Hidden Gems – Huauchinango

6 12 2010

Steppin' on in to Huauchinango. Photo by Michael West

Well here we are, the tenth and final stop on my glorious and damn good Mexican Food Hidden Gems search. And wouldn’t you know it, they saved the best for last.

Welcome to Huauchinango.

Located on McKellips in between Scottsdale Road and McClintock lies good ol’ Huauchinango.

After traveling as far as 25 miles for tacos, I think it was only right to find a close spot to finish off my Hidden Gems tour, and how perfect to have Huauchinango be not even four miles North of the Arizona State campus.

The inside of Huauchinango. Photo by Michael West.

The inside has a little more than a handful of tables for you to sit down at, and the walls are covered in pictures of soccer players, soccer teams and the Mexican landscape. Up on the television in front of me is a soccer match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla, with the commentary in Spanish. YES. It’s the type of feel I had been searching for throughout my journey and I definitely got that feel here.

You can sit down or grab your order to go, but I wanted to sit down and relax for a little bit.

Upon snagging a table, our waitress gives us a basket of chips and a green paste-like salsa.

Huauchinango's delicious starter: chips and salsa. Photo by Michael West.

Hot damn! These babies are delicious!

It’s not hard to tell that the chips are golden brown and crunchy, and the salsa was unlike any salsa verde I’ve had before. It’s got a viscous liquid base, giving it a pasty texture, but man is it good! I’ve been meaning to ask if they sell their salsa like El Sol does, because if so, I’m stocking up.

After snacking hard on the chips and salsa and flipping through the menu, it’s time to order.

I go ahead and grab two carne asada tacos and two carnitas tacos. It take maybe ten minutes for the food to come out, and here’s what I’m working with.

Two carnitas and two carne asada tacos just for me. Photo by Michael West.

Two carnitas tacos and two carne asada tacos equipped with onions and cilantro, these babies epitomize the deliciousness of street tacos. I even had to throw some of their salsa on top of these tacos to top it all off.

My goodness, from the first bite I was hooked. The carne asada and carnitas are most definitely in the top tier in comparison to the nine other spots I’ve visited. I plowed through these tacos in maybe four minutes flat, it was that good.

I cannot find one flaw with Huauchinango.

I have maybe been to Huauchinango close to ten times now and have always been greeted when I enter. I’ve always had friendly service and have not had one bad meal… I swear each time I go the tacos taste better and better! And hey, with tacos at only $1.30 per, I was looking at a five and a half dollar check for four tacos… score! Don’t come with nothing but credit cards though, it’s cash only. Just a heads-up.

Heck, whenever I go in on Sundays, one of the employees remembers that I’m a San Diego Chargers fan and we’ll talk about what happened in all of the day’s NFL games. I have always felt welcome when I go to Huauchinango.

I have been to some really good taco places around the Valley, but by far, no… by a landslide my favorite spot is Huauchinango. There is no question.

The service, the feel, the quality, the price… it’s unbeatable.

I have been extremely hesitant to give any place a 10 out of 10 for my overall ratings, but Huauchinango in my mind not only earns it, but deserves it.

Thank you, Huauchinango, you are my favorite local spot. Expect to keep seeing me on a weekly basis.

Overall: 10 out of 10.

Information on Huauchinango Mexican Grill

  • Huauchinango Mexican Grill
  • 7620 E McKellips Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257
  • Phone: (480) 970-9962

Huauchinango on Urbanspoon

Huauchinango Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon


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