Thursday, January 8, 2015

El Charro Cafe Tucson, AZ

    I had already decided to take Barb to Pinnacle Peak in Old Tucson one evening because she was craving a good steak.  On the other hand I always tend to try cuisines local to the area.  Much like Texas and New Mexico this area is famous for their own brand of cuisine, Sonoran.  The El Charro Cafe of Tucson came highly recommended for our adventure.

       Established in 1922 El Charro Café is the nation's oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family.  Featuring traditional Northern Mexico-Sonoran style and innovative Tucson-style Mexican Food, El Charro Café is truly as Gourment Magazine wrote:  "A Taste Explosion".  They pride themselves with a large array of award winning hand crafted recipes based on Sonoran and local ingredients. 
        Tuesday was a rainy, dismal day so as we were out running around shopping, we stopped in and treated ourselves to an early dinner.  The 'while you wait' order of chips and salsa was good; very tomato based with a hint of Oregano.  Tasty, but without any heat.  Barb loved it.  Our waiter was very helpful as I explained we really wanted to try some authentic Sonoran Style Mexican Tucson fare.  Sonoran Style is the home of Fish Tacos so it was easy for Barb to select the Seasoned Grilled Fish Tacos on soft Corn Tortillas with Rice and Beans topped with Cheese. 
      I was wanting something a bit more off the reservation so I selected the Tucson Ranchos Enchiladas, filled with Shredded Adobo Pork, Green Chiles, Green Sauce, and topped with more Green Sauce and Cheese.  Served with sides of Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, Rice, and Beans topped with Cheese. 

      Barb and I both loved our dishes, which at first seemed like any other Mexican meal I had ever had except that it had aftertaste that was very unusual, but delicious.  When I asked about it my waiter told me they use 'Billy Spice' which I had never heard of, but apparently it is a Adobo based spice with Orange Peel, Star Anise, and Chamomile as well.  You can buy it online at
      Our service was excellent.  Our server, Brandon is a U of A student who hails from Kalispell, MT.  He was very helpful, checking back with us often to see how we liked the food.  Price is reasonable as well with our tab (with drinks) totaling right at $25.   

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