Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hot Dog Review: Blanco Tacos and Tequila

It’s my favorite post of the week! Review time. We all know that I have a soft spot in my heart for Fox Concepts restaurants. I’ve already reviewed Culinary Dropout; The Yard, and today I’m coming to you with some great Mexican cuisine from Blanco Tacos & Tequila. Nested in the The Borgata area of Scottsdale, Blanco is open for lunch, happy hour, and dinner; 7 days a week. What you get here is authentic Mexican food, complete with an enormous bar, flat screen TVs playing the latest sports games, and an amazing wrap around patio for when the weather treats us right.

Since it’s summer, and they are running a summer special, let’s start off with that. During the summer months, Blanco is offering some fantastic deals on both food and drinks. For $8 you can get 4 mini hard-shell tacos, which was perfect for my boyfriend and I to share for a late lunch aside some chips and salsa. Each taco is different, so you get to try their chipotle shrimp, braised short rib, guacamole and roasted corn, and their spicy ground beef. Each one is topped off with a healthy dose of cheese and pico de gallo. To that, you can add a glass of their white or red sangria for $6, or a tall boy beer for the same price. Feeling thirsty? Pitchers of Sangria are $16, and buckets of beer are $20.

If you’re like me and like to wash your tacos down with a refreshing margarita, look no further than the White Peach and Hibiscus Margarita. This is a sweet drink, but I have a hard time ever ordering anything else when I come here. My partner in crime has been impartial to any drinks with jalapeno in them, so naturally he ordered the Mango Jalapeno Margarita , and I must say, it was delicious! Just enough heat, but the mango cools your palette down perfectly. They have a very wide selection of Tequilas from blanco, to reposado, to anejo, and even ultra. They’ve also got beer on tap and in bottles, all under $6.

Is all this margarita talk making you hungry? Good. Let’s focus on food. For starters, they give you complimentary chips and salsa, which just goes down so easy, but if you save room, be sure to get their guacamole. I have had in on multiple occasions, and the caramelized onion, poblano and Anaheim chiles really give this guac a punch. Other options include queso fundido, taquitos, crab and shrimp ceviche, and a three cheese quesadilla. The quesadillas are quite large, and perfect for sharing, especially if you add machaca beef into the mix!

Now, something you don’t see every day is a section on the menu for cheese crisps only. Blanco offers 6 different options from just cheese and guacamole, to portabello mushroom and roasted veggies, to braised short rib and avocado. Trying to stay fit for bikini season? Try one of their salads. My favorite salad that they offer is the Mexican Chopped with grilled chicken. This salad come complete with corn, guacamole, black beans, tortilla strips, and tossed with a creamy ranch. Burritos and Enchiladas also appear on the menu for those of you with a big appetite.

But Blanco is most notably known for their star, the taco. They have award-winning recipes, and a great selection for everyone, even vegetarians. All taco plates come with 3 tacos with your choice of black beans or their charro beans. Reasonably priced between $10 and $13.50 per plate, try their award-winning BBQ Pulled Pork tacos filled with roasted corn and tomato slaw. If BBQ ain’t your thing, try their Traditional Carnitas seasoned with orange and chile, or their Baja Chicken with cabbage and cotija cheese. For the non-meat eaters, chow down on their Roasted Mushroom tacos filled with sweet peppers, chopped cabbage and guacamole. Craving something from the sea? They offer grilled fish tacos as well as crispy shrimp and grilled chipotle shrimp tacos. With 12 different taco plates and in house specials, I would find it hard to believe that you couldn’t find something on there to your liking.

Blanco is a great place to take the family, or even just grab a beer and an app for happy hour while you watch some baseball. Once again, Sam Fox has created a popular, delicious restaurant that keeps people coming back again and again. And I will say that they do have a second location in Tucson (GO SUN DEVILS!), so grab a seat on their patio and sit back with a marg or two. You won’t regret it!

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