We're working up our appetites for our huge Best of Phoenix issue, out September 30, with daily servings of Chow Bella's 100 Favorite Dishes from across the Valley -- in no particular order
Leave your suggestions for upcoming favorites in the comments section.
Visit our sister blog, Jackalope Ranch, for a companion series on 100 Creatives who make Phoenix a little more interesting for all of us. We'll be posting the next 44 picks daily through the rest of the summer.
Number 45: Mofongo at El Coquito
El Coquito is an insider's restaurant, the kind of place you either know about from living in the quiet South Scottsdale neighborhood, or the kind you hear about from trusted friends who love to share food tips. It's anything but flashy.
But the affordable Puerto Rican eats are scrumptious, enough to put El Coquito on any ethnic food fanatic's mental map.
The mofongo is particularly stellar, the soul-satisfying dish that rewards a cross-town drive. Wafting a potent garlic aroma, it's a heap of bacon-studded mashed plantains and topped with a choice of beef, chicken, shrimp, or roast pork. I vote for the pork, which in and of itself is a house specialty.
A hyper salsa soundtrack might make you feel like eating this dish in double-time, but it's really something to take your time with. Clean your plate, and you'll be so full you might fall asleep at the wheel when you leave.
The Favorite Dishes, so far: 46: Sticky Toffee Pudding at St. Francis 47: Steak Frites at Metro Brasserie 48: Black Cod with Acini de Pepe at Cafe Bink 49: Steak & Egg Sliders at Lon's 50: Taco Monterrey at Pepe's Taco Villa 51: Toro Tartare at Sushi Roku 52: Fish Tacos at Barrio Cafe 53: Reuben at Matt's Big Breakfast 54: Short Ribs at J&G Steakhouse 55: Mole Poblano at Los Sombreros 56: Chicken Fried Steak at Texaz Grill 57: Carne Asada on a Potato Pancake at The Vig 58: White Flannel Hash at Orange Table 59: Butterfish Tataki at Roka Akor 60: Eggs Maximilian at Harlow's Cafe 61: Chickpea Ceviche at Bombay Spice 62: Spiced Skirt Steak at Tuck Shop 63: Rib Eye Philly at SanTan Brewing Company 64: Albacore With Black Truffle at Crudo 65: Slice at Jimmy & Joe's Pizzeria 66: Lee's Combination at Lee's Sandwiches 67: Duck Curry at Sala Thai 68: Chicken Kabab at Med Fresh Grill 69: Cheese Course at Sweet Republic 70: La Potence at Le Chalet 71: Brisket at Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue 72: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup at The Roosevelt 73: Coq Au Vin at Vincent's Market Bistro 74: Cochinita Pibil Tacos at La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop 75: Char Siu Bao at Phoenix Palace 76: Huevos Rancheros at Gallo Blanco Cafe 77: Italian Stallion at La Piazza Al Forno 78: Bourekas at Spices Mediterranean Kitchen 79: Warm Maine Lobster Salad at Modern Steak 80: Escargots En Croute at Petite Maison 81: Salumi at Quiessence 82: Okonomiyaki at Hana Japanese Eatery 83: Croissants at Essence Bakery Cafe 84: Coronado Coney at The Main Ingredient 85: Green Chili at Rito's Mexican Takeout 86: Soup Gyoza at Sens Asian Tapas & Sake Bar 87: Pop Cho and Sweet Ginger at The Breadfruit 88: La Jawab Kadahi Gosht at The Dhaba 89: Chicken & Waffles from Lo-Lo's 90: Burrata at Humble Pie 91: Bruleed Foie Gras Torchon at Posh 92: Moroccan Nomad Stew at Chakra 4 93: Peking Duck at Gourmet House of Hong Kong 94: Mozzarella Sandwich at Pane Bianco 95: Egg White Omelette at Fez 96: Machaca From Los Dos Molinos 97: Shish Taook from Baiz Market 98: Pasties From Cornish Pasty Co. 99: Clams in Black Bean Sauce From Asian Cafe Express 100: Bruschetta From Postino