46: The Food Court at Mercado de los Cielos
Carne asada from La Cosinita. Pizza-shaped, Oaxacan tlayudas topped with shredded beef from Tacos y Burritos Mexico. Freshly whipped fruit licuados from La Carreta de Lily. Thick, sturdy Mexico City-style machetes sealed together with cheese and squash blossoms from Macheta Azteca. Platters of Sinaloan-style sushi rolls garnished with pico de gallo at Sushi-Lynn. Oh, and over at Aldo's Hot Wings, you can get 50 hot wings for $29.99.
Such are the gastronomical wonders of the food court at Mercado de los Cielos, the Latin American-inspired marketplace situated at the southern end of the Desert Sky Mall in west Phoenix. Back in the '80s and '90s, this space used to be a muzak-plagued Mervyn's department store where west-side kids and their parents did their back-to-school shopping. Today, it's a thriving food court of mostly Mexican restaurants, a veritable pig-out destination that attracts large crowds on the weekends. If you love regional Mexican dishes, served in a lively, convivial setting, you can't do much better than this. The hardest part is choosing what to eat – and finding a table on a Sunday afternoon.
The Essentials so far:
50: Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Biltmore
49: "Dragon" Dumpling Burger at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.
48: Dizzy Fig Empanada at Republica Empanada
47: Linguini carbonara at Avanti