Food News

Best Bites: At Cocina Madrigal, an Unexpected Enchilada Steals the Show

Enchiladas filled with beef birria and wild mushrooms at Cocina Madrigal.
Enchiladas filled with beef birria and wild mushrooms at Cocina Madrigal. Tirion Morris
Welcome to Best Bites, a series where we celebrate not a whole restaurant or menu, but one specific and amazing dish. These bites have something to say and we are listening. Keep reading for dishes that are seriously worth the trek across metro Phoenix to find. Dig in!

When you arrive at Cocina Madrigal, a neighborhood joint in South Phoenix, the parking lot will probably be full. Squeeze your way into a spot along the street, among shut-down auto dealerships, tire shops, and a few stray houses before you walk over to this gem of a restaurant.

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A selection of dishes served at Cocina Madrigal. Plates of tacos and enchiladas allow customers to mix and match from the menu.
Jennifer Goldberg
Outside, a large awning shades a few tables of diners brave enough to endure the heat. Inside, the restaurant buzzes.

It's not in a trendy area, the decor is low-key, and the furniture is worn-in. Yet at lunchtime, almost every single table is full. A group of retirees chats over chips. A young mom with her daughter lights up when her partner meets them for lunch. Business people in suits slide into a booth.

The restaurant is loud and full both promising signs of the food to come.

It's no secret either. Yelp reviewers voted to name this spot the number one restaurant to eat at in 2022. After the award, owner Leo Madrigal appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show, where the singer-turned-host sang his praises. And those praises are well deserved.

The Cocina Madrigal menu sticks to classic Mexican American dishes along with specialties from Mexico City. It's known for its enchiladas and while beef birria, barbacoa, and chicken fill some, the best seller is a little surprising; a mix of wild mushrooms.

The Wild Mushroom Enchiladas ($14.95) includes two corn tortilla-wrapped enchiladas filled with mushrooms and jack cheese, drenched in ancho mole cream, chunky avocado salsa, and sour cream. The soft, savory rolls are served with rice and black beans. While the dish may look like any classic sour cream and yellow cheese spot's enchiladas, these are a level above.

The mushrooms are cooked until buttery soft, releasing their earthy and savory flavor while retaining plenty of their meaty bite. While this dish would be an excellent choice for those that avoid meat, omnivores won't miss it either. The creamy orange-colored mole melts into the tortillas as well as flavoring the surrounding rice.
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The Oaxaca Fundido at Cocina Madrigal.
Jennifer Goldberg
And if you can't get enough of the wild mushroom medley, luckily another dish on the menu features it. Start your meal with the Oaxaca Fundido ($9.95) which is made up of a piping hot cast iron dish filled with gooey Oaxaca cheese, longaniza sausage, roasted jalapenos, caramelized onions, epazote, and the star of the show, the wild mushrooms. This cheesy dish is served with corn tortillas, but ask for some chips, which are served warm, for ultimate scooping.

Whether you are in the neighborhood after a hike on South Mountain, need to grab a quick business lunch close to downtown Phoenix or are on a special hunt for some great veggie options, Cocina Madrigal has a dish and a table for everyone.
Cocina Madrigal
4044 South 16th Street
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Tirion Boan is the Food Editor at Phoenix New Times. Find her digging into all of the best restaurants and dishes in the Valley, from new spots to hidden gems. Food tip? Get in touch at [email protected]
Contact: Tirion Boan

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