The year is winding down, but these new metro Phoenix restaurants are picking up steam. Try a Scottsdale cafe’s new dinner menu, Chicago-style fried chicken and drowning tacos this December.
Just in time for the busy holiday season, metro Phoenix welcomed a trio of new restaurants worth adding to your must-try list.
The pack includes a charming spot in Old Town Scottsdale where husband-and-wife team Country and Sergio Velador have recently unveiled a new dinner menu and the first Arizona outpost of a Chicago icon — and no, we don’t mean White Castle.
Finally, there’s a new spot for tacos smothered in tomato broth and a blanket of cheese. The new Chandler spot didn’t invent the dish, but it’s an El Paso import we’re happy to have.
Here are three new restaurants to try this month in metro Phoenix:
Since Country and Sergio Velador expanded Super Chunk Sweets & Treats to include New Wave Market in 2017, the quirky little sweet shop/café/restaurant has made a habit of exploring new ways to serve all things delicious to the denizens of Old Town Scottsdale.
The latest wave? Full-service dinner.
This summer, the husband-and-wife duo’s mercurial little spot phased out breakfast (except for Saturday brunch), adding some heftier options at lunchtime in preparation for the launch of a 15-item dinner menu, served four nights a week.
That’s embracing a higher degree of difficulty, particularly in such a competitive neighborhood. But one month into their new dinner offerings, it’s clear the Veladors, along with chef Lester Gonzalez, can sling a lot more than sweets, salads and bagel sandwiches.
THE LATEST WAVE AT NEW WAVE: This cafe’s new dinner menu is fabulous
Details: 7120 E. Sixth Ave., Scottsdale. 602-736-2383, newwavemarket.com.
Harold’s Chicken Shack
While 70% of the city seems to be pledging fealty to the gleaming white parapets on the edge of Scottsdale, another quick service chain of yore with an equally dedicated subculture is busy raising a ruckus in south Phoenix.
Harold’s Chicken Shack is a Chicago icon. And right out of the gate, the first Arizona location is living up to its heritage.
The simple truth is this chicken is delicious. It isn’t premium local poultry carefully pan-fried by a top-rate chef, but it’s $14 for a whole bird. And with nearly 70 years of history to learn from, they’ve got the process down.
Chicago-style fried chicken, while not as unique as some of the city’s better-known foodstuffs, still bears a distinctive style. It’s seasoned and dredged with restraint — thick in spots, but more of a rough, nubby finish — set atop french fries and a single slice of white bread, then either dusted with lemon pepper or doused with hot or mild sauce.
A CHICAGO ICON:Here’s what to order at Harold’s Chicken Shack
Details: 1635 E. Baseline Road, Phoenix. 602-675-1082.
The Drowning Taco
Popular food truck The Drowning Taco — one of many that were recently displaced from their perch along Broadway Road in Mesa — has found itself a brick and mortar home in Chandler, near the corner of Arizona Avenue and Ray Road. From there, Alma Kerby slings a list of casual Mexican dishes that will be familiar to her Valley audience, with one notable exception: the restaurant’s namesake drowning tacos.
They’re all wet. And that’s all right.
The base is a trio of rolled tacos — flautas, really — a filling of seasoned shredded beef wrapped in corn tortillas and fried until crunchy. The twist, however, is the sauce — a rich, steaming hot broth twinged with tomato and a gentle chile buzz that more closely resembles a soup. The tacos are almost completely submerged, a trio of torpedoes peeking out from just beneath the surface, and they’re capped with a sprinkle of finely shredded yellow cheddar cheese that quickly turns limp and gooey in the scalding broth.
The hook is the texture.
Details: 777 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. 480-687-8447, thedrowningtaco.com.
WHAT’S A DROWNING TACO? This spot didn’t invent the ‘drowning taco,’ but its version is so good
Support local journalism and subscribe to azcentral.com today.
Read or Share this story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/dining/2019/12/06/new-phoenix-restaurants-try-now-harolds-new-wave-drowning-taco/2624963001/