Phoenix Tamale Store: Immigrant turns passion into profit

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, a group of women gathered around a stainless-steel work table inside the large, well-lit kitchen at The Tamale Store. The women smeared masa (corn dough) onto supple, flattened-out corn husk wrappers. They heaped generous spoonfuls of red chile beef guisos (braised stew) onto the dough, agilely folding over the edges of the husk to wrap up the dough and meat into neat half-pound tamales. Tamale making is notoriously time-consuming, inspiring many professional tam

The 11 Best New Restaurants in Phoenix

Today Eater heads to Phoenix, Arizona, to call out 11 newish restaurants on the front lines of a Southwestern culinary explosion. We turned to local critic Patricia Escarcega to share her picks for the city’s buzziest openings of the past 12 months or so. “It’s been a busy year for the Phoenix food and drink scene, with an almost record-breaking number of new restaurants opening this past spring alone,” says Escarcega. Among her picks, a lively barbecue spot (Starlite BBQ and Whiskey Bar), a ne

Drunk With History: Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in America

The Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival has been going for 25 years and is one of the more tasteful celebrations of the holiday If you Google “Cinco de Mayo,” as I just did, you’ll find the internet flush with articles like “What Is Cinco de Mayo?” (Good Housekeeping), or “Why Do We Celebrate Cinco de Mayo?” (USA Today), or “FACT CHECK: What is Cinco de Mayo?” (Snopes). If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that Cinco de Mayo is some mysterious phenomenon or secret cult ritual. It’s not, of co

Regional Chinese Cooking Is on the Rise in Metro Phoenix

Yee pages through the menu enthusiastically. He’s “down to try anything,” he tells me. Pretty soon the table is covered with dishes: a salad bowl of chile-specked chilled cucumber; a plate of big, sweaty half-moon pork dumplings; and steaming soup bowls filled with Nan Zhou’s signature hand-pulled lamian noodles. Yee offers thoughtful notes on the dishes: The pan-fried dumplings are bit better than the steamed dumplings. The broth could use more seasoning. The noodles have a nice chew. Yee is

'Sex Mex' Is Trendy, but Using Sex to Sell Tacos Is Hardly New

On a recent Friday night, throngs of 20-somethings were packed inside El Hefe, the “super macho taquería” in downtown Scottsdale that’s probably best known for two things: kiddie-pool-size adult beverages called Beergaritas, and the “Hefe Girls,” the restaurant’s crew of young, scantily clad female servers and bartenders, who regularly take turns dancing on the bar, Coyote Ugly-style. On this night, the Beergaritas were flowing, the wordless thump of EDM vibrated in the air, and as promised, a

Mother's Milk

See all of Best of Phoenix 2017 here. On the outskirts of southwest Phoenix, on a back road with views of alfalfa fields and the placid-looking Estrella Mountains, my husband and I are driving in circles. In my lap, I’ve got a beat-up notebook with the address of a west-side ranchito I’ve never seen or visited. This place, I’ve been told by a friend of a friend, might have the stuff we’re looking for. We make a couple of wrong turns. We pass the same trailer park twice. Finally, we stop at the