favorite dishes at restaurants all over the Valley. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
94. Chicharrón Prensado Quesadilla at La Merced
If you're of the opinion that bigger is, in fact, better, then you don't want to miss out on what's going down at La Merced in Mesa. This unassuming little Mexican restaurant serves food in what sometimes only can be described as ridiculously large portions. We're talking about tortas the size of a grown adult's forearm and flautas that look more like breadsticks than the finger-food you thought you knew.
It's not a bad thing. Particularly when you're really hungry for something porky, greasy, and loaded with cheese. That's when I head to this restaurant for a giant chicharrón prensado quesadilla. You can have your quesadilla filled with whatever meat you choose, and you can have your meat in just about whatever form you prefer, for that matter — but for me, it's all about the combination of deep red, smoky and sweet, pressed pork rinds with shredded lettuce, sour cream, and cotija cheese. It all comes wrapped in a corn tortilla that I can only imagine is as big as a dinner platter when not folded in half.
Wash it down with a glass of horchata or one of the restaurant's aguas frescas, and you'll be good to go.
The 100 Favorite Dishes so far...
100. Waffle at Matt's Big Breakfast
99. Pacific White Fish Taco at La Santisima
98. Beef Roll at Taiwan Food Express
97. Zinc Burger at Zinc Bistro
96. Goat Biryani at Khyber Halal
95. Key Lime Doughnut at Welcome Chicken + Donuts
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.