Stop número cinco on my Hidden Gems journey takes me to a little place that’s just a five minute drive away from the ASU campus in Tempe called Los Favoritos.
Having eaten very lightly today, I desperately needed a meal at 4:00 pm that would tide me over for around four hours thanks to the combination of going class and being on the air at the Blaze radio station for an hour. I read plenty of encouraging reviews about Los Favoritos on yelp.com and didn’t feel like making a long drive into Phoenix to try a new place, so Los Fav’s it was.
Los Favoritos is located on Broadway just before Dorsey Lane in Tempe, and upon pulling up, I am delighted to see that the taco joint was just about empty. I stroll inside to Los Favoritos and am instantly greeted by a nice lady at the counter and now I’ve got to place my order.
Despite the rolled taco combo sounding very enticing, I opted to just go with three a la carte tacos, two of them being carnitas (pork) tacos and the other being straight up carne asada. I also felt the need to see what the chips and salsa were all about at Los Fav’s, so for an extra buck I figured what the heck, let’s go for it.
All-in-all, with the tacos being $2.50 each and the chips being one dollar, my total with tax ran to $9.27.
Next we needed to pick a spot to eat at, and in the room adjacent to the kitchen and counter area, we found a pretty interesting and spacious eating room.
As I alluded to above the picture, the room has plenty of square footage, but a disproportionately low amount of tables. Good thing there wasn’t a lunch rush, we had our pick of the litter table-wise.
It was kind of cool to see a pool table and three old school arcade-type games sitting in the back, although these definitely felt out of place.
Out comes our food about ten minutes after placing our orders, and man are we ready to dig in!
We start off by declaring the chips and salsa to be a community pot and a free-for-all, and upon the first taste, we know that we’re going to need some water to wash down this spicy salsa.
A little spicy on the taste buds I’d say, but still a quality appetizer to get us started. The chips were golden and crispy, just the way they should be, and the half liquid, half chunky salsa had one heck of a kick to it. I found myself getting up every couple of minutes because I’d be downing my water like mad!
Next up for me were three big ol’ tacos staring me right in the face.
At first glance, I realize that these aren’t the street-style tacos that you’d get at a place like Taquitos Jalisco or El Nopalito. These are by far the largest tacos I’ve had since I’ve started my Hidden Gems tour, hence the $2.50 you pay for one of these bad boys apiece.
The soft-shelled corn tortillas are packed with meat, onions, cilantro and pico de gallo, and are topped off with a healthy amount of guacamole. I loved how the carne asada (the leftmost taco in the picture above) is finely cut into small pieces, it just made for a better tasting taco. I even slapped a little bit of salsa on top of the tacos to add another element to them just for kicks.
The guacamole was an interesting addition to the taco as a normal Los Favoritos taco topping, but I really enjoyed the element it brought. The combination of a lot of meat and a lot of guacamole really worked in this instance.
The carne asada and carnitas were both equally as good, but I’ve been spoiled with the places I’ve been beforehand, so despite these tacos being a tad different yet delicious, I wouldn’t say they were the best I’ve had to-date. Again, don’t mistake that statement for saying that these tacos were bad, because I enjoyed every bite even though the tacos had a tendency to fall apart due to how filled up they were.
Also, make sure you get a spoon to pick up the fallen taco meat soldiers, because it’s hard for these tacos to stay in one piece.
Now on to the other orders… my two sidekicks for this Mexican food run ordered a carne asada burrito that came with just the carne and guacamole…
… and the other order was a plate of enchiladas.
My buddy enjoyed the burrito as being just carne asada and guacamole and said it tasted better thanks to not having a bunch of other toppings inside of it. The review on the enchilada is one that is mostly positive, but the complaints are that the cheese isn’t melted well enough on top of the enchiladas, and that the addition of peppers and tomatoes to the enchiladas is unnecessary.
Overall though, I definitely enjoyed the tacos, and I like how close this place is to the ASU campus. It’s a nice change of pace to not have to drive at least 15 minutes on the freeway in either direction to get to a good Mexican food lunch spot.
It was a good meal, but I can say I enjoyed the street tacos at some of the other taco joints just as much if not more than I enjoyed the tacos here. But if you’re in between classes at ASU and need a Mexican food place to go to for lunch, Los Favoritos is a nice place to hit up. I’ll need to try more places near the ASU campus, but so far, this is the best spot to go within a reasonable distance of the ASU Tempe campus.
Overall rating: 8.25 out of 10.
Information on Los Favoritos
- Los Favoritos Taco Shop
- 1340 E Broadway Road, Tempe, AZ 85282
- Phone: (480) 966-0535
Los Favoritos on Urbanspoon