Earlier this week, Maria's Frybread and Mexican Food opened its doors at 4041 East Thomas Road in Phoenix, in the strip mall space most recently occupied by Two Hippies Gnarly Burger Joint.The restaurant serves Mexican fare including burritos, tostadas, and tamales, as well as sopaipillas, a close cousin to fry bread.
On the recommendation of the owner, we tried the sopaipillas with red chile ($8.49). The plate-sized piece of deep-fried dough came smothered in beans, chili, lettuce, tomato, and cheese, making this a filling lunch for one. The dough was hot and fresh, though not overly greasy, and the red chili was flavorful with pieces of tender carne asada tucked inside. We were even impressed with the side of complimentary tortilla chips, hot and thick with a healthy amount of salt sprinkled on top.
Even better was the restaurant's menudo ($5.99), which came with a side of stretchy, hot flour tortillas. Our giant serving of soup was loaded with pieces of perfectly cooked tripe and hominy and offered just the right amount of heat to leave your lips barely tingling, while still leaving your taste buds intact. With a fistful of diced onions and cilantro thrown in, the menudo was truly memorable.
On our recent visit, the restaurant hadn't yet set up its credit card machine but we were told that's forthcoming. Maria's also offers take out orders and a drive-thru — though from the inside of the restaurant, the window appears to open into the dining room.
For more information, call Maria's Frybread and Mexican Food at 602-957-3514.