4

Campechana from Los Picos in Mesa: Eat This Now

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

If you've heard anything about this restaurant, it's probably been about the pozole. Los Picos offers the pork stew and two versions of menudo -- red or white -- every day. And even better, you can get an all-you-can-eat bowl of either soup for just $7.50.

But with the hot weather coming along, we head to Los Picos for something else: a super large seafood fix.

See also: El Chullo vs. Tumi: Peruvian Ceviche Showdown

If you drive by Los Picos Parrilla Restaurant in Mesa you'll probably think the restaurant is closed. And we don't blame you. The restaurant's street-front patio showcases stacks of plastic chairs even during business hours and the tall business sign sits entirely empty. In fact, there's nothing on the outside of the building that signifies the restaurant's name. It's a little strange.

Nevertheless, Los Picos is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner six days a week and -- at least on our recent visit -- welcomes a steady stream of customers during the lunch hour. It's a hidden gem of a restaurant that serves a lengthy menu with breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. There's everything from breakfast burritos to chimichangas and a whole section devoted to shrimp and fish platters.

We recommend you skip all that (except maybe the irresistibly good Ricos Chicharrones appetizer) and go for the Champechana. The mixed seafood cocktail comes in two sizes: regular for $10.50 or big for $12.95. The regular will be a small entree or large appetizer to share, while the big portion makes for a very filling meal.

At Los Picos the Champechana features a medley of seafood including octopus, shrimp, scallops, and calamari. You'll also get a single steamed clam and mussel on the half shell on you outside of the plate. The seafood swims in a sauce of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cucumbers, and avocado making for a seriously refreshing meal. We love how each bite offers a slightly different combination of ingredients, with one spoonful bringing up huge chunks of meaty octopus and the next offering a large, sweet shrimp and fresh avocado.

You can customize the experience by adding lemon if you like. You'll also be given a bowlful of saltine crackers and ketchup to use as you wish.

It's only fair to mention that the service can be fairly slow at this tiny restaurant -- when we visited there was just one serving working both inside and out on the patio. But what she lacked in speed she made up for in friendliness.

Los Picos Parrilla 1542 W. University Dr., Mesa 480-833-4711

Mon., Wed., and Thurs.: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fri.: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat.: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sun.: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.