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 51 picks daily through the rest of the summer.
Number 52: Fish tacos at Barrio Cafe
From the mole to the cochinita pibil to the wild mushroom enchiladas, there's a lot to love about chef Silvana Salcido Esparza's classy Mexican cuisine at Barrio Cafe. I could easily spin off a mini-list of favorites just from this menu alone.
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The tacos de pescado, though, are leagues beyond the humble fish tacos you'll find at so many little joints nearby on 16th Street.
First and foremost, excellent fish makes a huge difference. Here, it's fresh, beautiful halibut, dipped in a delicate batter and fried until golden. Then, it's tucked into warm tortillas with cabbage, avocado, tomato, cotija, and creamy Baja sauce. A whole plate of these looks almost intimidating, but I always surprise myself by how handily I can clean the plate.
Side note: Try the amazing horchata here. Just do it.
The Favorite Dishes, so far: 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