6. Restaurant Mexico From beginning to end, every one of your visits to Restaurant Mexico will end in heartbreak. The staff is warm, friendly, and extremely personable, which is why we feel terrible for calling out their Mexican food as bland and poorly executed. But we've got to serve the reader. We want to like you so badly, Restaurant Mexico, but the way to begin a meal is not with a watery tomato puree posing as salsa and a puny bowl of chips (because you know few will venture into that salsa for long). We have to give you props for not doing the standard Sonoran-style Mexican food, but then our rock hard sopes, greasy tacos, and soggy enchiladas start to tip the scales. You're a Tempe institution, Restaurant Mexico, but with food like that, we do everything we can to steer clear of your little street front on Mill.
5. Pancho's Mexican Buffet The only time we ever ate at Pancho's was on a lark. We had a coupon and wanted to try what has been resoundingly called the worst Mexican food in the Valley. Even with a two-for-one coupon, we paid too much for Pancho's buffet. Although the deep fried taquitos only vaguely tasted of freezer burn, everything else on the menu was nigh inedible, from the gelatinous white chicken enchiladas to the overcooked rice and flavorless refried beans. The only redeeming quality was the tiny Mexican flag on the table, which we never got to raise because there's no way we wanted more of that hot garbage. Maybe that's how they keep prices down? By ensuring that there's no way in hell you're going back for seconds.
4. Blue Adobe Grille If Chuy's or Chevy's is your idea of real Mexican food, and you like paying double the price of what you would at one of those grody cantinas, Blue Adobe Grill should be the next restaurant on your radar. Although it's self-described as New Mexican, with state pride branding throughout the menu, the food is surprisingly lacking in hatch chile kick, and we had to search deep for a dish with sopapillas. If you find yourself at Blue Adobe Grill, just order the Lazy Tacos. At least then you won't be let down by greasy TexMex masquerading as New Mexican cuisine.